I've been thinking a lot lately about what little Conan will be like. I'm sure every mom-to-be does this, but as usual I have probably gone further than most and really begun to over-analyze things, especially in terms of gender role expectations. One of the things I have really noticed is the gender-specific nature of baby items - clothes, nursery decorations, equipment, you name it - they make one version for girls and one for boys. This post really caught my attention. It's very true, as the author says - baby clothes are very genderized, and it's a lot more subtle than just pink vs blue, bows vs buckles. Girls get butterflies, flowers and kittens; boys get firetrucks, puppies, and dinosaurs.
I think it's pretty telling that I felt relieved to find out that Conan was a boy - not because I wouldn't want a girl - but because it meant that I woulnd't have to struggle with getting all those stereotypically girly clothes, especially when it came to gifts from friends & family. If I had a girl, I'd want to dress her in the "boy" clothes, because they have so much more variety. When exactly did cartoon fish & dinosaurs & puppies become masculine, anyway? Girls can be firefighters, backhoe operators, or fishermen too, right? And find me the toddler of either sex who doesn't deserve to wear a shirt that says "mommy's little monster".
Personality trait predictions are also interesting. I can't deny that little Conan is a very active baby, at least at this stage. And yes, we are giving him a name with some strong masculine connotations. But his womb activity level could just as well lead him to be a dancer or a gymnast as a football star or a boxer. Right? He could be an introverted bookworm, into astronomy and science and music as easily as a rambunctious tree-climbing knee-skinning frog-pocketing "boy's boy" with a fixation on tools and cars. And yet people always predict the latter... not that there's anything wrong with being a "boy's boy", but just once I kind of wish someone would say, "Oh, he's going to be such a sensitive and thoughtful little guy" or "Maybe he'll grow up to be a famous chef" or "You must be looking forward to watching him perform in school plays" or something like that. It would be so... refreshing. :)