I am constantly amazed at the need for strangers to know if my child is a boy or a girl. And how often they get it wrong. Not that I care, mind you. Personally, I think all babies until the age of two pretty much look like grumpy old men with bad comb overs. But there are subtle, social cues that most people pick up on... like hair bands, or this.

I'm not much on pink. So I get it when I have my kid dressed in a denim overalls and people in the elevator say "Oh what a cute little boy." Most times I just say thanks and let it go altogether, because if my only interaction with you is going to consist solely of stilted small talk between floors six and thirteen, then it doesn't really matter if I don't set you straight on the gender of my spawn. But occasionally, the conversation progresses and it usually goes something like this:

Stranger in Elevator: "What a cute baby."

Me: "Thanks."

SIE: "And what a big smile."

M: "Yeah."

SIE: "How old is he?"

M: "Oh... she's one year."

SIE: "Oh! I'm so sorry!!" *awkward silence*

M: "That's okay, they all look pretty gender neutral at this age."

SIE: "But you have her in a blue jumpsuit."

M: "I dislike pink."

*more awkward silence*


OK, maybe I only think that last part.

When people get my child's gender wrong it does not offend me in the least. But it does perplex me when they miss those subtle cues that to me seem so easy to notice. For example, when I was walking through the hall in my office building the other day with The Caterpillar toddling at my side dressed in exactly the outfit below, a middle-aged, lawyer-type gentleman stopped me to say, "Oh, what a cute little boy."

And I get it... at first glance, maybe my kid does look like a boy. The chubby cheeks, the toothless grin... but please, do you really think I'm the kind of person who would dress my boy in a pink skirt? So doesn't that say more what you think about me than what you think about my kid?

Maybe, I'm just more practiced than most, but this looks like a girl to me.