Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Try Again For The Girl

I don’t usually pretend to be a psychic, but one thing I’ve long known based on pure intuition was that when Mrs. Dude and I started having kids, we would only have boys. Though there was no science behind it, there was some reasoning that seemed logical to me, and possibly a little bit of desire. My brother and sister and their spouses have 5 kids between them, 4 of whom are girls.  And since all 5 of my nieces and nephews were born before my kids, I figured it was up to me to even things out a bit. At this point, I’d say it’s unlikely that Mrs. Dude and I will have any more kids, but if for some reason we do, I already know it would be another boy. And that is just fine with me.
I knew the Littler Dude would be a boy even before seeing that little circle near the top left. 
It’s not that I don’t like girls, nor would I have minded having some as my children, it’s just that having boys made sense for my family. To numerous others, there was some question, even though it was really none of their business nor did they have any, skin in the game, so to speak.

With our first pregnancy, we didn’t find out the baby’s gender in advance of delivery (not that I needed to, I was that sure). And invariably during that pregnancy the first two questions Mrs. Dude and I were asked by strangers and non-strangers alike were “When are you due?” and “What are you having?”, which are both pretty standard. The first question is easy enough to answer. The second one is trickier because so many people, especially strangers, are so unnecessarily nosy. I learned that if you tell someone that you chose to not find out the baby’s gender, the belly invariably become subjects for observation, usually followed up by a meaningless anecdote. Whether it’s via random pronouncement with no basis in anything: “You’re having a girl!” Or the people who believe in the old wives tales which also hold no logical or scientific basis in reality: “You’re carrying low, so it’s a boy!” Of course 5 minutes later you will likely run into some other kook who says carrying low means it’s a girl. Again, that stuff is pointless.

With our second pregnancy, Mrs. Dude wanted to learn the gender in advance. Mainly to find out if we’d have to buy new baby clothes or not. So I figured the inevitable inquisitions by these random people would be more cut and dry this time. But I was wrong. The expected first two questions led to a new, and in my opinion ridiculous, third question that usually went something like this:

“Oh, another boy? Are you going to try again for a girl?”

Why people get so nosy and touchy-feely around pregnant people is a mystery, but a question like this is just unnecessary. Maybe I’m trying to breed the next big Boy Band and having a girl would radically alter my master plan for The Five Dudes. Maybe we’re trying to clone the first kid. Whatever the case, why is having a girl necessary? If I’d heard this question only once, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought. But it became such a common occurrence, that I realized it must be a common perception that a family is incomplete unless both genders are represented.  

I’ve asked a few people why they asked the question and have received answers like “don’t you want to have at least one of each” or “don’t you want a kid for your wife to enjoy”. Um, what? Do you think she’s not able to enjoy the ones she already birthed because they are measly boys? And really, would girls be that much better? I’m thankful we’ll never have a Girl Scout in our midst. Lord only knows what would happen if I had open access to cases of Do-Si-Dos. And then there’s this experience that my friend Kevin McKeever, from the great blog “Always Home& Uncool” endured with his teenage daughter recently. That alone makes me consider a vasectomy just to be safe.


Having a child is a miracle of life and Mrs. Dude and I are very fortunate to have two happy and healthy boys. Even though I knew we’d only have boys, I’d have been thrilled to have two girls if fate had played out that way. But it just wasn’t in the cards for us. And I don’t think having a girl just for the sake of evening things out would change anything for me, or make sense in any logical way, so I’ll stick with boys. After all, it was my 10 year old nephew, himself a brother to a sister, who summed it up perfectly upon meeting his cousin the newborn Littler Dude for the first time when he said “The Little Dude is so lucky to have a brother!” I couldn’t agree more.  

Are you happy with the gender(s) your kids are? Do you wish you'd gotten a different variety?


9 comments:

  1. I'm very happy with three girls. I always knew I'd only have girls, a lot like you knew.

    In my family, you get one gender- that's it. My father only has brothers, his mother only had sisters, his brother all only have boys... and I only had sisters.

    I have absolutely no clue what to do with boys, but who knows? maybe someday I'll get to find out. :)

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    1. You never know, though it sounds like you actually do :)

      That's very interesting about your familial pattern, though.

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  2. We have two boys as well. Many people asked us, "so you going to for three so you can have a girl?" You are right - a stupid questions.
    You make some spot on observations here.

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    1. Thanks! Why can't we just be happy with what we have?

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  3. I think I can speak for everyone here, when I say that if you don't have exactly 3 of each, consider yourself shunned!

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    1. You are right, Oren. Now please tell everyone that your real last name is Brady.

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  4. Two girls here, and I like it that way (there will be no more - though we do get asked if we wanna try again for a boy - dumb question). I think same sex siblings are cool. :)

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    1. Why do strangers feel so compelled to ask these questions?

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  5. I have four girls. When I was young and imagined having a family, I imagined boys. I did get asked often if we were going to keep going and try for a boy but now that my youngest is 6, I think they get it that we're done ;)
    I am in no way disappointed with my four girls. Although, I do admit, from time to time, I do wish I could have had at least one boy. A mother-son relationship is just... different somehow. And, I missed out on that.
    I figure I'll likely end up with at least one grandson eventually though, so it's all good ;)

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