My sister is pregnant with her second munchkin and I am as excited as any aunt could ever be. I'm completely obsessed with my niece (she's 2 years old, her favorite color is purple, and she is the coolest). And now they're having a boy in October!! Cool!!

So besides just wanting to brag about my future nephew, I come here with a quandary for groupthink. My family is psyched about this, and it's bringing up some weird gender dynamics. For example, my brother-in-law's all excited about buying a little-infant-sized football jersey and bringing this kid to games. My dad has mentioned finally having someone to golf with. That's great, but he could golf with my niece! Hell, he golfs with my sister all the time.


I should add that my family is pretty open minded (and big). Everybody voted for Obama, my mom's literally trying to turn workplace gender equality into her career, and I go to a liberal-arts school where I take classes like "Sex, Gender, and Society". We all mean well.

But even I'm doing it - when my sister told me the news, I texted her back a row of "boy things" emojis. (I think it was "[boy face] [baby] [other boy face] [thumbs up] [top hat] [football] [truck] [star] [exclamation point] [ballons]". I love the 21st century). But what even are boy things? Am I implying that my niece shouldn't play football or wear top hats? She can wear top hats if she wants to! What if my future nephew wants to be a ballerino? What if my future nephew actually identifies as female and I get two nieces?! I'd be totally down with that too! But obviously it's too soon to say, and now I'm just thinking too hard about how difficult things might be for my potential trans-niece!!

When my niece was born, my sister was pretty intent on not pushing her too hard into the girly-princess mold. We bought her a big stuffed Yoda and legos and a toddler-friendly remote controlled car for her birthday. She was a strawberry for halloween. But now that it's a little boy on the way, we're just throwing all the gender expectations at this poor little fetus that might want to become a pastry chef or a stay-at-home-dad.

Anyone have any advice / insight?