Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week 9: Baby Granny Squares

I know this is a craft blog.  But I have some craft-related, self-aimed ranting to do.  So I mixed in my craft pictures, so you would have something to look at while reading.  Because I love you.

So here's the thing... I believe boys can and should like pink, and girls should love blue.  Who made up these rules that say that certain colours are only for one gender?!?  

I mean... do you know what colour is?  It's light being bent into different wave lengths, or something else equally confusing right? Wave lengths don't have genders, so there isn't anything inherent in the colours them selves that makes them specifically appropriate for one sex. 

So if it isn't about the colours, has it got something to do with the way humans are made? Is there some part of a baby boy's brain that is decorated in blue and green plaid, while the baby girl's is decorated in pink polka-dots? I don't think so. 

I'm sure, rather, it's our own cycle of brainwashing that occurs with each generation. Think about it... THE ANIMAL KINGDOM, HAS MALES AND FEMALES OF EVERY SINGLE SPECIES... yet for some reason there are animals that we always associate with boys: t-rex, rhino, snake, bugs, and some that are designated as only girl animals: butterfly, kitten, dolphin?! (I have been specifically told by another teacher that dolphins aren't for boys.) What is that?!  Why are we doing this?

In a world where little boys are only given cars, blocks, and superhero toys, and little girls are only given dolls, dress-up clothes, and play house sets, I'm dying for something different for my own children. Partially because different kinds of toys foster different kinds of brain growth, and I don't want any of my children to be deficient in an area because they weren't exposed to that kind of learning through play.  And partially because I always want my children to feel free to make choices based on who they are, rather than who the world says they should be. 

 I'm personally praying for a little boy that spends part of his childhood dancing around in tu-tus, and a little girl who can wrestle him to the ground after a good round of pretending to shoot each other with finger guns. I don't want complete gender reversal, I just don't want there to be a difference between what my girls and boys feel like they can do.

That being said, I don't have any of my own yet.  When I craft baby blankets, and hats, and toys, I'm making them for someone else's baby.  And of course I want the same wonderful things for every child, that I want for my own.  But does the mother want that? Does the father?  Shouldn't I be crafting things they actually want, not something they would never use for their baby, because they feel like I made it for the wrong gender?  

When my best friend told me she was having a baby, and didn't know the sex yet, I was glad.  Because then I could select fabric colours and design a pattern that I felt was equally appropriate for either gender. So I did.  I picked a periwinkle background, and added browns, and creams, and teal, and green, and just a little dark pink.  I made the quilt into a tree with birds in it, because as previously discussed, animals come in every gender. But then she found out it was a boy.  Now every time I looked at it, all I could see was that VERY purple periwinkle, and OMG-SO-MUCH-PINK!  And birds?!?!  Birds are clearly only for girls. 

WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME?!?  I sent it off anyway, because I had put so much work into it, and because I was being ridiculous.  Or was I?  He isn't my baby. I didn't ask her if she wanted a gender neutral baby.  I just forced my hippie beliefs on that family. (Click here to see the quilt.  Please.  then tell me if you think it's too girly.)

And now I'm doing it again.  I had all of these lovely yarns that needed to be used up.  And I was itching to learn how to make granny squares.  So I found this lovely pattern, and I started crocheting with no real plan other than using up my yarn on something pretty. 

I used pink, and orange, and yellow, and brown, and blues, and green, and purples, and cream.  

While these Grannies were fun to make, I knew I couldn't make big blanket out of them.  That would take FOREVER.  So when I heard that my coworker was pregnant, I was so excited to turn my squares into a little baby blanket. And when she told me she didn't know yet whether it was going to be a girl or a boy, I thought "perfect."  Again.  Idiot.

 So I continued crocheting along, just sure that both girls and boys love rainbows, right?  But now I find out she's having a boy.  And again, the pinks look SO pink, and the purples are laughing at me.  And all I can think is that she wont want to wrap her little boy in this. 

I added some blue, and I used green to attach all the squares, and edged it in brown and my FAVOURITE colour turquoise, but I still look at this blanket and think she wont want it.  

I have no friends that are so forward as to take a handmade gift and not at least pretend to LOVE it. But after all the hard work and care that went into this blanket, I want someone to actually love it.   I hate to think of it stuffed into the closet with no one to snuggle it.

So I'm asking you.  All of you mothers, and future mothers, and about-to have-a-baby-any-second-prego-friends:  What do you think? Do you want gender specific gifts for you baby?  If you were having a boy, would you like this blanket?  Should I save it for a friend expecting a girl? 

I promise, no judgment.  Raise your child the way would think is best. Just help me know what to craft for your little ones.

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