Many, many years ago when my sister and I were small, we dreamed of having a new little sister whom we could torment love.  Much to our chagrin, we were gifted given a baby brother instead.  My big-sister loving instincts kicked in almost immediately, despite the fact that he sported a penis instead of a vagina.  I’d already become a big sister once before and knew I would rock this role again.  He didn’t receive nearly as nice and as warm a welcome from my sister. She, who was used to being the baby of the family, was now thrust into the role of the dreaded  MIDDLE CHILD.  And she wasn’t ready to give up her role of baby of the family without a fight. Upon first glance at his tiny little face and sensing his immense helplessness, she promptly decided she wanted to strike him…..Welcome to the family new baby!

As we grew, the idea of having another little sister dwindled, but never really truly left us.  We took to dressing our dear brother in our nightgowns and dresses.  We snuck a significant amount of makeup from our mother over the years and dolled him up like a two dollar hooker about to hit the stroll.  We changed his name and he went instantly from Shaun to Shawnie.  We took great delight in creating the sister we’d dreamed of, whenever the mood struck us.  There are photos of this as evidence of how hard we’d worked to reset the balance of power in our house.  However, I’m nearly certain that my darling little brother had managed to commandeer those pictures and set fire to them more than a few years ago.  Damn it!!!!  Now what shall we put up on the big screen at his wedding as a means of paying homage to the wonderful sister brother we love so much??

Later, my sister gave birth to her first child…She and I spent hours….days….months contemplating a tiny little girl growing within….and lo and behold it was yet  ANOTHER  penis person!  Was there some sort of wicked family curse winding deep into our very reproductive organs??  Never mind……..we spent many days staving off our boredom dressing her son Justin as “Justine”, complete in the cute little girly clothes we’d purchased in anticipation of the baby girl we’d hoped she had had.  Photos were taken to capture the moment.

Within a few years we’d anxiously awaited the birth of my brothers first child.  Fingers crossed, we hoped for a little girl  ONCE AGAIN…..and yet another penis person was revealed.  Clothes again had been purchased in the pink end of the color wheel spectrum (you’d have thought we’d learn by now not to rush out and buy pink baby clothes).   And so, one day while my brother was gone and had left his small infant son entrusted in the care of his wonderful evil sisters, we dressed Andre as “Andrea” in the most adorable pink get up we could find.  Pictures were once again taken, but again, I’m nearly certain my brother managed to destroy them in a PTSD fueled haze of his own childhood.

When I became pregnant for the first time, I pleaded in my head for a vagina to appear on the sonograms screen.  Instead, a penis was standing at full attention.  On my second try at producing a baby girl, I refused to even entertain the notion that there would be another penis person.  I dreamed of the pink nursery I would paint….contemplated ONLY feminine names…I stopped  JUST SHORT  of purchasing pink baby outfits, not wanting to tempt fate once again…..  Once again, I was forced to come to terms with the fact that there was yet another penis on the screen of that sonogram…….and it somehow reminded me of someone (the baby inside me??  Mother nature???) giving me the middle finger… the universal “fuck you AND your dreams of having a girl”.

Now, you might wonder what has happened to the stories of my sister and I dressing my boys in frilly little girly items.  See, what happened was, hubby has been around for the birth (and subsequent temporary changing of sex) of both nephews.  And he’s seen the original pictures of my brother.   He said HELL to the NO.   HIS  baby boys would  REMAIN FOREVER AND ALWAYS  boys.  He didn’t give a shit about our warped little family tradition and promptly refused to allow our penis people to participate in this odd little right of passage.  Clearly…….he’s no fun!!!!   And did he just MEET ME recently??  Because I promise you that he assumed that would be the end of it.

But I digress.  I refused to allow him to stop this long-standing tradition, steeped in humor and endless amusement that carries forth for years to come.  And so, not very long ago, while I was bored and needing a little comic relief to brighten my day, I decided to transform my boys….from Nicklas to Nicole and Joshua to Josephine.  Because, dear Dick, as much as you would LIKE to stop the insanity……the crazy train is pulling away from the station and journeying forth at warp speed.   You can either get on the train and just relax and enjoy the ride….or you will be run over.

PS – My sister  FINALLY  did have a little girl…..and so did my brother.  I wonder if we should now start dressing the girls up as penis people?????  Hmmmm…….Also…I have discovered that its far easier to dress a helpless baby than it is to navigate this task with a unwilling toddler.  “Josephine”  HATED  it and kept yelling at me “stop it mama”.