I obviously knew this would happen. THE COMMENTS. The condolences when we found out we were having a third boy (WTF???) The shock and horror at THREE BOYS!
When the idea of a third kid surfaced I was already annoyed about it. I worried/worry whether three kids will be too many, whether the pregnancy and baby will be healthy, and after that about all of the asinine things that random people would say. Because although for the most part society has rules and people (sometimes) try to have tact, when you are pregnant or a mom it’s totally ok for people to verbally diarrhea their most judgmental and presumptuous thoughts all over you.
See, you may not be aware but every woman is secretly pining away for a daughter and every man a son. Parents of only opposite sex children are to be pitied and those of same sex children are over the moon. Parents with one of each have achieved the perfect harmonious compromise and should immediately stop having children regardless of how many they want.
You also may not have known that moms of boys spend the early years getting their high heels stuck in the grass at sporting events and chipping their nail polish digging their filthy kids out of the dirt. Later their boys replace them with horrible wives and never speak to their mothers again. Dads of girls spend the early years rolling their eyes in the corner checking sports scores while their daughters try on various princess dresses and twirl around. Later they just clean their shotguns and have nightmares about boyfriends. It’s a national tragedy.
If you didn’t know all of this that’s ok, I didn’t either until I had two boys. All of the time I get looks of sympathy and receive people’s condolences. My kids can be dressed in freshly pressed tuxedos, riding in the shopping cart with their hands clasped practicing their multiplication tables, and inevitably someone will say “Oh my, two boys, looks like have your hands full.” And then they give me the LOOK. Once, a cashier at Walgreen’s just saw my phone screen and said “Oh my, two boys, I’m so sorry.” I didn’t even have the little hellions with me! Garth can take them somewhere covered head to toe in dirt and blood, screaming at the top of their lungs, and hitting each other, and he gets practically cooed over and smothered with awwwwwws. “Two boys! What fun! Such a blessing! Oh hahaha boys will be boys you know!” (To be fair, I think this happens to a degree to all dads not just those with boys since we have zero expectations for men being able to care for children.)
While I have received condolences, pity, and “better luck next time!” over the third boy, Garth has only gotten congratulations, high fives, and the occasional “Umm is your wife really pissed?”
So, yes, going into this third kid thing I was preemptively annoyed at the additional comments we would get. And although we have only scratched the surface at this point, I know for a fact now that my annoyance was not unwarranted. In fact, the very FIRST thing anyone said to me at my last midwife appointment, the first appointment since we found out it’s a boy, was, “Well, looks like you’ll have to go for number four!”
I recognize for some people these comments are like a reflex and they don’t necessarily put a lot of thought into them, but nonetheless I wish they would stop. First of all, the implication is that I’m somehow dissatisfied with numbers 1 and 2 (and now 3 before even meeting him!) The only possible reason we could have wanted a third was to somehow right those first two wrongs. When this comes from total strangers I think, what in the world makes you think it’s ok to assume that?? And when it comes from people we know I wonder, have I in any way given off this impression or do they somehow find my first two to be lacking? God I hope not! And even still what makes people think it’s ok to imply this? Do I get to ask them, “Are you planning to try for a less annoying child next time? Looks like you’ll have to go for number 3 to get one that’s not so ugly!”
But anyways, ultimately what do other people’s opinions matter right? They absolutely don’t. Charitably, I don’t think everyone that makes these comments really means much by them or at least doesn’t mean it in the way I take it, but it honestly has made me wonder. Am I missing something? Am I crazy for not wanting a daughter desperately? So I work at not letting it get to me. Except when they say these things in front of my boys. That’s when I really feel like I might lose my shit. And in fact I did have F with me at the midwife appointment. Thankfully, for now, these things mostly fly under the radar for him (less so for B of course.) But they may not always go unnoticed and how, frankly, that doesn’t make it any more ok for someone to say it in front of them. They are not failed attempts at something better. They are not silver medals I received along my long and continuing quest to win gold. And mark my hormonal words they will never be made to feel like anything less than the best things that have ever happened to me.
Maybe this is silly but one of the biggest reasons I didn’t want a girl this time has zero to do with girls or boys. In fact I think girls are quite lovely, I am one and happen to know a lot that I like too. I sincerely worried that if we had a girl then everyone would slowly began to expect she and I to be close and for my boys to be close to each other or close to G. I actually cried on several occasions earlier in this pregnancy at the thought of them feeling second place and of losing the bonds we already have. Now maybe I will lose this anyways when they marry women that hate me (see above: this always happens) and maybe this is ridiculous as parents can be close with all of their kids regardless of gender, but these hormones make you feel all sorts of things. As do other people’s opinions. No matter how much you try to ignore them and how much you try to show your kids how you really feel, I know they still get to me and I’m worried they will get to my kids too.
So in conclusion, to everyone who feels like my life is a walking nightmare, keep it to your self or I might lose it, thanks :).