o we’re having a boy. The ultrasound was yesterday and aside from the ultrasound-tech saying “there’s a little foot, there’s a little leg, and there’s a little penis” (Really? The poor guy isn’t even born yet. Why you gotta’ do him like that?) everything is progressing perfectly. All the measurements are optimal, no warning klaxons are going off, and my wife looks absolutely resplendent in all of her pregnant glory.
Now that we’ve already got a boy and a girl, people seem to take a little more pleasure asking our gender preference. Of course all we really wanted was “healthy”, but when that little (ahem) bait and tackle showed itself on the ultrasound, and we knew we were having another boy, I found it interesting that the primary emotion I felt was – relief.
Let me be clear here, I don’t have any antiquated chauvinistic need to pass on my lineage by siring as many sons as I can. I don’t value boys any more than girls. But as the gender-determination appointment approached there were a few thoughts that kept repeating over and over in my mind which seemed to sway my preference more in the XY direction. Here they are, in no particular order:
- It just strikes me that things are infinitely more convenient if the two youngest siblings are the same gender. Sharing toys, sharing clothes, sharing a bedroom… it’s all a lot less complicated with 3.5 years difference, as opposed to 6. That’s 1 point for Team-XY.
- A boy would, no doubt, bring my wife and daughter closer. My wife has a special thing with her mother. They just get each other – instinctively. They are very close. I know my wife was looking forward to having that sort of relationship with her daughter. Alas, the daughter we had, for all intents and purposes, is a clone of HER father. She and I just get each other – instinctively. We are very close. My wife and daughter are also close, but not in the effortless, instinctive way my wife had hoped for. Their relationship will not develop effortlessly. They will both have to work at it. With the addition of another boy in the house, the girls will officially be outnumbered. They will have to grow closer in the name of self-preservation. That can’t be anything but a good thing for both of them. Score one more point for Team-XY.
- A boy would give my son someone ELSE to hang out with. This will prove more valuable as my daughter moves from “tween” to pre-teen, to teenager. Very likely her younger brothers will distract each other, minimize the riff-raff from getting all up in her business. When she’s all about talking to her girlfriends on the phone, her brothers will likely be building lego fortresses together, rather than eavesdropping on their big sister. Another point for Team-XY.
- Here’s another cold, hard fact. Whether or not we should, daddies just worry about their daughters a lot more. Obviously I’m all about raising a self-assured, self-confident, self-reliant young woman. My job is to prepare her to deal with life of her own volition. But that still doesn’t change things for me. I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating, there’s nothing rational about being the father of a daughter. Putting a daughter into the world makes me feel vulnerable, exposed – almost helpless. There is a measureable amount of panic with the idea of someday letting your daughter leave the nest and venture off into the big, bad world. If the new baby was a girl of course I’d find the strength somewhere, but from where I sit now I can’t imagine doubling all that exposed, vulnerable, helpless panic. Yet one more point for Team-XY.
- One of my favorite parts of having a daughter is making her feel special. I LIKE putting her on a pedestal. I like telling her that she’s “my princess, my favorite little girl in the whole wide world, forever and ever.” In my heart of hearts I didn’t want to lose that. I want to be able to snuggle with my daughter as she falls asleep and let her know that there is nobody in the entire world that will ever share the part of my heart that she lives in. She is Daddy’s little girl, and that’s the way I like it. Team-XY scores one more point.
- Then, of course there’s finally the opportunity to build the Star Wars bedroom I’ve always dreamed of. Team-XY, final point.
Whether it was a boy or a girl, I would have loved the child with all my heart either way. But equation is changing. I’m glad we found out. I’ve got about 5 more months to dork-out and get all my Star Wars decorations out of mothballs. Good thing Pottery Barn is going to make it easy for me both here and here.