I know it (probably) happens to mums everywhere and it’s something I shouldn’t get upset about, but when people repeatedly talk about my beautiful baby girl as a “him” or a “he” or a “happy little boy” – it does get my goat a bit! I mean, if you’re not sure, then you just say – “what’s your little one’s name”, right?! so does that mean that all those people who ask me “what’s his name”, they’re all absolutely sure that I have a bouncing baby boy in my Bugaboo?!
It doesn’t usually bother me. The woman on the till at Waitrose who I always seem to end up going to, long ago established Richmond Baby in her mind as a boy and I didn’t bother to correct her, it seemed too awkward. But now, every time I’m at her till, there she is saying “hello again happy little boy” and “he smiles so much doesn’t he” – yessssss, he does… But hey, it’s not that big a deal, I let it slide.
Then there are the old ladies in lifts. Usually in WH Smiths or some such other store where you only discover they have a lift once you have a buggy to get about with and so there you are in the lift, with the only other person really needing to use a lift, usually an octogenarian in a crazy purple hat with a wheelie bag, and when they comment on your beautiful baby boy and ask if he’s sleeping through the night, you just smile sweetly and say yes, and not bother to highlight their mistake.
So, as I said, I’m used to it happening on the odd occasion. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen some of the time, and when it does, I don’t let it bother me. After all, I acknowledge that babies are babies and sometimes it’s hard to tell (although I don’t think it is hard to tell that my baby is a baby girl, quite often she’s dressed in some sort of shade of pink, the clues are there people!).
But yesterday, it happened a couple of times, and this bothered me, a bit. Maybe I was generally feeling tired and emotional and it got under my skin a bit more than it ever would normally, but anyway, whatever the reason, it did bother me. A bit.
We were at a Christmas party, there was a singing/performing lady there. She was very jolly and doing lots of waving hands and singing songs and blowing bubbles – the usual malarkey to entertain a group of under one year olds. And then she says, loud and proud in front of the whole group of mums and babies, pointing at Richmond Baby – who was dressed as Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (it was a Christmas party after all, one must indulge in a little fancy dress at this time of year, no?!), which may have caused some of the confusion, who knows – “can you just move him out of the centre as I put out the parachute” and then later on, when singing a song about currant buns, she says (giving one to Richmond Baby) “along came a little boy…” – as Richmond Baby happily took the plastic bun, unaware of being given a sex change in the process. Sigh.
As I said, it wouldn’t normally bother me. Only then every other mum in the room (apart from my lovely NCT friend who knows the truth!) had established Richmond Baby as a “he” and referred to “him” accordingly. Double sigh. And then when we went into the second half of the Christmas party, with another set of entertainers, one chap says “oh, my son had a Rudolph suit too, they’re great”… SHE’S A GIRL!!!! I wanted to shout, very loudly, very very loudly. Seriously people!!
But of course I didn’t. I bit my tongue. I couldn’t be bothered with the conversation. And the slight awkward embarrassment on their part. And the “hey, don’t worry about it” on my part. Tedious.
And then to top it all off, a fellow mum whose little one has been in the same swimming class as Richmond Baby for the last 10-weeks, says to me – when I referred to the fact that “I can’t believe Allegra is coming up for 10 months, she’s growing so fast” – this mum exclaims, “what?!?! she’s a girl?!?! oh gosh, I thought you had a boy because he/she’s so stocky looking – wow, she’s a girl!” I mean, seriously?!?! The tact chip is clearly missing in this woman…
Anyway, just in case anyone is in any doubt, can I just say, here and now:
SHE’S A GIRL!!
And here is a beautiful girly picture of her to prove it…
Rant over. Slightly ranty voice now put away for the day.