Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Storm Center @ Baby Central

I attended a really fun baby shower this weekend! The parents-to-be chose not to know the gender of their baby till it’s born. I kind of love that—the fun of the surprise appeals to me. This is not to say that I don’t completely understand wanting to know in advance so that you can purchase the clothes and accessories that go along with your baby’s gender identity. I do get that, and I respect both positions. It’s great that parents now have a choice.

These particular parents are decorating the baby’s room in a monkey theme, and the most adorable (and completely gender-neutral) gifts were opened! More fun than a barrel of –well, I won’t go there.

So anyhoo, the thing about showers in general is that there are generally games played that just make you wish you were home in bed with a fever of 104 and body aches. They normally range from annoying and cloying to degrading and undignified. Not this time.

Little Mama’s sister handed everyone a diaper pin upon entering the home. You were to hold onto your pin, and not say the word “baby” throughout the shower. If you heard someone else say the ‘b’ word, other than the Little Mama or the hostess, you were entitled to confiscate her pin. The guest with the most pins at the end of the shower won a prize. Best. Shower game. Ever. Props to the genius Auntie!

Back to the issue of sex. (Not yours—the baby’s.)

There was a recent article in the newspaper (remember those?) about a Canadian couple rearing their baby without regard to gender. The baby is named Storm (as in Storm of controversy?), and the mother is quoted as saying that Storm should be able to develop his or her own sexual identity without having to conform to social stereotypes or bow to predetermined expectations associated with gender.

I get this, too. It’s kind of a noble objective, but talk about an uphill struggle… Sure, now the baby’s four months old, but what happens when it’s four years old and needs to use the bathroom at school? Gonna have to choose one of those doors and eschew the other.

Storm’s probably got some cool monkey clothes, though. And I do like the name. Not that there’s anything wrong with Pat, Chris, or a couple of other either-way-type names…

This all reminds me of something I read in the ‘70s called The Story of Baby X, or some reasonable facsimile thereof. It was a fictionalized version of the same controversy, and was completely cutting edge at the time. It made for some good reading, and really provoked some thoughts about how we program our kids along gender lines.

Wish I could find it now. I might share it with Little Mama. Or with Storm’s family…

Meantime, it’s something to ponder.


  1. Hey Leah! Good grief - "develop his or her own sexual identity without having to conform to social stereotypes or bow to predetermined expectations associated with gender" Um, poor kid! Sadly, unless the kid's body is genetically confused, Nature has already decided which of the little rooms he/she should go to. I just hope the kid puts the seat down when finished, else he'll be banished from one of them. Indigo x

  2. Glad you had fun and thanks for coming! Little Mama had a great time.