It shouldn’t be a contest, but apparently it is. Everyone seems to expect that because I have three boys and I’m pregnant again that I want a little girl. Everyone seems to think that they have to wish pink on me. Everyone is very vocal about hoping that I finally get the daughter I am “obviously” trying for.
Let me make myself very clear on this. I was not trying to have a girl. I was not trying to have another baby. We thought we were done. It’s been over 5 years, after all, since the last baby. I don’t get pregnant easily. I don’t like being pregnant. This is a surprise. A happy one (I *do* love newborn babies!!), but a surprise nonetheless.
Also, I love my boys. Very, very much. I love having all boys. Yes, they are messy and loud and active doesn’t even begin to describe the boys. I love having Star Wars toys and Legos and cars and trucks and dinosaurs spread throughout the house. I hate ironing, but I love getting those crisp, white shirts on them each Sunday and fighting about whether or not they should wear a tie (the answer is always yes, by the way). Yes, I feel outnumbered in the house, but I love being the only girl. It’s what I know.
Do I want this baby to be a girl? Not really. Like I said… I know boys. I am a mom of boys. I am used to boys. I know how to change boy diapers and how to comb boy hair and where to find the cute and fun boy clothes. I know what boy toys to buy and what boy books to read to them. I know BOYS.
I will admit to having a desire for a daughter. I want to put bows in her hair and dress her up in pink plaid or cordouroy dresses. I love cute little Mary Jane shoes and white tights. I want a daughter to buy a prom dress for. To take to dance lessons and have in my color guard. I want to be able to go wedding dress shopping with my daughter someday. Several months before I got pregnant Ches caught me watching “Say Yes To The Dress” on Netflix and asked me why I was crying. “Because I’ll never have the experience of watching my daughter try on wedding dresses!” He was mystified and said, “But you’ll have daughters in law. You can go with them.”
“It’s not the same,” I answered. You see, while I am amazingly blessed to have a mother-in-law who I love dearly and who seems to be pretty fond of me, I know that is not the case for everyone. What if my sons marry girls who don’t want to have anything to do with me? Or don’t respect me? Or just plain don’t like me? What if I don’t like them??? What I have with Heide seems to be rare. I love her, I respect her, I want her to be a part of our lives. From talking with my friends, that is the exception more than the rule. That makes me sad.
Having a daughter is different than having a son. Teenage girls are SO different from boys. I work with teenage girls. I love my girls. You have no idea how much I love them and I try to keep track of them after they leave me. But I come home from work and then I whisper to my belly, “Please be a boy. Please be a boy.”
Girls are just so full of drama. Believe me, I know. I am a girl! When boys have a problem with someone, they punch it out and are done. Either they are friends again or they aren’t. Doesn’t matter. They are done. When girls have a problem, they talk to their other friends. They spread gossip and play mind games. They hold grudges. For yeeeeaaaaarrrrrssss. I am still upset at the girl “friend” of mine who, in 1994, sat down next to me in AP Biology II and said out of the blue, “Even though you’re Mormon and going to Hell, I’ll still be friends with you.” Oh, and then a year later, when my boyfriend and I broke up because we were going to universities like 2000 miles away from each other, she KISSED him that very night. Not cool. So yeah, I’m still holding a grudge. You know the movie “Mean Girls”?? That’s exactly how girls are. In middle school, high school, college, the work force… it just doesn’t end. I don’t want that in my house. I don’t want a girl because I can’t handle that kind of drama.
Boys are easy to dress. Blue jeans and a t-shrt and they’re good. Girls have to have “outfits”. And yes, there are tons of cute things out there that I drool over every time I go to the store, but the thought of having to actually buy any of that scares the heck out of me! Certain shirts with certain pants. Skirts and dresses. Casual skirts, dressy dresses. And the HAIR. My boys are lucky if we even comb their hair in the morning (well, Aiden likes his hair long, so we definitely have to brush and comb it every day…), but with girls? Brush, comb, style. Every stinking day so they don’t look like paupers going to school.
And then there are just the looks. This is going to make me sound so shallow, but it’s something I have thought a lot about. I just hope I can type out properly what I am thinking.
There is a certain standard of what is considered pretty, beautiful, cute, or whatever when it comes to females. I feel like it’s a lot more strict and a lot harder to be truly attractive as a girl. Males don’t have those same standards. I mean, how many times do we watch a TV show and the husband is this awkward looking, over-weight guy, but the wife is always super thin and super hot? Men can be downright ugly as long as they are smart and funny and friendly. Women have to beautiful no matter what.
I was a skinny, scrawny, nerdy, awkward little thing. I felt very keenly from a young age that I didn’t measure up. I never had clothes that fit me properly. I remember hanging around after church with all the kids in the gym, running around, waiting for our parents to finish gabbing so we could go home and have lunch. The older girls would play with the younger girls. You know, swing them around or play tag or whatever. I noticed, however, that the older girls only played with certain younger girls. The younger girls that wore the pretty, frilly dresses and had their hair done in perfect curls and intricate braids. These younger girls were “cute” and “pretty” already, by the age of 5 or 6. And other people noticed it. I wasn’t one of those girls. No one EVER swung me around. I was easily overlooked. Of course, my memory (like any distant memory) is flawed and it may not at all have been how I perceived it. But it was my perception. In middle school I had bad skin and a bad perm. In high school I was “one of the guys” for so long, I honestly didn’t know how to react when I was asked out on a date for the first time. (I thought he was joking. I shot him down. Big time. In front of half the band. I’ll never know if it was real. We never went out. I couldn’t figure out why someone would WANT to go out with me!) I just never was one of the pretty girls, no matter what my mom said to me.
I don’t want that for my daughter. I don’t want her to feel awkward and ugly at age 6 or 16. I’m scared of the standards our society has set out for beauty for girls and I just plain don’t want to deal with it. I don’t have the best body image of myself, and I don’t want to be a bad example to her because I feel so fat and ugly and unsure of myself at age 35. I’m scared of eating disorders. I’m scared of outside influences. I’m scared of my influence.
And now you know. I don’t want a girl. I want another boy.
I’ll find out in probably another 2 weeks. And if it’s a girl, I WILL rejoice and look forward to all the great things a girl will bring to our family. For now, however, I will continue to hope for another boy. I don’t want to hear another word about it.