Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spookshow BABY!

As I mentioned in the last OOTD, the arrival of baby Spookshow is imminent! Mrs. Spookshow & I will be going into the hospital on Thursday morning to induce labor if it hasn't happened by then, so next week we should be home with the newest member of the Spookshow family. As such, in my next OOTD I will be a father. So, what do you think ... DadsBlackDress.com? All jokes aside, I think I'm ready for this. Famous last words, much? Haha, anyways, here's a photo of super pregnant Mrs. Spookshow for ya'll to enjoy before we really dig into this post!

We're just as in the dark as everyone else is about this baby's sex, and I'm not gonna lie, it's been really humorous to watch people try to deal with that. "How do we now what color stuff to get?" "Wait, if you don't know the gender why are you buying a dress?" Mrs. Spookshow's stock reply to most of those types of comments has been that skull print is appropriate for everyone, haha. We have bought some amazingly cute clothes for this kid that I'm really looking forward to showing off here, but don't worry, I promise I won't overdo it here on the blog. Mrs. Spookshow says she's really looking forward to being able to take a photo of me in a great dress with our child in a similar yet baby appropriate style for the blog, so you have that to look forward to.

Many. maaany people have asked me what I'm hoping for .. a boy or a girl? My usual response has been a girl, but only because it's perhaps a little less likely that I'll have to go try to throw a football to her in five inch heels than if we had a boy. That's purely a joke response, though, because obviously I don't put any stock into gender stereotypes in my life. I want our child to have the opportunity to be themselves and express themselves however they choose to, so ultimately our answer to the question of what we are hoping for is simply just ... a healthy baby. Secretly though, guys, I'm kinda actually hoping for a boy, and here's why ...

During this pregnancy, it was only natural that I'd do a bit of reading about princess boys. Given the nature of this blog and my general feelings on gender stereotypes, it was inevitable, right? It's been interesting reading what people think whether or not it's appropriate to let little boys wear dresses if they want to, but one comment I read really stuck out to me. Now, the comment in question was actually against letting little boys step outside the preconceived gender boxes, but the bit that stuck with me was this (paraphrased): "Well, if you are as okay with boys wearing dresses as you say you are, then why didn't you just put your son in a dress before he even asked?" CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Seriously though, this really struck a cord with me. How can I credibly stand for breaking down the gender stereotypes of our culture if I impose them on my own family? Fortunately, Mrs. Spookshow agreed with this and we decided that no clothing will be off limits for our child, and that until they can inform us of their own opinions of how they'd like to dress, we're going to dress them in any clothes that we like, regardless of gender boundaries. So yes, the skirts and dresses will be worn regardless of the sex of this child, and they will be insanely awesome and cute!

So yeah, I'm kinda hoping for a boy if only because it will be more interesting with regards to this blog, but ultimately I'm really just rooting for a happy, healthy child. I think that regardless of sex, this child is going to have a lot to teach me about social roles and gender boxes, and in turn I hope to be able to teach them about acceptance, confidence, and love. Even though it's sure to be difficult at times, I really think this is going to be a fun experience, and although the focus here on the blog will still remain on me and my fashion, I hope you guys will be interested in hearing about the little Spookshow and how they relate to my sartorial adventures here on His Black Dress!


  1. If you have a boy and want to have constant questioning, commentary, and gender-defying conversations? Let him grow his hair out. Most parents cut hair on little boys as early as nine months - we decided to let our kid decide when to get a haircut. The commentary was enlightening as to folks attitudes about gender, appearance, and required cultural gender performance.

    As an additional aside, our kid asked for a haircut in the year of being three (3.5, roughly) and asked for a haircut "like Mommy's" (I have a fairly wide, sort of long deathhawk.) So we did exactly that. We get a different set of looks and questions these days. What I found most fascinating is that parents had been telling me for three years that all boys cry at their first haircuts, even the stylist (I used my stylist, not a "kid's" stylist) was expecting it - but because we'd waited until the kid asked, it was all excitement and "haircut done yet?! want to see haircut!"

    Best of luck to both of you and welcome to Baby Spookshow!

    1. Thanks for sharing this here! Pretty awesome! We're actually hoping to do the same with our child, and just let their hair grow until they can decide what they want to do with it. It's just hair, you know, and it really just seems like the right thing to do. I think you had the right idea, and we will be doing the same.

      I had long hair when I was little too, and yeah it led to people mistaking me for a girl all the time. I don't remember it bothering me, but I do think it bothered my mom, and I believe it led to my hair being cut.

      We've really been wondering about ear piercing too, to be honest. On one hand, it would be kinda convenient to just do it when they are younger and likely won't remember the pain anyways, right (for both a girl or a boy)? On the other hand, though, it's really important to both of us that our child have a choice with their appearance, so there's also appeal in waiting until they ask for pierced ears. Dunno.

      Anyhow, thank you for sharing and for the well wishes!

    2. I agree, let the kid decide when it's time for a haircut! Trimming for tidiness/split end control is one thing, but no kid should be forced into a short haircut if they don't want it.

      I had the opposite growing up, I asked for my hair to be cut short when I was a kid because I loved swimming but NOT having wet hair in my face! So my mom gave me a cute pageboy cut and I loved it, but then I kept being mistaken for a boy, even when I wore dresses. It didn't bother me until some girls in preschool refused to let me play with them because they "didn't want to play with boys".

      As for ear piercing, I would say wait until they ask for it. My parents made me wait til 13 despite my begging and pleading from about 6 on to get my ears pierced. When I finally got it done I was super scared because they'd told me how it would hurt so much etc... the reality was much less painful than I expected! And then I didn't dare take my earrings out longer than a minute for fear that the holes would close up and my parents wouldn't let me get it re-done because I didn't take care of it... so I wore the original piercing studs for almost two years straight, instead of having fun matching my earrings to my clothes like I originally wanted to. :/

    3. yes, I agree that it's best to wait until they ask for it (new poster, but big piercing fan/bodily autonomy advocate...)

      not only is it more likely to not heal correctly when they're little (because they have to know how to take care of a healing wound and not pull/tug/touch it), but if you do it when they're too young and underdeveloped, there's more a chance the piercing itself will be misaligned/uneven/too low (and will cause problems with earrings later on).

      it's really not that painful at all, esp. if you go to an actual piercer with sharp needles (instead of the the duller, slower punch of a piercing gun... it's like comparing a needle to a hole punch).

      plus it also teaches them they have consent over their bodies, much like when to grow/cut their hair. :)

  2. Wow, congratulations! That is really exciting. Fun times ahead!

    I remember talking to someone once who was worried that he'd have a child and the child would want to play hockey, and he (future dad) wouldn't be into it and would prefer the child to play basketball ... etc. I figure once that kid shows up, you're going to love him/her to bits no matter what s/he feels like doing, wearing, playing ... they'll be your kid and they'll be your favouritest person ever.

    P.S. I don't have kids so I have NO idea what I'm talking about :) Just hope your new family member is a happy and healthy little one.

  3. How exciting to be so close to meeting baby Spookshow! I must say Mrs Spookshow's expression indicates she's keen to get the show on the road...

    I am looking forward to hearing about your adventures in fashion freedom with your new addition. Who knows what tastes they will develop? Hopefully that skull print strikes a chord:)

    For my two cents worth, I think the best idea for pierced ears is to wait until the child wants it. In the big picture, it really isn't painful at all, and I do think, if freedom of choice is what you ultimately want to offer your child, it can wait.

  4. Congratulations and good luck--it seems like kids have a way of surprising and defying parents' expectations no matter what those expectations are, but you'll obviously love your kid no matter who they end up being! (Unless it comes out as a bullfrog or a basket of oranges? Then again, who doesn't love oranges?)

  5. Long time since I last read you! Congratulations to you and Mrs Spookshow!
    I can't wait to see the baby in that skull dress.
    As for pierced ears, I'd also say wait until the child ask for it.
    First because they (and everybody) should have agency over their own bodies, second because some children never wanted it, lastly because the pressure to get your ears pierced as a FAAB child (from everybody including strangers, and weirdly they don't insist so much now that I'm older, yet I wasn't any less respectable when I was 3) if your parents (or in my case my mother) let you choose is already a bore so let's just try to destroy that pressure, not put it on every child. Also, my mom had hers pierced and even if you don't wear earrings, it's not sure that the scar will disappear if the child ends up not wanting pierced hears.
    But, mostly, freedom of choice and agency.
    Note that I live in France. Maybe there isn't so much pressure about that on children where you live, some countries let more agency on themselves to children and people can't do body modifications on them before they can ask so or without their autorisation. What is funny is if a teenager ask for a piercing in France, and hir parents aren't okay with it because "what if you don't like it after all?!" yet a lot of kids get earpierced before they can say whether they want or not.
    I would have hated if my younger self wasn't so stubborn and I accepted under the pressure, because it'd have been very different than having made the choice fully by myself and finally thinking I didn't like it anymore, way more frustrating.
    And if it is really about not remembering the pain, then why the argument "you won't feel pain" from my childhood? Or adults calling children who don't want to because they think the children thinks it's painful "chochottes" (= sissies)? Don't get me wrong, some don't want because they think it's painful and it's still perfectly okay and their choice is still respectable, but mostly people expect children who refuse to do so because they think it's painful and it's not considered respectable. I'd also have not remembered having the choice, because there would not have been one. (this may sound rude, but it's not intended so)
    I now wear clip-ons, but some people don't like these and if I found these uncomfortable I'd probably get pierced now, but it would make me feel bad because of the pressure I experienced as a child. That I'd pierce my ears now doesn't mean these adults were right and that it was justified.