Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Pronoun Game

Westley seems fully convinced that the baby is a girl:
"When the baby comes, I will tell her all about robots."

"Mommy, I will show the baby this puzzle and she will say, 'Wow!'"

"Is the tea going into the baby's body? I hope she likes peppermint!"
I have no idea where this came from. I've been avoiding gender-specific pronouns since we first told Westley that "there's a baby growing inside Mommy." Once in a while, I'll offer up an "it" or "its," but I usually default to simply "the baby." And unlike the first time around, I have absolutely no clue as to the sex of the person currently sharing my body.

With Westley, I was certain I was pregnant with a boy from about 10 weeks on. It sounds kind of mystic-crystal-revelations, but I felt that the baby had an undeniable "little male" energy. It was almost as if he was saying, "Hi, Mommy! I'm a boy!" This time? Not so much as a peep. As I contemplated the double pink lines on my pregnancy test, I flashed on the idea of having another baby boy. But it was mostly a wondering (and a little worrying). With Westley, I knew.

This time, my kid is the one who seems to know. I'd really like to ask Westley why he keeps using female pronouns when talking about the baby. I'd do it if I thought he'd understand what I was asking him. But I also know that Westley randomly assigns a sex - usually female - to things in his world. He maintains that Gromit of Wallace and Gromit, Oscar the Grouch's pet worm Slimey, and, most recently, the monkey Steve in the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs are all girls.

So maybe this has nothing to do with the baby whatsoever, and Westley just likes girls. I'm understand that's fairly common among boys.

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Edited: Last night when I used "she" to refer to the baby - to avoid sentence clunkiness - Westley looked at me like my hair had just turned purple.

"Is the baby a girl?" he asked, the excitement bubbling up.

"I don't know," I told him. "Maybe."