Baby It

“This is the first time I’ve held this baby in 2 days.”

“Well someone won’t let it go.  I’m not saying who….”

Long pause….

“Let what go?”

Pause.

“Wait, are you calling my daughter an it?”

“Yep, so what.  I call my daughter it.”

“I don’t care what you call your daughter, my daughter is not a thing. She is a real, live human being.   She is a she.  Don’t call her an it.”

“Of course she is.  She isn’t a he or a shem.  My daughter is a she, too.”

“Well, you can’t be sure of that until she’s born.  Only then can we be 100% sure she’s a she.”

“Either way,  MY daughter is not an it.”

I don’t know why this 3-way conversation with my mother-in-law and pregnant sister-in-law rubbed me so raw, but it’s been on my mind all day.  I see it with a couple of differently lenses.  First, I don’t like calling babies “it”.  Even when my daughter was in utero and we didn’t know her gender, we called her “baby”.  Second, race is ever present in the back of my mind…most times, the front…and I feel like I’m fighting Sissy to validate baby girl as a real person.  Third, just because Sissy decides to call her child a name doesn’t give her auto-permission to call her niece that name.  Just because she does it doesn’t make it okay for my Fussy Bear.

So, to be fair, I honestly believe that I’m the only person who gave this conversation a second thought.  I know Sissy wasn’t being offensive on purpose; however, if she deliberately continues to call my daughter “it” now that she knows I don’t like it – well, I will be forced to rain frowns down upon her head.  A month of frowns…. 😦

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2 thoughts on “Baby It

  1. This actually goes back to what I said earlier which is You will already see those that are (will be) ignorant LONG before Fussy Bear becomes “aware” so you will shield her from those “family” and “friends”. In my opinion the sis n laws choice of words to describe her child, your child is indicative of her feelings towards little people in general. It seems to me that “it” describes the “thing” that was inside of her. Maybe she didn’t want to be a mother. I was once told not all mothers should BE mothers.

    The other point to be made is this is not racial. Just look at it for what it is, a poor choice of words.

    • Ahh, but was it really a poor choice of words? That’s your opinion. (And my perception is my very own. If I perceive it to be racial, then it is.) If I hadn’t confronted her about her word choice, I could assume that it was a poor choice. But I did confront her and she defended herself, so therefore it wasn’t a thoughtless saying but a deliberate statement.
      It isn’t for me to say whether she should be a mother or not, but she’s stated that she wants to be one. I don’t know why she, or any person who wants to be a parent, feels that it is okay to call a child “it”. If you called an adult “it”, you would look crazy and that person might have a choice word or two for you. Children deserve the same level of basic decency.
      And just to reiterate, I do not believe that she was being offensive (or racial) on purpose. 🙂

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