Before baby humans start to grow hair and lose that adorable pudge, it can be hard to tell if they’re boys or girls.
Some parents don’t care at all. What does a baby need a gender for anyway? All they do is eat, sleep, poop, and make people go awwwwww!
Other moms and dads put effort into making sure people know whether their baby is a girl or a boy. They might dress their child up in traditionally gendered clothing or use accessories, like little bracelets or tiny baseball hats.
Or they might just draw a bow on a Post-It note and slap it on their baby’s head.
Steve and Jessica Rold were more casual about their baby, preferring to dress her in cute little leggings with owls on them rather than in pink dresses all the time.
But for some reason, the staff at their daughter’s daycare center felt the need to say something about their baby’s clothing.
The mildly miffed parents responded in a slightly passive aggressive (but also hilarious) manner, then shared their story on Reddit. Scroll through to learn more about this clever parenting moment!
It's a Baby!
According to their interview with Bored Panda, Steve and Jessica were not at all concerned with gender when they were expecting their youngest. In fact, they didn’t even find out the sex of the baby before she was born, and they’ve been dressing her in hand-me-downs from her older brother.
“As a parent, you really have to pick what your priorities are and where you’re dedicating your energy and resources to,” Steve told Bored Panda. “If you have the time, money, and inclination to dress your daughter or son in ribbons and bows and that makes you and them happy by all means go for it. It’s just not on our radar at this exact moment.”
Don't Tell Parents How to Dress Their Kids!
It wasn’t an issue until one day, some “older teachers” at the daycare center their daughter attends made it into one.
They suggested to Steve and Jessica that they dress their baby in dresses, bows, and other unnecessarily gendered items so that the other kids would know she’s a girl.
The Rolds absolutely love their daycare center, so they decided to use a little gentle humor to point out how ridiculous this focus on the gender of babies really is. They later posted a photo of their joke to Reddit.
Steve’s Reddit post was titled, “How my wife dressed our daughter the day after the teachers at daycare told her we should really be dressing her more like a girl.”
And yep — they literally just stuck a bow drawn on a Post-It note onto their daughter’s forehead. Hilarious!
Reddit loved it, and upvoted it over 1,700 times. Other users supported the cheeky statement and chimed in with their own stories of baby gender woes.
“People say him or his all the time to my daughter while she is in her brother’s hand me downs,” wrote one commenter. “I never correct them, it doesn’t matter. But if she is wearing pink, it’s weird what a difference in attention she gets.”
Newsflash: Girls Can Play Baseball, and Boys Can Love My Little Pony!
Others shared how their kids happily enjoy things that are traditionally considered to be for the “opposite” gender.
“My four-year-old loves pink. All his friends are girls and they all love pink, [My Little Pony], and princesses… so my son loves to wear pink (he has exactly one pink shirt that he wears the moment it is clean), he begs to watch [My Little Pony] the moment he gets home from school, and he talks about princesses all the time.”
One commenter made a very important point that others had missed: “What’s not getting enough attention is the fact that’s a really good drawing of a bow.”
While their joke gained a lot of traction online, Steve and Jessica were understanding in real life. They figured that the daycare workers didn’t mean any harm by what they’d said.
“Maybe they thought that it hadn’t crossed our minds to dress our daughter any differently or perhaps they just didn’t want to answer a million questions from the other kids at the daycare as to why our baby isn’t dressed in pink and flowers,” Steve said.
The couple simply thought that in a slightly gender-obsessed world, it might do some good to make a point.
“The suggestion was actually pretty mild but it was piled onto a hundred other similar ones that I’m sure all parents get, so my wife just felt the need to push back a tiny bit,” Steve said. “My wife was just trying to expose the humor inherent in the situation.”
Either way, Steve made sure that everyone understood that they still love their daycare center.
“It’s an absolutely amazing daycare,” he gushed to Bored Panda. “They focus on early education and outdoor play. We both feel like we’re extremely lucky to have our kid in that kind of place.”
However, Steve was grateful for the support from fellow Redditors.
“Thanks for all the kind words of support dads and dadettes,” he later commented on his post. “So often when parenting you only hear from people with opinions on what you’re doing wrong. Nice to know at least a few people out there are figuring it out as they go like us.”
Parenting is a tough job, so any day you can get some support — and a few laughs out of it — is a good day. All that matters is that Steve and Jessica’s daughter grows up happy, healthy, and, incidentally, Reddit famous.