“Wow you are 29?! You look so much younger than that!”

I am going to start with this: I am not one of those assholes who thinks 30 is old. The year between 29 and 30 is like a year long existential power hour. There are however some social taboos that start becoming very real once you are out of your 20s.

I don’t have a burning desire for children so I’m not mad about my ticking biological clock or rapidly rotting eggs, but it’s definitely my mother’s scare tactic for me to lose weight and find a “good man.” I do all I can to take care of myself and my cats, I couldn’t imagine taking care of a husband and kids, no bueno.

A lot of my friends are living that life though, the fetuses and shiny diamond rings of Facebook are piling up in my feed. My best friend has a beautiful daughter, she is all the kid I need in my life. I want to spoil and nurture her, help teach her the ways of the world. I love when she says Auntie Catherine, it is the cutest thing ever to hear a tiny person who is learning language say your name so distinctly.

I went to a place called Lilydale, a community of psychics and mediums, and two different psychics told me that my grandmother was with me and that she was telling me that there was a baby in my life that I needed to have an influence on and spend more time with. Even from beyond the grave, grandmas give advice to live by.

There are several types of little old lady out there that I strive to become. The cute little granny is my favorite. Easter and Dyngus day always make me think of my little Polish grandmother. I think that all of the little Polish grandmas who have passed should be allowed to rise from the dead at Easter time. Little sweet zombie babushka-wearing darlings armed with a coil of kielbosa, pierogis, and a half melted butter lamb.

butter lamb mac and cheese

I am definitely the woman who wants to feed everyone when they come over. I will throw together an elaborate meal for surprise guests in an instant, it’s a gift. I love sharing food with people and cooking, being a sweet lil old lady is a life goal of mine.

I am proud to own pink flamingos and valor sweatsuits. My everyday look is very reminiscent of a high school art teacher with a few marbles missing.

Then there are the crazy old hags, the spinsters who have a million cats and scare the neighborhood children. Get off my lawn! Frazzled grey hair and a house that looks like a delapatated witch mansion full of cracked porcelain dolls covered in dust. I don’t see that happening to me.

It’s weird to start feeling my age and notice how old you are in comparison to some things. I was dumpster diving with a group of 16 year olds the other day. I was literally corrupting the youth and never felt so good.

I am a late bloomer when it comes to a lot of things in life. I wanted to make sure my brain was fully formed before I fucked it up with drugs and partying. I already feel the scene shifting to people who are at least 5-7 years younger than me.

It is weird when you realize that you are the only one in the room that was even born in the 80s. When I check an ID at the bar and see 1993 I am like whoa you can drink.

I missed my 10 year high school reunion, I don’t know what I would have even done with that. I feel like half of them are married with kids, many divorced, a third are now out as gay, a handful have died, some are in jail, some are in their parents basement playing video games, and the rest are just floundering like me, not really successful but totally surviving. How does one measure success anyways?

I’m not even 30 and my knees hurt when I get up. Unexplainable pains in parts you didn’t know existed. Rickety crickety crackity bones, adding ibuprofen to my daily vitamins, knowing that it doesn’t get easier.

I know that now it is even more important for me to take care of my body. If I don’t change my attitude towards food and exercise its all going to start hurting a hell of a lot more.Easter with grandpa

I love who I am and it doesn’t matter what number my age is, I refuse to grow up. I still get amazed when people think I should be responsible for something.

Like when a young kid asks you to buy him booze. I love the rush of being asked for my id then get mad when I can’t find it and get the dreaded X’s even though I am clearly old enough.

I secretly love the idea of someone thinking I am under 21, how cute. I am not very good at adulting. I can’t even pay my damn bills on time, it’s like a totally irresponsible mental block.

I definitely don’t fully have my shit together, whatever that means. I remember thinking of 30 year olds as having “it” all figured out, yep no clue. Age is just a number babe, I will be that guy picking up young girls with my sweet ride outside of the high school. Different levels of maturity.

There are a lot of important life altering things that happen in your twenties to form who you are. I for one am excited for my dirty thirties. I am starting to feel “success” like when I do something people notice and respect it. This is the time when my generation takes over the torch, it is our time to fix the world, or at least do damage control.

One Toronto baby is causing quite the storm of controversy over the parents’ contentious decision not to reveal the child’s gender, in an attempt to allow the baby to develop free from the constraints of gender stereotypes.

It all began when Kathy Witterick  and David Stocker,  the parents of 5-month old baby Storm, sent an email to their family and friends which read, “We’ve decided not to share Storm’s sex for now a tribute to freedom and choice in place of limitation, a stand up to what the world could become in Storm’s lifetime (a more progressive place?…).”

Almost instantly after the story hit the blogosphere, the message boards and comments sections for news articles were ablaze with readers damning the couples for what was deemed a “bizarre lab experiment”. Witterick, 38 and Stocker, 39, have declined numerous interview requests this week with most of the major media outlets across North America. They will be appearing on CBC Radio’s Q with Jian Ghomeschi on Monday morning to defend their controversial parenting tactics.

This really got me thinking about how something as simple as a piece of clothing can drastically affect how we treat an infant. Witterick acknowledged this in an interview with the Toronto Star, when she said “When the baby comes out, even the people who love you the most and know you so intimately, the first question they ask is, ‘Is it a girl or a boy?”

Psychologists have acknowledged that parents intentionally and unintentionally treat baby boys differently than baby girls. Similarly, the way we treat a baby can be very dependent on what clues we can ascertain about the baby’s gender identity from its clothes or name. In today’s consumer-crazed world, there’s no shortage of ways for new parents to ingrain gender identity into their child’s sense of self, with everything from the paint in the nursery to the shades of the baby booties.

Up until about a hundred years ago, infants and children were generally clothed in white, as it could be bleached to remove stains and odours. In the mid 19th century, coloured clothing for babies was introduced, though pink was generally for boys and blue for girls.   According to a trade publication from the era, pink was a stronger and more decided colour, hence more suitable for boys, while blue was viewed as more delicate and dainty, thus a more apt choice for pretty little girls. It wasn’t until the 1940s that the dominant trends flipped and pink became the norm for baby girls and blue for boys.

I applaud the parents of baby Storm for this intriguing approach to parenting. To me, it doesn’t seem so much like they’re trying to raise a genderless child as they are trying to prevent everyone around them from applying their gender biases to the child. However, as far as social experiments go, the time frame for this one is relatively short. It’s easy to try to treat a baby in a gender-neutral manner, but what happens when baby Storm reaches their toddler years or goes off to school and has to weather a whole new set of questions about identity and gender?

The closest indication of how things will turn out for baby Storm can be seen in the behaviour of the child’s sibling, Jazz, a five year old boy whose favourite color is pink and who loves wearing his hair in braids. He keeps a notebook where he  muses about gender in pink and purple lettering that reads,”Help girls do boy things. Help boys do girl things. Let your kid be whoever they are!”

Photo of Baby Storm (in red) with older brother, Jazz

Photo Credit – Steve Russel, Toronto Star