Gender still matters whether we admit it or not | Zella Compton

Thank goodness I had my children before the new craze of gender reveal parties swept the  . . . well, swept the US of A, as I’m not sure that they are actually a thing here yet. Or are they?

Pink for a girl?
Pink for a girl?

Last weekend I read an interesting article about the lady who first came up with the idea for the parties, and how she now regrets her awesome idea.

For those unsure, a gender reveal party is when you gather friends and family and find some quirky way in which to let them know what you’re expecting.

It’s not exactly rocket science, pink balloons, or cake, or shots (guns, not drinks) for girls, and, surprise, surprise, blue for boys.

I can remember hardly being able to function during my pregnancies, let alone come up with such quirks.

Gender revealing is a weird one, as actually, in our modern liberated society free from the shackles of patriarchy (ha ha), no one should really, really mind what they’re getting as long as the baby is happy and healthy, right? I don’t think so.

I reckon, honestly, that until you get to your third, most people have a definite want.

I wanted a son, then a daughter, and it was on number three when I truly didn’t care.

Although I was looking at bags of outgrown clothes wondering which variety to send on their way to the charity shop, and which to save in my second-hand wonderland.

Those were the toddler trousers or dresses, as when they’re super-tiny the clothes don’t matter one iota, as long as the babies are clean and dry and not wailing.

Actually, who really cares as long as the boxes for clean, dry and not wailing are all ticked?

As to why the lady in question regrets her idea?

One party, with the shot gun, ended up starting a wildfire and wiping out acres and acres of Arizona.

But, more than that, she fears the stereotyping of gender from a pre-borne age, the tsunami of pink and blue for children who are growing up in a world where theoretically, no one should really care, but actually everyone still does.

That feeling of dread when children start scratching their heads…

Do you ever have a moment of realisation and thank your stars for the years that have passed without a particular ailment? None of my children have ever – touch wood – broken a bone. 

But right now I’m thinking of nits. I was delighted the other day to realise  I haven’t had to do a nit treatment on me, or the children, for years. I can’t remember the last time we were plagued by the little devils.

Which is wonderful as they were frequent visitors to the house for years on years.

I never thought I’d see the end of the fine toothed comb, the various shampoos and mousses and the grottiness of watching a child scratch their head for a minute, and then another.

Try as we might, we are all breathing in stinking fumes

A recent survey has revealed there is a spike in deaths across cities on bad air days. Is anyone who lives in a city surprised?

As a cyclist who ventures in and out of traffic – preferring to keep to the quieter paths – the difference in being behind a lorry or car spewing out fumes is extraordinary.

Pedestrians too – we’ve all been enveloped in the stink of an exhaust and felt the pain of sucking down the fumes however much we try to cover our mouths and protect our lungs.

Our cities aren’t as bad as some other places around the world but the fact we’re not breathing in smog on a daily basis is not an excuse for complacency. This research is perhaps the prod our government needs to govern.