Genevieve fell in love with a blue and purple stuffed cow today. We were in Daffy’s picking out a dress for her for the wedding. As we passed by a bin of stuffed animals, her little hand reached out and grabbed up her new love.
The Cow winds up and twinkles out a lilting lullabye as his head gently rolls side to side. Within moments, his white fluffy snout was snot and drool drenched. Gen hugged him into her cheek as I said, “Do you like Mr. Cow?”
Of course, I don’t know if it really is a male or female cow; I took the liberty of assigning him his gender role. It’s interesting to me that I always call her poops—Mr. Poopsies. Why are poops male? I don’t want her to associate men with excrement. Perhaps I should be fair and once in a while say, “Oh, you made a Ms. Poopie!”
I’m probably aware of all this he/she stuff because I’m reading a memoir, Dress Codes, by Noelle Howey, which is about the author’s transvestite father. I always had trouble reading things that went anything like this, “My father said she was going to...” It felt stilted and strange before reading this book. Now, it makes sense and rolls off my mind no problem.
Which reminds me, there is this one old lady at the playground in the late afternoons who points at Genny and says, “Oh, he’s adorable.” I’ve stopped correcting her. Even though I can’t understand the gender confusion—I really think Genny looks like a girl—I refuse to tack fluffy bows to the side of her head just so she can be called she rather than he. And besides, Genny doesn’t seem to mind. She’ll wave to you no matter what you call her.