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15 October 2008 @ 07:07 pm
My Two Daughters  
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Halfshell, have you gone totally senile? Because I happen to know that you have one daughter and one son."

And you'd be right. For years, though, the rest of the world disagreed…


In the beginning, there was Lauren. She is our actual daughter. The picture below is one of my favorite baby pictures—it makes me feel peaceful inside just looking at it.




Christopher was also a beautiful baby, and really—babies don't look especially male or female to me. They look like babies. Here he is at about 3 weeks:



And 4 ½ months:




Now, neither of us actually ever minded that people thought Christopher was a girl. It was just more amusing than anything—because they were rock solid on the idea, rather than being in the "maybe" category.

In particular, little kids and old people were convinced that he was a girl. Nothing you could say seemed to make a dent in that impression.

The staff at our neighborhood Safeway store still asks about our two daughters. They wonder why they don't see the younger one anymore. :0

Outside the grocery store, when Christopher was 4 months old:
Old lady: What a beautify baby! What's her name?
HalfshellHusband: Christopher.
Old lady: Oh, and how old is she?



It's funny, because Lauren was such a pretty little girl I never really thought of Christopher as being especially pretty in a way that could be mistaken for a girl. This is a generic fluffy-haired baby photo, when he was about 7 months and Lauren was 2 ½.





This picture is Lauren at 3 and Christopher at 1. I admit, I always dressed both of them in cute clothes—you might as well enjoy them while they're babies! They'll never let you dress them cute when they get older… Christopher had a lot of pastel-colored things (when I could find them) and some red (great color for him). I never dressed him in gray (ugh) or in "little man" clothes. He's got his whole life to wear polo shirts and jeans—why start early?

When Christopher was one, we were waiting in the Kaiser Injection Waiting Room for his 1-year shots.
Little girl (speaking to Lauren): Do you want to play?
Lauren: *deer in headlights look because a stranger spoke to her*
Me: Oh, that's very nice of you, but we're waiting for her baby brother to get his shots. It's almost our turn.
Little girl: *looks at Christopher* Baby brother?
Little girl: *looks at me with obvious expression of "Geez, lady, you are so dumb!"*

Some 3-4 months later, he attracted the attention of a brother and sister at a McDonald's playland. They were about 3 and 5.
Kids: Is this your baby? Is it a boy or a girl?
Me: He's a boy.
Kids: And what's her name?




This is one of my favorite pictures of Christopher, from age 20 months. That's a piece of Eucalyptus bark he's got—he would not part with it. :0

You could go either way on the gender from a picture like that, but the clothes are kind of a clue—at least in my book.

At daycare, I over heard this conversation in Lauren's room:
Little girl: Now, is Lauren's baby a boy or a girl? Because I can never remember…
Teacher: A boy.
Little girl: Uh-huh. And how old is she?


For contrast, THIS is my actual daughter at age 2 below:



So while Christopher's hair was kind of fluffy, it never struck me as particularly feminine. I mean, I had a daughter whose hair was long enough for pigtails, and the other child was getting regular haircuts. Why did people think that was?

One day we went to the library. He had a new haircut (pixie-short, as short as it gets) and a seersucker brown-plaid one-piece outfit with dump trucks on it. I hate brown, but it was perfect for the hot weather and again—dump trucks. The kids went bouncing up to the checkout desk, and
Librarian: Hello, girls!




Fluffier hair, at age 2 ¼. I can peg the timing because of the "season" of the clothes and the self-haircut Lauren's sporting, from when she was four (yikes).





These are presents for Christopher's third birthday. He felt he needed some "school equipment" for unknown reasons, and Thomas was the favored choice, of course!



Now, these are not mitigating photos below! Because no-one but us ever sees these, and it's not like he goes out of the house looking like this. At this point (age 9 now), he doesn't remember ever doing any of this:



Age 3-ish on the left. What a get-up: tiara, sparkly gloves, orange plastic seahorse necklace that you can't see here, and Thomas The Tank Engine underwear. Christopher had quite a thing for gloves ('glubs') of all forms starting at about age 2, which lasted a couple of years. ;)

Age 4 1/2 on the right. Lauren did that to his hair. :0





I took this picture when he was 4—one of my favorites. I was sorry when he outgrew all forms of red Oshkosh overalls…




This is Christopher at 5, and you can see the shorter hair (right after the haircut, it starts here, then gets longer over the next month or so). Even in Kindergarten, people who weren't at school with him still often thought he was a girl…




This one's a mid-Kindergarten photo with his paper-bag penguin project. Awesome!

Later that year, he went off to Boy Scout camp with his father and a bunch of other families in the sub-council. They stopped off at a store near the camp entrance and all had popsicles and ice-cream bars on the store porch.

Old Lady passing by: And where are all of you off to?
Random Dad: Boy Scout camp.
Old Lady: *looks at Christopher* Even the girl?

Fortunately, that flew right over his head AND the other kids didn't seem to notice it much either.


I thought we were almost done with this. After he got glasses, he was still cute but looked kind of like a miniature Harry Potter. Last November, he and I had this conversation:

Christopher: Noah thought I was a girl today.
Me: Really?
Christopher: Yeah. She gets confused.
Me: Wait, Noah's a girl?


But that's the last we've heard of it—mostly nothing since age 6. And while he's still very pretty with his glasses off (at bedtime, for instance), for now I think the glasses have cemented his gender:





Can you believe I meant to post all this about a year ago? Finally getting around to it, but better late than never! Hope you enjoyed it. :)


 
 
 
The Grammarian about whom your mother warned you.acostilow on October 16th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
YOUR SON HAS SAM'S HAIR.

That's awesome.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
Hahahaha! He totally does! I never thought of it that way before!

There is also a lot of it. When I cut it, I have to wet the sides/back and do thin sections or it slides away from the scissors!
(no subject) - acostilow on October 16th, 2008 02:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 06:20 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - astrothsknot on October 16th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
vastian_steelvastian_steel on October 16th, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
I it's his eyes and bangs. The last pic sort of brings to mind sam with harry porter's glasses.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
It's funny, when he was a baby with virtually NO hair people were still sure he was a girl! But the fluffy hair is pretty impressive. ;)

He's lucky his bangs are so variable-- fairly short or somewhat long, it all looks good. His sister has about a half-inch variance before it's too short or in her eyes.

The last pic sort of brings to mind sam with harry porter's glasses.
Funny how familiar those glasses are to all of us now, isn't it? But it's a classic look. And it was very cute on Harry himself!
The Huntress: Snoopy Happiness Is....huntress69 on October 16th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Love the pics (you know I love pics) and Matt got his first haircut when he was 2. People always thought he was the prettiest girl, he had long curls, and finally he got pissy at somebody, told them he was a boy and asked to have his hair cut. (And yeah, I still have some of the curls they sheared off LOL).
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
Matt got his first haircut when he was 2.

Really? Christopher would have had to part the forest of bangs to see out if I'd waited that long. His hair can grow.

I miss the fluffy baby hair. Lauren's wasn't fluffy, but it was silky fine (too much so-- barrettes would not stay in). Now, her braid is almost as thick as my wrist. Christopher's hair was fine and fluffy until a certain age. Funny how it can thicken as they get older. His also became more wavy than curly.

Our kids went to a Jewish daycare, and for more observant Jews a boy's hair is not cut until his third birthday. Which means many of them (including one of Christopher's friends) have ringlets by then!
(no subject) - huntress69 on October 16th, 2008 06:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mercurybard on October 16th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
*laughs*

Both the boy and the girl are adorable, and Jared nubtails are awesome. Evan's hair, sadly, is currently too short (I just checked).

My older brother, Tim, up until high school wore his hair all the way down his back. As long as he took care of it, Other Mommy wouldn't make him cut it. And he's got a slender build similar to my youngest sister, Emmy. There was one time I was sorting through old pictures and went "which cousin is this? is she on the West Virginia side of the family?" and Other Mommy goes "That's Tim".

For me, it was the opposite. My parents dressed me in unisex clothes (when you're putting the baby in the backpack and going camping in the Rockies, frou-frou clothes aren't practical), so people always assumed I was a boy. I had a little red hat to protect my head from the sun, which didn't help. Mom got so annoyed with people asking about her "little boy" that she embroidered white daisies all over the hat. Most people didn't get the hint.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:43 am (UTC)
"which cousin is this? is she on the West Virginia side of the family?" and Other Mommy goes "That's Tim".
Hahaha! Clearly, it definitely looked like him to her though.

Mom got so annoyed with people asking about her "little boy" that she embroidered white daisies all over the hat. Most people didn't get the hint.
It's funny how unobservant they are-- and that they INSIST on assuming a gender. Why does it matter? And moreover, why be wrong? :0

That librarian overlooking the dumptrucks on Christopher's bubble-suit was really typical. Construction equipment, sailboats, trains, airplanes-- you name it (Oshkosh is big on those in boys' clothes). People still assumed he was a girl. :D
wrldpossibilitywrldpossibility on October 16th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
Ohhhh, this was fun!

And BOTH of your children are so beautiful! Lovely pics!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:44 am (UTC)
So glad you enjoyed it!

It just used to crack both me and my husband up that people were so insistent about something that they were also wrong about. That lady trying to pick him out as a girl amidst all the Boy Scouts-- just classic. :0
(no subject) - wrldpossibility on October 16th, 2008 05:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jolietjones on October 16th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - wrldpossibility on October 16th, 2008 02:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
she said mysteriously: sistersresounding_echo on October 16th, 2008 03:07 am (UTC)
Oh, you're children are beautiful. I especially love the first one of your daughter (those lips look sculpted!) and your son in the red overalls.

Babies just look like babies. No sex, no gender. Kinda like pets. Does anyone really care if their dog is male or female? My dog's genderqueer, for all I think of him as "him."
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:48 am (UTC)
I especially love the first one of your daughter (those lips look sculpted!)
She got my husband's poofy lips, lucky thing! And she looks SO peaceful in that picture. The red overalls-- of all kinds!-- were some of my favorites for Christopher. I love the 20-months picture and the one with the leaves.

Babies just look like babies. No sex, no gender. Kinda like pets. Does anyone really care if their dog is male or female?
Most people really DO care, a lot, which I have never understood-- dogs, horses, whatever. I mean, do they really expect you to look to identify the animal's sex? What kind of weirdo does that?

My husband's bywords are, "Oh, what a pretty baby." No attempt at guessing gender, because that really isn't the point anyway. ;)
happy is as happy does: Brad Pitt & Zahara Jolie-Pitthappywriter06 on October 16th, 2008 03:16 am (UTC)
I'm glad he doesn't have a complex. Around the age of 2, I can't believe people still thought he was a girl. They're both adorable.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)
I don't know why they were so convinced, even earlier. What makes people look at a baby and assume that it must be the sex they think it is-- to the point where they don't even grasp the context clues like "His name is Christopher"-- when they are in fact utterly wrong. Why don't they just think, "Baby"?

Makes for some funny stories, though, I have to say!
brigid_tannerbrigid_tanner on October 16th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
They're both beautiful kids! Christopher was looking very young Sam until the glasses. Then he does look like Sam with HP glasses. But I really don't see why people thought he was a girl.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:53 am (UTC)
They're both beautiful kids! Christopher was looking very young Sam until the glasses.
:D Thank you! He actually looks what I'd imagine Sam to look like as a younger child-- one of the reasons I like this Weechesters icon is that the little "Sam" in it looks SO much like Christopher.

But I really don't see why people thought he was a girl.
It's more like they knew he was a girl, to the point where they would blurt it out repeatedly. Especially little kids and older people, and I have no idea why that was. Those little kid conversations were classic-- especially the girl who thought I was so stupid that I didn't even know my own baby was a girl. Still cracks me up even now!
michelle: Jared's crinkly eye grincertainthings on October 16th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Your children are quite adorable but I think those people are nutters, your son doesn't look particularly feminine.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:55 am (UTC)
but I think those people are nutters, your son doesn't look particularly feminine.
We didn't think so either, which was why it was so bizarre-- especially all those random strangers who were absolutely certain he was a girl even to the point where you could tell them his name and it would whoosh right past them. ;)
aizjanikaaizjanika on October 16th, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
Both of your kids are adorable. I don't think I would have thought your son was a girl, but I guess you never know.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
I don't think I would have thought your son was a girl, but I guess you never know.

One or two random people I could understand, but again and again and again? With those people being so certain he was a girl? I don't understand that at all! :0
shaitanah: doctorshaitanah on October 16th, 2008 07:56 am (UTC)
Your kids looks so cute! ^_^ Being mistaken for a girl definitely sounds funny when you put it this way, but I think I would have been annoyed))))
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
Being mistaken for a girl definitely sounds funny when you put it this way, but I think I would have been annoyed

It honestly didn't bother us, and he was too young to really grasp what was going on (even at 5, it didn't register).

It was more amusing than anything, especially with all of those people being so sure he was a girl. In spite of the various boy-themed things on his clothes, or the long-haired sister right there next to him. Truly puzzling!
Gretagretazreta on October 16th, 2008 10:07 am (UTC)
Hee, I really enjoyed that.
Your children are so beautiful, so bright-eyed and smiley and shiny looking. They've got that smart-kid glow about them too, I think.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
They are both very smart, and it's funny-- even when they were babies, you could see the gears turning. Whereas I do run across some babies who seems to be in "idle" until they're 10+ months.

Even their personalities were very distinct early one. One of these days, I'll relate their birth stories (with toned-down language). Within seconds, their different personalities were already on display. :0
Entendre? Make mine a double.: SN Sam gentle smiledeirdre_c on October 16th, 2008 10:15 am (UTC)
Ahahahahaa!! Oh, this is brilliant! The dress-up pictures are going to be SUCH fantastic blackmail material!!

And both of them are so damn CUTE!! *smishsmish* Clearly, good genes. <333
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: weechestershalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
The dress-up pictures are going to be SUCH fantastic blackmail material!!
Oh, I know! And there are a few more-- I just didn't share them all. ;)

As bad as bathtub photos and then some!

They were (and are) SO cute, but darn if I don't miss when they were much littler people. It goes by so fast!
Rosie: Ralphrosie_spleen on October 16th, 2008 10:32 am (UTC)
Beautiful pics, thanks for sharing. Some people say ridiculous things about kids sometimes...actually, some people say ridiculous things, full stop. Gorgeous young people. thanks
JJ: cornflowerjolietjones on October 16th, 2008 12:52 pm (UTC)
Ooh nice icon Rosie. *stares*
(no subject) - halfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 07:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
JJ: cherry blossomjolietjones on October 16th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
How lovely to see pictures of your children. They are gorgeous. Who do they most take after in looks?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on October 16th, 2008 07:38 pm (UTC)
Who do they most take after in looks?
It's hard to say! We always thought Lauren looked like George when she was littler, but her 2nd grade photo looks almost exactly like mine but with different eye/hair color. And judging from the baby/kid photos at my desk here, Christopher looked much like Lauren did at any given age except for his coloring.

But, one of his daycare providers said she'd told somebody that Christopher looked like me with my husband's coloring, and Lauren like my husband but with my coloring.

You'd think that would be an easy question, wouldn't you? I'd have to roll out more of my own childhood pics, but they're at my parents' house. And the dreaded "Polaroid" phase made for several years of picture that didn't hold up too well over time!