Saturday, April 21, 2007

Girls and boys

Recently I paid a visit to Children's Orchard, which sells decent used kids' clothes. Obviously it's sort of hit or miss, especially since we're now far beyond needing the quickly outgrown baby clothes which they mostly deal in. But while looking for pants for Becky (she who puts holes in many knees), I lucked onto a summer dress for each daughter for about $6 apiece and they are incredibly cute. I can't believe how happy these dresses made me, given the fact that I was the world's biggest tomboy and HATED even the sight of a dress when I was a kid. And was very much hoping for a boy when I first found out I was pregnant. I still run screaming at the sight or rustly sound of tulle, though I have had to learn to coexist with All Things Pink. Except Barbies, which the kids may play with but which I will NOT buy them. Becky’s dress is a sweet yellow thing with little purple flowers while Sarah got a flapper dress – a sleeveless number with a dropped waist and a bold floral print. And those big brown eyes. We are so in trouble when she hits her teens.

We’ve known almost from the start that Sarah will be irresistible to boys. She was undeniably the cutest baby on the planet – which I can say, because Becky… not so much. She looked like Edward G. Robinson from birth until about six months. And Sarah is very outgoing and independent and loves to play with boys, though lately she prefers girls since the boys entered grade school and started getting a little rougher. Ben used to joke that he was already envisioning boys climbing the 40-odd steps from the street to our old house and him pitching the unlucky swains down the same set of slate steps, so he really hoped Sarah would turn out to be a lesbian. He shared this with an openly gay female employee, and she laughed and said something to the effect that he better be careful what the wished for because some of those grrrls are a lot tougher than the boys.

So I guess we’re in big trouble no matter what. If it does turn out to be boys that interest Sarah, I have a feeling I’ll need to have that little talk with her a lot sooner than I expected. Which is fine because I never got “the talk” from my mother at all, just a demo of a sanitary napkin belt with no preamble (and of course it was already passe since the tampon was taking the world by storm), and I had NO CLUE what the hell this contraption was for, but no way was I gonna say that. So guess which girl in my sixth-grade class was the only one NOT snickering knowingly during the mandatory puberty/sex-ed film, but instead was staring in wide-eyed horror at the screen and asking all sorts of embarrassing questions during the supposedly perfunctory Q&A afterwards? Thank God for “Our Bodies, Ourselves,” which to further date myself had just been published. Oh the joys of growing up.

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