It's a Girl, Damnit!


When I was pregnant, Nick and I elected to join the small minority of folks who thrive on chaos and stressful last minute planning and not find out that Ellie was going to be a girl. Actually, the plan was that Nick was going to find out and keep it a secret from me because he couldn't understand why anyone would not want to be privy to information that could make life easier. He promised… swore… crossed his heart that he wouldn’t slip. He lasted a total of 17 seconds. Right after the ultrasound tech told him “it’s a one” (apparently their code for girl) Nick asked “is she head down?” Poor guy. So smart yet… well, I love him so I’ll leave it at that.

Anyhoo, I pretended not to hear, shrouded myself in oblivion and we never discussed it with each other or anyone else. Consequently, we received a plethora of green and yellow clothes and blankets, which Elliot happily wore for the first few weeks of her life. Everywhere we went people presumed she was a boy, which, when you name your daughter “Elliot” and dress her in a unisex wardrobe was not a huge shocker.


A few weeks later we entered The Baby Gender Obvious Twilight Zone. I decided that I didn’t want her developing an identity crisis or growing up to be a tranny so I went out and bought her some pink dresses and blankets. The day after my little shopping spree I went in for my follow-up doctor appointment. Me in my poop-stained sweats and wild hair and Ellie decked out in her pink dress, tights and patent leather shoes. Together we were a walking contradiction, but at least she would be recognized for the woman she was. The first thing out of the nurse’s mouth: “Oh, how old is he?”


SHE is six weeks.

Oh, cute! What’s his name?

HER name is Ellie.

I will mention to J.T. that his nurse is stupid.

On the way home I stopped at the grocery store for some Fig Newtons and Dr. Pepper. You know, lunch. The cashier must have gone to the same crappy optometrist as the nurse because the first words out of her mouth were “Oh, cute - how old is he?”

Despite the fact that we now dress her in pink from head to toe, people continue to mistake her for a boy. The pharmacist. The liquor store owner. The drive through workers at Taco Bell… pretty much everyone on my daily errand route. Even my own Grandma, who, for the most part, is of sound mind. I had a phone conversation with her last week and every single pronoun was “he”. “Is he sleeping good?” “Is he crawling yet?” “Did he like the pink dress I sent him?”

I was really beginning to worry that aliens had taken over the Earth. Or even worse - my daughter looked like a boy. Then yesterday I went to a baby shower and was relieved to discover that a friend who has a daughter Ellie’s age told me she experienced the same thing. In fact, she had decided to remedy the situation by piercing her daughter’s ears, to which her husband reluctantly agreed because he realized the gravity of the situation. I have deep beliefs about piercing a baby’s ears, and while cute I just don’t think I can inflict non-vaccine related pain on my innocent baby. I thought about buying Ellie a “My First Make-Up Kit” for Christmas, but then feared that would initiate a chain of events that would lead to next year’s gift of “My ‘Lil FMPs” with matching cigarette case.

So that just leaves us with continuing to dress her up like a cute little bottle of Pepto Bismol and passive-aggressively correcting people. Worst case scenario she’ll go to college on a nice softball scholarship.