While we have recovered from the plague, finally and after much gnashing of teeth, the ramifications of our 7+ days of suffering will continue to be felt for some time. Laundry, for instance, was not done by anyone for the entire duration of our illness, and added to the fact that everyone was oozing various kinds of grossness, let's just say that the mystery of why we get so few visitors is not a difficult one to solve. Other household chores were similarly neglected, and so Ian and I spent some of his days off this week trying to piece our lives back together. Grocery shopping being one of the many things we were behind on, Max, Maggie and I set out this morning in search of sustenance. At the store, we ran into the parent of a former student of mine, and spent a few minutes doing that I-know-you-and-we've-seen-each-other-so-now-we-have-to-chat-awkwardly-despite-having-very-little-to-say-to-one-another thing. Luckily, Max is gregarious enough to make up for my lack of conversational finesse, and entertained the woman nicely until she looked over at Maggie and asked Max, "and how old is your little brother?". Max looked blankly at the woman, and then at Maggie. "That's Maggie," he informed the woman. "She's a baby." "Ohhh," said the woman. "And do you help take care of him?" Max looked blank again for a minute, and then said, "I have a cookie!" Among Max's nuggets of wisdom, apparently is included the following: when it is clear that you are not seeing eye to eye with a conversational partner, change the subject to a more universal one.
Here's the thing: I don't care if people think that Maggie is a boy. While I view her as a clearly feminine specimen, she is a baby, she is tall for her age, she has short hair, and she often wears Max's old clothes. So I am not offended if people occasionally ask how old my little boy is, even if I myself would do a more diplomatic pronoun dance in their place. However. On this particular day, Maggie was wearing the outfit that you see in the included picture; it is pink, it has bows and ruffles, and it is one of her more aggressively girly ensembles. Even if you failed to pick up on this visual cue, Max offered the woman several others: I have never met a boy named Maggie, and Max did call his baby a 'she'. I am not offended by the mistake so much as I am alarmed at the lack of attention to detail. I suppose that if people anywhere would have a pink romper wearing baby boy named Maggie, Davis is probably the place where they would live, but I like to think that I am pretty clearly not those people. Another self-image pillar crumbled. (Mine, fortunately, not Maggie's. Maggie seems as secure in her freakishly strong, tremendously opinionated femininity as ever. That's my girl.)