Some parents get really upset when people refer to their baby using the wrong pronoun. Some parents go to great lengths to avoid having their baby girl be mistaken for a boy. They dress them head-to-toe in pink, stuff them into frilly dresses, wrangle bows onto the three or four strands of hair on top of their daughter’s otherwise bald head. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a perfectly adorned coconut?
But this doesn’t only happen to baby girls.
Emory gets referred to as a girl all the time. Pretty much every time we’re out in public someone will say, “What’s your daughter’s name?” And Toby and I laugh because the answer doesn’t do much to correct them. Emory has become such an androgynous name. We joke about new ways of answering the question, like delivering his name with a resounding tenor-like “EMORY!”
Had we known we were going to have such a “pretty” boy, we’d have named him Maximus, Bob, or Texas.
I’ll be perfectly honest, it doesn’t bother me at all that people think Emory is a girl. He does have long eyelashes, big blue eyes, and, shit y’all, he’s a freaking baby. I think we can forgive people for messing that one up. What does bother me, however, is the reaction we get from people if we’re forced to correct them. (Sometimes, we don’t correct people especially if they’re passing strangers whom we’ll never see again.) They act mortified, apologetic, like they called him a sissy on the playground. We reassure them, “It’s OK. He’s just a baby. He doesn’t know.”
Perhaps I should dress him in military garb or stuff his diaper with a sock.
Maybe we should buy him a Hummer.