So evidently, unbeknownst to me, I am a gigantic asshole who had already decided all sorts of things about my unborn baby. We’re at 16 weeks now and just found out it’s a… boy.
The thing is, all along I was all “oh we don’t care!” but it turns out that in the back of my brain I guess I’d just been thinking of it as a girl? And now I’m really having a hard time getting over it. Which is especially asinine considering that plenty of other women are at this stage having to get used to reconciling the perfect baby in their head with one that will have disabilities or birth defects or be dead in a year. All mine’s got is a penis! (Well, to be fair, being male he may also have my dad’s colorblindness or his bald-at-19-ness in addition to both his parents’ bad eyes and crooked teeth. So that’s not the greatest row to hoe. Sorry, kid.)
I guess part of it is that being a lady-type myself I felt like I got the problems of girls. I mean, I wasn’t looking forward to the whole princess/pink thing, but I’ve been navigating those waters my whole life and they’re familiar. Now I think about how limited boys can be in our culture (a girl can pretend to be Batman and old ladies might give her a tea set but it’s “okay”, a boy pretending to be Snow White may well run into some trouble, etc.) I was already infuriated the day we found out; we went to Goodwill and then Target to look at some little clothes and all (I was trying to get enthusiastic about this whole “it has a penis” thing) and evidently all little boys are allowed to wear is sportsball and trucks. HOW DARE YOU LIMIT MY BABY THAT IS MY JOB.
But the awful part is that I totally have this idea in my head that I can’t get rid of about what boys are “like” - they don’t read, they scream in your ears and smash holes in your walls and wreck all your stuff, there are a lot of boogers involved, etc. And on the one hand, there’s definitely some small grain of truth to that - I never knew any guys in school who read as much as I did, and there were a few girls who did, etc. Of course I also know plenty of little girls who will totally smear a booger on your wall, too. But there are plenty of sweet, sensitive little boys. And, I mean, I liked one of them enough to marry him and have a kid with him, right?
And that’s the third thing, and the really ugly nasty thing - I kind of feel like now that my baby isn’t “like” me that it got a little bit stolen from me. So what, exactly, was my attitude towards co-parenting a little girl with my husband? I mean, clearly that it was going to be more “mine” than the actual little boy will be? That’s pretty insidious, isn’t it? Some of it’s little things - I was going to crochet so many cute little girl things, and I put aside so many books from my shelves to the shelves in the nursery for it that a boy probably won’t be that interested in, you know, the stuff that isn’t that important long term. But the idea that my husband stole my baby by making it a boy, that is fucked up. (And I realized I wasn’t entirely kidding when I joked that I’ve lost it to the patriarchy.)
I mean, obviously I’ll get over it. And I’m sure most women who were sure they wanted a girl fell absolutely in love with their little boy and wouldn’t want anything else. I mean, my dad probably was a little disappointed when I turned out to be a girl and then, you know, stereotypical daddy’s girl. But I’m really thrown by my reaction to the whole thing. It’s seriously got me rattled.
(But really, boy names suck so much ass. And now we’re going to have to have a fight about circumcision. And I know how that goes.)
Urrrrgh. Will somebody please tell me that I’m not the only person who isn’t normally a gigantic jackass who felt this way?