Sunday, October 7, 2007

seriously. a lesson in baby etiquette

Let me be brief, but clear.

If you saw last season's episode of "The Office" where a co-worker brings her baby in to work, all decked out in pink and Pam says, "Oh, she's SO cute," only to have the mom respond, straight-faced, "This is a boy. His favorite color is pink," then this post is for you.

Folks, if you are unsure of the gender of a baby, *do not* presume to pick one and cross your fingers, hoping that the 50/50 chance is in your favor.

When we flew back to Texas last Saturday, I kid you not that 8 people at the airport and on the airplane called Maggie a "he." Just because a baby is not dolled up in pink and wearing bows, does not mean said baby is a boy. Maggie was wearing a brown and white stripped sweater and jeans rolled up at at the cuffs. I thought she looked pretty cute and hip. Apparently, everyone else thought she looked masculine.

Cab driver: "Is he tired?"

Ticket agent: "Are you planning to bring his carseat on the plane?"

Random airport passengers: "How old is he?" and "What a cute boy!"

Woman in line to get into seat behind us on plane: "Aren't you cute, little man!"

I graciously, and sweetly smiled to one and all and said, "Actually, this is a girl." But, after the third time, I just started to feel a bit stupefied.

Here's how you do it, people. If you are unsure if a baby is a boy or girl and you desire to make conversation, simply say the following:

"Oh, your baby is so cute. How old?"

That last part is the best way at being discreet, but still acknowledging that you recognize the baby is indeed a boy. Or girl. And not an "it."

The loving parent will respond with something to the effect of, "She is 3 months old," or "Evan is one year this week!"

There you have it.
There should be no excuses from now on when you inquire about a baby's gender.

However, I can't help you if the parent answers with a non-descript baby name; at that point, you're on your own.


  1. This was so funny! Maggie does look like a girl! I had two people at our family reunion call Jake a girl and when I told them his name was Jake, they both said, Oh, Jane! What a cute name!

  2. kim, lol! I can't believe people in your family responded that way. hilarious!! glad you can commiserate.

  3. LOL! Oh I'm laughing so hard! Poor Mags. Poor Suz! There is nothing so irritating (for mom) as this, with the exception of random stranger putting their hands on your pregnant belly (or in the case of Shel - her hair - you have to ask her about it sometime. hilarious!). Mags totally looks like a girl and you dress her so cute. We've got to come up with some quips we can give you to use when people make stupid remarks like that.


  4. mia's already gotten called a 'he'. i realized that she was dressed in boyish colors after the comment. i don't want to have to always dress her in pink just to avoid the boy assumption! b/c she looks great in other colors! i try to keep a pink blanket nearby if i do dress her in 'boy' colors in public. sorry mags that you had to go through that! suz, you could write a baby etiquette book...hmmm think about it:) xoxo

  5. I'm sorry to both you and Mags! Would you believe I still occasionally get, "Are they boys?" from people. Like the Thomas the Train t-shirt and the short shaved heads isn't a clue.

  6. LOL! This has happened to me countless times with BOTH my girls! And... my girls are usually wearing PINK! One time Angelina was wearing a shirt that said, "Daddy's Girl", and someone still called her a boy! A dress another time... "What a cute baby! How old is he?" LOL! People are idiots!
    And I do remember that episode of the office VERY well! I wouldn't take it personal. ;)

  7. man, people are still stuck in the gotta dress a girl all in pink mentality it seems...crazy! i know how you feel though...i don't know why i let it bother me, but i thought about it all day when a lady at walmart said what a cute "little girl" i had...about 6 months ago! owen has a curly head of hair, but come on, he looks like a boy! and mags obviously is a girl! geesh. well, it seems like everyone who has posted comments for this entry can relate. i guess the mistaken people are the same people who ask non-pregnant people when they are due, no doubt ;)

  8. glad many of you can commiserate. i think it's funny that people just assume they know what gender a baby is. i'm not really taking it personally, but after having those 8 people mention maggie was a boy the other day, i just had to post about it. :)

    heth, you are probably right that those are the same people.

  9. Whatever did you blog about before Maggie entered your world?!


  10. Ok, it happens to every parent. We always used to get "what a cute little girl" even when Elijah was dressd in blue or brown. Most people who made this mistake said he was "too pretty" to be a boy and they just couldn't believe it.