Apr 2, 2008

Manly Men

Or not?

Seems many strangers out there think Tsega is a girl!

Two boys and a girl? we get asked all the time. But I always forget to ask which one they identified as female until recently when some old men and little girls referred to Tsega as She. Must be all those cute curls. Or maybe I need to rethink my styling senses? Or maybe I really wanted girls (pink binkies and heart-shaped sun glasses . . . hmmmm . . .)? Nah, it's the curls.

This reminds me, I have to confess a little. While I was truly open to gender when we were waiting for our referral, for a split--and I mean split--second, I was a little disappointed when I asked the gender of the children (it seemed like time stood still for awhile on the triplet part). ALL BOYS!!! Couldn't there have been one girl? Well, the second passed before I was off the phone, or maybe it was that night. Certainly nothing to be disappointed by in the face of such amazing news and I decided on the spot that I would celebrate the ALL BOYS part. Then a lady says to me the other day, too bad there wasn't at least one girl among your triplets--then you'd have the perfect family. Dumb lady! Offended, to say the least. How does gender make families perfect anyway? Is symmetry a key to happiness? Yet I bet you many people have thought the same thing (just keep it in your head). BTW, part of me thinks the reason so many families request girls when adopting is because "everybody's doing it". Not that there's anything wrong with desiring a daughter and I suppose Jerry and I would like one someday--maybe.

Logistically, having same-gender triplets is easier. They can always share the same room, toys and clothes; it's easier to speak and write about them (The Boys, My Sons); and presumably they will share similar interests instead of dividing along girly and boyish lines. Yet I wonder, for those of you with same-sex multiples, how do you distinguish their undies (not that undies are in our near future!)?

Like I've blogged before, little boys enjoy dress up, new shoes, hugs and kisses (finally my boys not only hug, but have started kissing each other), all the same things little girls like. I don't deny DNA (and I believe it's a mistake for adoptive families to poo-poo genetics for the sake of familial unity with their adopted children) and typical boy traits, but socially enforced gender lines irritate me, especially at this young age. The other night we were dining out in the Big City (Kansas City, that is) and a lady this time thought Bereket was the girl. So I asked her why she thought this; not that it bothered me since it did not, I was just curious. She apologized (no need to be sorry!) and said it must have been the pink binkie. I told her we don't mind gender-bending a little. :) We've also been told that our boys are pretty like girls. I guess so!

Look at pretty little Bereket hiding from the big fish at the mall aquarium. He never cries when he's scared of something he sees (like cows, monkeys, and fish), he just silently hides his eyes because boys don't cry. Oh, wait, but aren't they fearless too?

But, another confession here, I have many early memories of being mistaken for a boy and it shook my soul. I hated it. I was painfully sensitive and this did not help. So my mom took me to get my ears pierced. I was a tom-boy but wanted to look like a girl, only no dresses. I still can't wear a high heeled pair of shoes; it's like my feet through magnetic force repel them. Or it's like wearing a chicken suit out in public. It's embarrassing and it's just . . . not . . . me.

This certainly will not win me Mother of the Year, but in line with this post's theme, here (click HERE) is a You Tube snippet of my boys' favorite show, or rather there favorite show tune; they always stop, turn, smile, and sing meh, meh, meh whenever this comes on. Sent to me courtesy of my mom (hi mom!) because, as she well knows from her loooong visit last week (just kidding Grandma C!), the boys love it. Manly Men indeed (or are they?), pretty ones too.

Disclaimer: no, we don't regularly sit the boys down to watch TV, but sometimes parents get tired; and no, this is not my favorite show. :)


FrogMom said...

Hey Cinds!

I love your boys' gender-bending style! I think that they will be quite the trend setters someday and I can't wait to see them start school and take your town by a storm.

As far as keeping undies straight - I have that issue with socks. We have some slightly different sizes but they are shockingly close and tough to distinguish between. Also, we have issues regarding say, whose ruffle socks these are and whose are in the laundry yet, so I have started marking them. I use a fabric marker (available at craft stores) and write the first letter of their first names on the bottom of each sock. They actually enjoy helping me sort them then too :)

jayme said...

I love that you don't adhere to the silly socially constructed gender norms. I must confess that there have been plenty of times where I've been relieved that I don't have to "explain" my parenting choices with regard to gender since I have one of each.

I have to explain so much about how we've chosen to build / raise our family that it's nice to have people take something at face value-- even though their assumptions are often wrong.

I'm actually more likely to give elijah a doll and izzie a toy car because that's what they individually gravitate towards. As parents, I think it's our job to help our kids be who they are and be comfortable in their skin. Part of that is exposing them to the entire spectrum of choices so we can learn what they really enjoy.

You do a fantastic job of this, and it really shows in how happy the boys are.

And, I actually think you're really lucky to have all 3 the same sex. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find simple things like birthday invitations for different gendered twins. Gender neutral doesn't seem to exist beyond infancy...

By the way, how far are you from KC? I went to school in Columbia, MO for a while and have always wanted to go back for a visit. If / when we do, it would definitely be conceivable for us to make it to KC. I think there's a children's museum there or something. I'm just sayin'...

Evelyn said...

Hi! I have just recently started reading your blog and I love it! My husband and I are awaiting a referral for 2 siblings under 3 from Ethiopia... could be twins... no one asked me about triplets :)

But thanks for your words on gender... sometimes (ashamedly) I feel I might be dissappointed if I don't have a girl, but thanks for the perspective. I, too, don't want to be gender specific in activities, clothes, etc. with my kids. It's nice to know I'm not the only one!

Peace and thanks for sharing your story!

Evelyn (in SC)

lmstephenson said...

All three of your little men are quite masculine looking. My son got mistaken for a girl all of the time. He could be wearing a navy baseball cap and have a truck on his shirt, and someone would still say, "She is so pretty." I would always say thank you. He was very pretty. As for the undie situation, one could wear white, another spider man, and the other Thomas the tank engine. Or until they are old enough to care, just know you the underware are clean when they get put on and go with it. I'm sure they share everything else. What is the problem with brothers sharring clean underware? I will admit I potty trained Lane in hand-me-down underware. Undies are expensive, and I don't clean poo out of cloth. If he had an accident I could toss them without any guilt.

Lynn (TTC adoption)

Scott and Emily's Blog said...

hello I have been reading your blog for awhile now because my husband and I really want to adopt from Ethiopia someday. We started but found out we are pregnant and had to put it on hold for now.
Anyway, I just really wanted to let you know how much I enjoy seeing and reading about your boys. They are the same age as my son.
I am glad there are others out there who aren't into the whole "boys have to wear blue" thing. By the way your boys are pretty and I think it's a great compliment. People have said that about my son that he's pretty. I don't mind. :)
Anyway, just wanted to say hi and how much I enjoy your blog.

nell ann said...

I am so with you on gender bending! Lots of boy referral pics have been in pink outfits--and I think it's so fun!

As far as the undies, my neices get to pick out their own as long as it's different from her sisters. One might pick all Dora, the other princess, and the other hello kitty. There are lots of boy options, too!

Brooke said...

love your blog. people have definitely said "he" about my baby girl even though I usually have a big bow on her head or a pink headband.

their hair is really starting to come in! (Tsega was way ahead)

Heza Hekele said...

On the underwear thing...I would assume just buy a different colour for each boy? Although, I would hate to be the boy stuck with the whitey tighties!

Tricia said...

Had to comment on the undies.. Came wandering in from Life in the Bend.

I've got eight kids, if the undies fit 'em they can wear 'em. :)

I used to be more particular, but, yeah, not anymore...