It’s not going to be a gender neutral Christmas at our house! For the past two years, all of our kid’s purchases have leaned towards the gender neutral, in some cases bypassing the girl’s section entirely and shopping only in the boys aisles. Our daughter didn’t care what color her toys were, and I refused to have piles of pink I was forcing on any kids down the road, or even friends and consignment shops when our family was complete.
Gender nuetral was a hard sell to grandparents who really would like to see a baby girl with something pink and girly, so we would throw in little bits of girliness here and there to appease. Hey, we gave her the pink curtains, didn’t we? I think they went a long way in making her blue, green and brown painted mural seem like it was always meant for a girl’s room. I even sprung for the flower lamps to really complete the garden-themed motif and hopefully she will never realize that there was supposed to be cars, trucks and scooters zipping around her walls, not birds, butterflies and squirrels.
I thought those pink curtains and lamps would also make up for the black and grey baby seat, the blue bouncer, the fire-engine red stroller, the brown and orange car seat and the fact that we brought her home from the hospital all dressed in taupe (hey, ultrasounds aren’t always 100% certain, I was not bringing a little boy home in pink). Most of the time since then she’s been dressed like a girl, usually has a pink pacifier, and every once in a while will get to drink out of the three pack of pink cups hubby bought her to counteract the green and blue collection I had amassed. Heck, she’s even wearing pink pajamas as I type. I think we did quite well in turning brown hoodies and blue shoes into girl’s clothing, and only three to four times a week does someone get her gender wrong.
But baby toys were just one of those things that I always insisted must be gender neutral, even returning most pink items and exchanging them for their red and blue counterparts when some well meaning family member would buy pink “because we have all that blue already” (shhhhhh!). But not this year. This year our little girl has opinions and ideas about what she likes, and she naturally gravitates towards the pink aisle.
I guess I didn’t realize how that was going to affect me until the pink presents began to arrive at the house. All their sweet girliness that reminds me of Christmases growing up and makes me so excited to play with all of her toys myself. I can’t wait to see her eyes light up when she unwraps her first real baby doll and her little cooking set I’ve been dying to let her play with ahead of time. I realize our house is going to have a huge shift the day after Christmas and our living room will now be accented with pink, but I never ever thought I would be happy about it.
No, not just happy, ecstatic.
It’s as if it’s just hitting me that there is only more pink and girly to come. Pretty soon there will be hair to braid, fingernail polish on her toes, and maybe even a ribbon or two in her hair and I get to do that all with her. Mom, the keeper of the nail polish, the only one who can braid the hair of a wiggling child; I can see it now and the best is yet to come. So, this year I say bring on the pink!