Don’t Tell Anyone, but We Have Names Picked out

I got an email from Ruth. It’s a short one, but a sweet one; she says that she was completely wrecked this weekend, and in fact all week, and that she’s glad I was able to anticipate that and that the visit was cancelled. She sounds a bit frazzled, which is what I’d expect if I stopped to think about it. Here’s the thing about me: I think I’m pretty good about being able to give someone space or meet a particular need or overlook something if that’s appropriate, but I need the heads up if I’m going to do that without being at all resentful. Feeling like you just can’t talk to me this month? Cool, just tell me that before you vanish. Need me to stop asking whether you want something to eat when I see you? I will totally do that if you let me know. So now I am not only not annoyed at all about being left hanging before the scheduled visit, I  feel guilty about having been annoyed before. (sighs) Well, this is probably a better place to spend time, emotionally.

I told Mr. Book that I asked people what Cricket will likely want to play with when his family visits here in May.

“What did they say?”

“Balls and trucks, mostly.”

“That sounds about right—I think that’s what I was into at that point.”

That transitioned into a conversation about possible birthday presents for the sprout, which it is of course ridiculously early to be planning, but I wanted his input. We both worry a bit about what it will look like if we give traditionally masculine toys to the kid while his moms provide him with baby dolls and a purse, but I am comforted in the knowledge that I have the support of ladies like Andy and Thorn. I’m not trying to make sure that Cricket grows up to be a man’s man or anything like—but when I was little, I liked trucks; when Mr. Book was little, he liked trucks—we’re just playing to our strengths, here. If by age three or four he’s asking for ballerina outfits, heck, we’ll get him a tutu and a copy of Angelina Ballerina. But if I’m perfectly honest with myself, that’s not what I expect; I expect that we’ll be asked for dinosaur stuff, or other “boyish” accoutrements. That said, I would love to get him wooden kitchen stuff if he’s interested later. I always loved that stuff as a child.

Assuming for a minute that I’m not going to experience secondary infertility and that we’ll get pregnant within a couple of years, in some ways, the fact that I’m getting baby and kid stuff without any idea of whether futurekid will be a girl or a boy feels like a gift. I’ve got pink stuff and blue stuff, and soon there will be both kitchen stuff and trucks—I am charmed by the idea that our kidlet will be able to rampage around and make relatively free choices about what to like, at least until he or she starts school. (Peer pressure, woo!) Dawn’s description of Noah breastfeeding his trucks is wonderful—hopefully our futurekid can nurse trucks, bake trucks, and ram stuffed animals with trucks when the time comes.

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7 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Anyone, but We Have Names Picked out

  1. And in another year or so he’ll be at the age where boys loooooove wearing dresses and wigs, in my experience. A dressup box is always a good idea! I think your balance sounds like a good one, and it’s not as if you’re pushing him into anything. I think you can get balls that don’t look sporty and something like the rabbit you mentioned and the toys SHOULD code as gender-neutral rather than boy.

    I’m so glad Ruth was able to talk to you honestly about her feelings. I hope you’ll be able to find a way to tell her what you told us, that you were trying to make the sensitive decision but that you find it a lot easier if you know what’s going on ahead of time. I think you can do this without making it sound like a guilt trip or anything, and again I think you can kind of play to her need for control by telling her what she can do to help you. I think she’d like to be able to do that.

  2. Noah never wore dresses (he wore animal costumes — he was all about animal costumes) but my brother used to steal my favorite Pooh Bear birthday dress when he was about five. And I LOVED trucks! My favorite was a cement truck that I named Jimmy. Noah did love his kitchen set although there came a time where he mostly used it as a dungeon to lock his people in.

    Madison has been much more traditional in her gender choices and that’s been harder for me than having a boy who was more equal opportunity because of my feminist nature, which ironically can get in the way of letting my kids CHOOSE if my kid is a girl who wants to be a princess!!!

  3. Oooh, I had a wooden kitchen and I loved it. So much nicer than the plastic kitchens they have now.

    Dress up can be lots of fun — for my oldest son’s third birthday, I went to a Halloween store AFTER Halloween and gots tons of dress up stuff on clearance. He got a bin full of stuff — a crown, a police hat, doctor’s scrubs, a construction hat, kitty ears and a dinosaur costume among others. You could always throw in a tutu, too! I also shelled out for some play silks which are still the boys’ favorites. They use them to make superhero capes, fairy wings and light saber holders!

    Glad you heard from Ruth!

  4. For the record, LB and I have names picked out too.

    Oh, and I’ll let you know what Cupcake’s into at our visit on SATURDAY! Woot, woot!!!

    I wonder if the gender play manifestation stuff would happen the same way if Cricket was a girl.

    I know Dee has been pretty pro Cupcake being a tomboy….but darned if she doesn’t love the color pink. Even though her Mom told me at our first visit that they’re not really “pink” people. They might not be – but our girl sure is!

  5. Kids will be kids and I say let them play with what makes them happy. Cause isn’t that the whole point of toys in the first place?

    You’re doing just fine!

  6. I just wrote a whole piece on my blog about my boys/my girl & dolls. Maybe these questions are in the air…

    When our second guy arrived (Lucien), his big brother (Ezekiel, not yet three) had me nurse the baby doll. And Saskia has been known to put a car into the baby doll stroller.

    Andy’s right: play/fun that’s really the point (I think I’m going to write something about how steeped in ideas or theory we were early on & how laid back/lazy/tired we are now.

  7. Oh, since woob’s been two, dress up has just been THE thing! He has dressed up as animals, superheroes, traditional halloween-y type things (yes, Walmart sells costumes for $5 the week after halloween!!), and pretty pretty princesses. and if I do say so myself, he is THE prettiest princess of them all–would’ve made a pretty girl! AND he, despite our lack of encouragement, is also a gun-totin’ Rambo type(the bigger the better as far as he’s concerned), who loves playing in the bath, video games, tv, crashing cars, driving trains and putting baby dolls in his shirt so he has a baby in his belly. There is no rhyme or reason to his choices other than if it looks like fun at any particular moment. Now that he’s approaching four, though, he is very vocal about “girl toys” and how he doesn’t want any for his birthday.

    While I might not have ever tried to FORCE my boy to carry a purse, I certainly wouldn’t see a problem with him choosing to do so. I love that you’re trying to figure out what he likes and would enjoy so he has it. You are a good mom.

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