Ridiculous sex divide begins with tot t-shirts
I WAS out shopping with El Baberino the other week when I wandered over to a t-shirt rack in a major retailer.
T-shirts are fast becoming a staple item in the almost three-month-olds rather expansive wardrobe because a) if I don't get to stay in my pyjamas all day every day then neither does she; and b) she's a vomiter, and it's much easier to whip off a t-shirt than change a whole outfit on the fly.
So I picked up, among other things, a cute little green number with a few sea creatures on the front having a whale of a time and took it (and my dad jokes) home.
As I was removing the tag from this particular shirt to wash it, something jumped out at me. 'BOYS' newborn t-shirt, the tag read.
I was horrified.
A boy's shirt? Oh no!
What had I done to my beautiful baby daughter?
Had I doomed her to a life of gender confusion? I better get her back in something pink quick smart!
Of course, I didn't really think that. Because that would be ridiculous.
Much like I think it's pretty ridiculous to identify a green 000 t-shirt as exclusively for boys.
But it appears that with babies, the gender divide is both vast and set in stone.
Pink, yellow, hearts, flowers = girl. Blue, green, animals = boy.
Look, there's nothing wrong with pink. It's lovely. We have heaps of pink stuff. I am not running a fascist anti-pink regime.
But believe it or not, clothing manufacturers, some girls like whales. Or aeroplanes, or motorbikes, or even Batman.
Liking any of these things doesn't have to be an exclusively male pursuit, and we don't need it labelled as such from birth.
It carries through to the way people talk to and about your babies.
One comment I get a lot is "oh she's so TINY". Yep, she's a baby. She's baby-sized. Giving birth to school-aged sized children would prove slightly uncomfortable.
But were she a boy, I'd be hearing how big and strong she is. You can't say a boy baby is tiny, and you can't say a girl baby is a big boofa.
It's against the rules, and like my clearly half-baked parenting ideals putting El Baberino in a green boys t-shirt, going against said rules will surely do irreparable damage to her tiny delicate girlish psyche.
Well, I think the rules are stupid.
And major retailer, you know where you can stick your rules of what makes a t-shirt for boys.
I was considering a ranty email to head office followed by a personal boycott, but then I realised that was a bit extreme.
Because I need to buy t-shirts.
So instead, I'll carry on buying clothes for my baby that I like, regardless of what gender someone with a label maker ascribes to them.
Today she's rocking a navy blue number with an elephant on it.
From the boys section, of course.
A big cuddly clothed bum
I LIKE big butts, and I cannot lie. Big, cloth nappied baby butts that is.
This week's column may sound like I wrote it in a Kombi en route to Nimbin, but it's not the case. But I did finally get off my own generous bottom and drag out the cloth nappies.
I've used cloth nappies with all of my babies to varying degrees, for a number of reasons.
Obviously, the environmental impact of disposable nappies is something that concerns me.
Cost over a baby's nappy wearing time is another factor, as well as the fact that I seem to have babies with delicate bots who develop rashes from most brands of disposable nappy.
And then there's the fact that something about seeing a clothesline full of white squares just makes me happy.
It's not time-consuming - nappies go into a bucket during the day and then in the machine with her clothes at night.
And washing a pooey one is no grosser than having one sitting in your bin.
But the best bit is that big cuddly cloth bum. I won't be going back to disposable nappies anytime soon.