Did this happen to you? Before having our first child, I had all kinds of ideas concerning what I was and wasn’t going do as a parent. Here’s one simple example: Like many of you, when we found out my wife was pregnant, we started making plans for decorating a nursery for our baby. As you might imagine, my ideas and my wife’s weren’t exactly the same, to say the least.
We didn’t know the sex of our baby yet, and since we also clearly couldn’t know the sex of any future children (for whom I thriftily thought we’d use the same baby stuff) I felt the nursery decor should be unisex. Logical, right? A nice Blade Runner-style black & white monochrome ought to be just the ticket? But it sure didn’t turn out that way. Who would you guess changed my mind? How many think it was my wife?
Up to that point, I thought of and referred to our tiny baby as “jelly bean,” so it was easier to be practical and “in my head” about decorating our baby’s room. But one simple, yet hugely significant, moment changed everything for me: I found out we were having a baby girl. It was like someone threw a switch in daddy’s brain … or more specifically, the switch was thrown in my heart.
Suddenly the image in my mind of a sweet generic “jelly bean,” was replaced by a cuddly, tousle-haired daddy’s girl (hopefully with her mother’s good looks), and my vision for the nursery decor did an about-face. Gone were my boring, monochromatic, practical visions for the baby’s bedding and decor. In their place were splashes of color and lace and pink toile de jouy.
When we walked into that baby shop to purchase our little girl’s bedding, my wife was fully prepared for me to suggest the Metro (real name) black & white style I’d been favoring. But no — suddenly the knowledge I was having a girl changed everything. Nothing could be good enough, or pretty enough or (gasp) girly enough for my little girl. Gender stereotypes be damned!
The bedding pictured above is what I chose, complete with bunny lamp and all of the accessories. Yeah, having a baby girl has changed me. I know what “toile de jouy” means, for goodness sakes! I’ll write about more of the changes (the good the bad and the honest) in future posts; so stay tuned. In the meantime, did you have any preconceived notions of how you’d be as a parent?