Once I first learned that I was pregnant with a baby girl back in 2007, I did the opposite of what every mother expecting a girl does: I bought all bad ass baby clothing that went against the norm.
I think one of the very first outfits I purchased Haydan was a Social Distortion onesie with a black cap & a matching pair of Chuck Taylor’s. I couldn’t wait to show my friends and family.
‘But…you’re having a girl, aren’t you?’ my friends would say.
…or, my mother…
‘THAT is not a girls outfit!! It is all black! Do you want a gothic baby!?’
“Hmm, I didn’t think about that. Good point. Maybe I’ll have a gothic baby instead of a regular baby, Mom.’
I just couldn’t stand walking into those stores with all pink on one side of the store and all blue on the other. Of course, we can’t forget that small ‘neutral’/yellow section of Babies R’ Us for those wild people who are actually patient enough to not find out the sex of their baby until moments after squeezing them out.
That was the last surprise I wanted after 23 hours of labor—-to learn if this tiny human that put my body through hell and back was in fact, a boy, or, a girl. To be honest, at that point I didn’t really give a crap. ‘IT’S A GIRL!!!’ the doctors screamed. ’That’s great, does ‘she’ have all her fingers and toes? Yes? Wonderful. How long until I can feel my legs again…or better yet, how long before I can SEE my legs again?’ (Side note: I was a rather large pregnant woman and lost sight of my legs and feet when in upright position very early on in my pregnancy.)
I learned of Haydan’s sex right at 17.5 weeks and went on a full androgynous baby shopping spree. I got Bob Marley onesies, Social D onesies, cross bones and skull’s onesies, you name it, I bought it. I even googled ‘Radiohead baby outfits’ with no luck.
However, then my baby shower happened and it was all downhill from there. People showed up left and right with all things pink and all things baby. Shit I didn’t even know existed for babies (and I was a nanny for YEARS in college) landed on my lap at my baby shower. I just scanned away while registering at Babies R’ Us. Give me a scan gun anywhere and I’ll find a need/way to use whatever it is. A Bumbo chair? WTF is that? Babies get their own chairs? Sure! I’ll take one!
My androgynous kick was over and now I was a normal mom with a normal PINK everything wardrobe for her baby. I still found the time to throw her in my ‘gothic baby’ black ensembles but slowly started to love all her cute and girly stuff. Not to mention, when I dressed her in actual ‘girl clothes’, people would come up to me at Target and Costco and say how beautiful my newborn baby GIRL was compared to: ‘Oh, my, you’re little boy has such beautiful eyes’. I even received a pink flower bikini from a girlfriend of mine and from that point forward, I was all aboard the pink train and a raving advocate of all things hot pink, baby pink, frilly, pink, pink, PINK!
I was full steam ahead on the pink bandwagon…
However, all children hit a point in their lives when they are fully capable of dressing themselves. At first it’s cute when they throw on a polka dot top with striped leggings at age three. However, it gets to the point after you’ve just dropped $200 at GYMBOREE that you want them to wear the damn outfits that you’ve spent your hard earned cash on. Not to mention, when you show up to a gathering and your child looks like she’s been living as a caveman for the past 6 years, well, it sort of sucks. I was able to coerce Haydan into certain outfits at certain times but now it is just to a point where I have lost all fucking control.
I will ask Haydan to get dressed around 10:00AM and she will casually come strolling out in some ensemble that I’m pretty sure she gathered from another human beings closet. I am not kidding you. She will have pants on that I honestly cannot remember ever purchasing or better yet, she will be wearing one of those t-shirts ‘Someone Who Loves Me Very Much Bought Me This Obnoxious T-Shirt At The Canadian Airport Because They Forgot To Buy Me A Present Before They Came Home.’ paired with a set of wedged heels (that I still kick my own ass for buying her) and she is set. ‘Don’t I look amazing mom!?!?!’
I look back on all those baby pictures where I dressed her in her cross bones outfits with black beanies and rebelled against what society deemed appropriate for a baby girl to wear and I laugh/curse myself.
Oh, how much easier it was back then when I had total jurisdiction over what this little person wore compared to now. On the days we attend church, I have to somewhat oversee what outfit she concocts. I cannot have her showing up to church in a shirt that she swears up and down is a dress– while her Barbie underwear hang out the back. We have to set aside an extra 45 minutes just to get HAYDAN dressed for church. Here is a rundown convo from Sunday:
Me: ‘Oh, Haydan, this dress is so adorable, you should wear this today!
Haydan: Mom, that really isn’t my style.
Me: Okay, well then what is your ‘style’ today?
Haydan: I’m thinking—-long pink dress.
Me: Oh, okay, you mean the one you’ve worn for the past six days straight that I ripped off your body last night as you screamed hysterically?
Haydan: Yeah. That one. I want to wear that one. That one is perrrrrrrfecccttttt for today!
Me: Well, DARLING, that one is in the damn washing machine because it was worn for SEVEN DAYS STRAIGHT. Child Protective Service’s could take me away for not cleaning your clothes. Pick another outfit…NOW.
Haydan: What about this? ((As she takes one of her school uniform jumpers off a hanger))
Me: We do not wear school uniforms to church. By the way, you HATE wearing a school uniform during the school year and the only time, three months straight, that you get a break from that uniform, you now want to wear it…to church?
Haydan: Well today I am really ‘feeling’ it. ((WTF?))
Me: Listen to me RIGHT NOW. I have wet hair, half of my face painted with make up and I am not even dressed yet. Now, we have to be out the door in 15 minutes seeing we have been sitting here negotiating for 30 minutes. Pick a damn outfit out or I am going to cry. Really, I think I am going to cry.
Haydan: Yeah right! You will fake cry! I’ve seen you do it before when I stepped on your foot in those pink high heels of mine.
Me: THAT WASN’T A FAKE CRY!! THAT FREAKIN HURT!! (((JUSTIN HELPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!)))
That pretty much sums up getting dressed each day. I often get inquisitive text messages from my mom asking why all the pictures I send to her are of Haydan in bottoms and no top. ‘I pick my battles carefully mother…and we didn’t have to leave the house today.’
Really mom? Don’t you remember raising two strong willed children? She was a lot more active with the wooden spoon than I am so maybe her experiences with getting my sister and I dressed were a little easier. Maybe I should take a peak into her parenting playbook. The wooden spoon always scared the shit out of me though.
Though, I did try the wooden spoon on Haydan once. I had Haydan bend over and gave her a slight smack on the bum for ‘talking back’. She tilted her head, and I shit you not, said : ‘That’s it? That didn’t hurt at all’. I did it again and that time she cried and I haven’t done it ever again. Because I am a pathetic parent. Who cannot spank. Who needs a parenting 101 class desperately. Or because I am receiving a taste of my own medicine for what I put my own mother through. Or, because I’m the mom that complains about crap and doesn’t do shit about it.
Shit, I was spanked all the way through the 6th grade. And look at me NOW!! hahahaha!!
I have to go now. I am going to google ‘Parenting Classes for a more well-behaved, less smart-ass child… for parents who are really shitty at following through with discipline’.
I am assuming the Google Results Page will read something like: ‘You shouldn’t have been such an asshole to your own mother’…or… ‘Grow a backbone, you moron!’
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