Friday, September 4, 2009

In the Pink

Here's what happens: You find yourself pregnant. You jump for joy (or sigh with ambivalence) at the enormity of it all. You tell a bunch of people (waiting 3 months is impossible). They are thrilled (or tell you cheerful horror stories about everything from stretch marks to never sleeping again). They ask you if you're going to find out the sex of the baby. You don't know. You and your partner (and your best friend and your mother and your partner's mother and the woman in the cubicle down the hall) have different opinions about what to do. On the one hand, wouldn't it be easier to know "for planning purposes"; on the other, aren't you going to need some kind of big ass surprise to undercut the pain of childbirth?

You opt to be surprised. You're old school that way.

As the months march on, everyone has an opinion about what kind of baby you're having. Your mother is sure it's a boy. The woman in the cubicle just knows it's a girl because she's had 3 and her sister-in-law had 2 boys and she was right guessing every time. You don't know what to do. Baby Gap has cute stuff in green and yellow but, let's face it, they're cop-out colours. What's it gonna be, pink or blue. (In truth, you'll happily dress your little boy in green or yellow but who are you kidding, the girl's going home in pink.)

The big day comes. Actually, it's 3 o'clock in the morning, but who's counting. The baby is born and...

... it's a GIRL!

And now the fun begins. Not the love and the gratitude and the planning for the future. You know I mean the dress up. And fortunately, between vomit and 24 hour shifts, you get to do it all the time! But every little ruffly, candy-pink sleeper is cuter than the last.

The infant becomes a toddler who tantrums at the idea of wearing anything vaguely approaching gender-neutral. Fortunately she looks great in pink. Who doesn't, really? It brings out the roses in your cheeks. The toddler becomes a pre-schooler who will only wear pink or she's not leaving the house - just because. Pre-school gives way to the liberty of full day education - and peer pressure. Now pink is de rigeur because everyone else is wearing it. Eventually, pink is great because it's the colour of the background of the latest tween sensation's homepage.

You see where I'm going with this - my treatise on the inculturation of sexism from the get-go - unwavering feminism be damned. Barbies may be evil, but good luck pushing orange when you positively can't stand one more iteration of fuchsia.

So I guess I should be grateful that my kid will only wear purple this fall. I could handle a little novelty.


  1. Oy pink. I hated it for so many years as a symbol of forced girly-ness!

  2. My daughter only wore pink dresses until she started pre-school and had to wear a uniform.
    I remember the whole pregnancy guessing game and how I was only buying green and white baby clothes. Seems rather silly now but I was old school about being surprised.

  3. My seven-year-old daughter adores pink; my ten-year-old girl hates it. She likes lime green, which was a *very* hard sell for me until I realized that I should let her dress herself in whatever color she likes. And it flatters her, too, shockingly (happily!).

  4. I always liked blue when I was little. Just to be a rebel.

  5. My daughter has passed the pink obsession (and has settled on much more expensive tastes at 13), but two years ago she got to choose the colors to paint her room and - surprise! - settled on Pepto Bismol pink and electric lime green.

    Count your blessings with the purple.

  6. My daughter loves pink, but also loves green, and blue and purple and orange and red and yellow - lucky eh!

  7. Um, but our Pony girl tee-shirt( which I hope is there by now) is very girly pink. But, I suppose PONY transcends colour.

  8. I loved this post and I've already given into pink. My little diva loves it.

  9. Ha! I loved purple as a kid. & my sister refused to wear anything but pants from 3 on. Too funny.

  10. Sal: And now look at you!

    Belle: Me too. I don't regret it!

    Miss C: When you have a kid that looks good in lime green, you just have to let her go for it :-)

    Wendy: Why am I not surprised?

    Ricky: Oh my. I guess you'll have to wait for her to move out and then get in there with some taupe :-)

    Imogen: She is a very cultured sweetie to be sure. You can tell with her scarf tying abilities!

    Bel: Pony does transcend colour. Alas, it's still not here. Will keep you posted.

    Stacey: With one out of 4 in the pink-it-up category, you have to give in big!

    Ambika: Now you wear all kinds of colours so I know there is hope :-)