I’m pregnant with my second child—another son. After this, I’m done having kids. And I’m really, super, extra OK with that. But I just found out that I’m going to spend the rest of my life having to tell people that I’m OK with that.
Gender disappointment is a real thing. It’s what happens when your kid is not the gender you’d hoped for. I do not have gender disappointment. I have gender glee.
I have healthy baby glee.
I have I-survived-feeling-hungover-
Most of my friends know that I’m thrilled to have two boys, and really, that I’m thrilled to be pregnant with a healthy baby of any gender after a not at all pleasant journey to get here. But that’s a whole other story.
But then there’s everyone else. I’m only 17 weeks along, and I’ve already had some variation of the same conversation about ten trillion times. (Note: I look a whole lot further along than I am, thanks to a combination of diastasis recti and frosted scones). Here’s an example:
Stranger: Is this your first?
Me: No, I have a son.
Stranger: Do you know what you’re having this time?
Me: Another boy!
Stranger [smile vanishing]: “Oh! Well, that’s OK, right? Boys are fun. And you’ll have a girl next time!”
Nobody warned me that this was going to happen. These conversations don’t offend me. I know everyone means well. But I’m not looking forward to having them for the next four months.
And then I’m not looking forward to spending the next several years saying, “No, we’re done, and we’re OK without having a girl.”
What about all-boy moms of adolescents, teenagers and grown men? Are you still saying, “No, it’s OK, having all boys was fine”?
One acquaintance, upon learning of number-two’s gender, said: “Congratulations! Except you’re going to die alone, because boys don’t take care of their parents when they get older.” I kept waiting for a laugh. It never came. She was serious.
Oh my God.
You want to know a secret? I wanted two boys. I already know how to point the pee-pee down in the diaper. I already know that little boys can be loud and sensitive and charming and gross and sweet and smelly and challenging and wonderful. And I love that my son is going to have a brother.
While any combination of genders would have been awesome in its own way, I’m thrilled at the hand I was dealt. Yet, I’m discovering that the world seems to need me to want a girl. (Actually, I’m very aware that the world doesn’t give a crap about me, but on this particular subject, there appears to be a sticking point.)
Ugh. So let’s get this out of the way now, people at the grocery store, coffee shop, doctor’s office, airport, auto mechanic and public toilet:
Yes! I have two boys!
No, we never tried for a girl.
Yes! Two boys is a lot of work, but it’s great!
No, we’re really not having a third child. Would you like a rundown of my fertility prospects?
No, I don’t want your homeopathic conceive-a-girl recipe.
Yes, we own a lot of toy trucks (but brother number-two might be into princesses, so please don’t project your stereotypical gender crap on me).
Yes, I have nieces, and they do happen to like Frozen, so I can get that fix whenever I feel the urge.
That’s nice that you know someone with two boys who had a girl the third time. It’s still not happening.
No, I don’t hate girls. I don’t have a dysfunctional relationship with my own mother. In fact, I idolize her. I’m just a boy mama, and that’s awesome in my book.
I hope I don’t spend my life being all defensive about daughterless-ness. I hope I spend it being grateful for two healthy children, teaching them to bake cookies, to hold open doors, to play sports, to give good hugs, and to treat everyone with respect.
And when all my friends are having mother-daughter brunches, I’ll just tag along and pour mimosas for the moms. Or just sleep in, because boys sleep in, right? Right?! Okay, just lie to me and say yes.