“Aww, isn’t he cute”, said the hundredth stranger.
“Why yes, yes SHE is” I said.
It’s a problem which isn’t a new one, but one that we’re increasingly facing and it’s really starting to make my eye twitch with rage everytime someone says it. Strangers are increasingly commenting on how cute my little ‘boy’ is. In the street, in shops and on walks. Everybody seems to think that my little girl is a boy.
Now, sometimes I can see why they may be confused if I’ve dressed her in gender neutral clothes, or if I’ve dressed her in blue. These incidences I can deal with as I can understand their confusion based solely on what she’s wearing. I kindly let these incidences slide.
But when she’s wearing something that is obviously girly – either flowers, a dress or an array of pink (or sometimes all of the above) – there’s no doubting that she is indeed a she. Yet people are still confused by this and are driven to compliment how cute ‘he’ looks.
People seemingly aren’t judging her on her clothes as these comments seem to happen regardless of what she is wearing. I’m sure it would still happen if she wore a top that bluntly said ‘girl’. But equally, I don’t think that the world’s population (or at least that of Northamptonshire) has grown to accept that girls can wear blue and boys can wear pink – but that’s a different issue.
Is it the short hair?
I think it’s the short hair that confuses these strangers. Having short hair must mean that it’s a boy, with longer hair being a girl. The only problem is that all babies have short, or no hair, therefore all babies are apparently boys in the eyes of strangers.
Complimenting a baby you don’t know
Strangers would be much safer in complimenting any baby by saying “aww, so cute” or similar. It’s a catch all compliment and will save me and other parents from punching them in the face.
Or, just don’t say anything at all or just give me that knowing ‘how cute’ smile – I really won’t mind and am not forcing people to comment on the sheer beauty of my daughter. I’m more annoyed when people try and get it wrong when to me is seems so obvious that she’s a girl.
But, while strangers are dishing out compliments – and I’m sure they’ll continue – they can also throw one at me once in a while. I’d really appreciate it.
Just don’t assume that my girl is a boy.