Thursday, August 02, 2007

Girl Power: Working on Four of a Kind

We have a long way to go in terms of gender equity in this country.

In the meantime, I'm doing my part. We found out yesterday that our fourth baby, due in December, will be a girl.

I'm excited. I was pulling for a girl. Really. I'm not lying. I'm not putting on a brave face. I strongly wanted a girl.

There are a lot of reasons why.

It would be remiss not to mention my obsessive-compulsive tendencies. I like things that match. I don't take much joy in "one of these things is not like the others." But that is, honestly, a small part of it.

Allow me to digress and tell you a bit about the conversations that a soon-to-be father of four girls has had over the past decade.

Ten years ago today, we were expecting our first child, which turned out to be a girl.

From the moment I mentioned it, people presumed that I wanted a boy. Really I hadn't given in much thought, and honestly being a pessimist, I wanted only a healthy baby.

But I was instantly amazed at the presumption and how comfortable people were talking about it. It never occurred to them that it might be sexist.

Fast forward two years, and we were expecting the second child. Then it really started. I was amazed how many people would say how much they hoped it would be a boy.

There was no modesty about it. No verbal tip-toeing. Just flat out, "You must really want a boy." Then looks of pity when I told them we were looking at two of a kind.

Three years later, with girl 3.0, it was even worse. Perhaps for this reason if no other, I decided that I really wanted that baby to be a girl. And she was. And she's great. They're all great.

So when my wife became convinced that we had to have a fourth baby (something about even numbers and ancient Pagan rituals), there was no question what I wanted: girl!

Yesterday we found out: girl! I'm happy. But I am saddened by how many people feel badly for me. So when I tell people, I have taken to this somewhat preemptive storytelling style such that I will not have to hear the same pro-boy comments that I have heard for a decade now.

I feel like the bizarre Seinfeld episode about denying being gay:

"Congratulations on another girl, not that there's anything wrong with that."

I'm really not doing it justice here. But if I get one more "you poor bastard" look shot at me, I might have to burn someone's bra.

And, oh yeah. Four kids later, and I still get to go into public restrooms alone.


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Blogger Joy said...


That's fabulous. And they are blessed to have such a great father, too.

2:09 PM  

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