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March 2010
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May 2010

Gender stereotypes and outlet covers

When we found out Sophia was a girl, I started hearing all these rumors about what to expect when you're expecting a girl baby. Girls are dramatic, I was told, but not nearly as physical as boys. I remember reading a post Arwen wrote about how different her son is from her daughter. The thing that struck me the most is that she said she never even needed outlet covers when her daughter was a baby. Didn't need them! The mind BOGGLES.

And I know, I know, gender stereotypes and all. Whatever. Boys and girls are different. Whether it's inborn or my fault (every mother's interpretation of the nature/nurture question), they simply are different. And it's my contention that boys with brothers are different still. There is an intensifying effect of the boy culture when you have a fistful of boys.

So I was interested in seeing what this girl child would turn out to be like. Would I really get that placid sort of kid I'd seen sitting quietly with the picture books at the library?

No, as a matter of fact, I did not. I got Sophia.

And first of all, let me say that when people said she would be dramatic, I assumed they meant she would be a dramatic CHILD. It did not occur to me that she would be a dramatic BABY too. When I cross her, she crumples to the floor, wailing. She throws her head back, so I can appreciate the SORROW. Then she folds at the waist and presses her face to the floor, yammering and crying and occasionally shooting a furtive look out of the corner of one eye to be sure I'm watching.

So drama? Yes, check. But not as physical as boys? HA, I say. HA. If that sounded bitter to you, may I compliment you on your astuteness. Also? HA.

Let me show you what my baby girl does with outlet covers. Because YES, we need outlet covers. Although apparently we need BETTER outlet covers.

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What? Don't mind me, here...

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How does this go again? Oh, that's right.

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 Here, Mama! Want an outlet cover?

Lightening-quick my girl is. And that's not all. Her other favorite thing to do these days involves the heat registers. They're interesting, see. And if they are interesting, what about what's underneath them?

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Look what I found!

So in answer to my own question, I guess, the prevailing opinions were half right. Sophia is a rich natural source of drama. But not as physical as the boys?

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We did not get that sort of girl.