After being blessed with 3 boys (and by blessed I mean besieged), we finally welcomed a baby girl into our family a little more than a year ago. After boy #3 was born, I made my peace with being a boy family. Save the times when I walked wistfully by the baby girls’ section in Target, I was quite content with the number of Y chromosomes in our home.
But being pregnant with 3 boys in tow made me a (large) bull’s-eye for comments from friends and strangers about how much I must want a girl, and would I have children indefinitely until I finally had a girl? and had I heard about this women who had 9 boys and she tried for one more so she would have a girl and she ended up having quintuplet boys?? It quickly became clear that the public was unanimous in its desire for a female Kislowicz, and never one to deny my public, I complied. (Yes, there are an insane amount of consonants in Kislowicz. Can we please move on?)
Shortly after my daughter was born I noticed a disturbing trend. In the same breath as ‘Mazal Tov!’ many people would continue with ‘Just wait 10 years, she is going to hate you’! Or, ‘She’s really cute, but boy will she be an obnoxious preteen’! Seriously folks, you had me at ‘she’s really cute’.
I am always unsure of how to react to these well-meaning haters. Some of them are speaking from experience and are perhaps struggling with their own maturing daughters. To them I nod sympathetically and explain that my baby girl and I share an exceptional enthusiasm for peek-a-boo and tickling belly buttons, and surely these shared interests will bond us together through whatever bumps may lie ahead. I’m no expert, but maybe what you and your daughter need is a good session of ‘hide the sippy cup under a blanket and pretend to be shocked when it reappears’. That always gets us through a rough patch.
But some unsolicited folks have no relationship to adolescent females and think that this is just a humorous way of making conversation. To them I usually respond with ‘You were raised by an all-male colony of wildebeests and communicate exclusively through tap dance, so I see how you are uniquely qualified to assess my future relationship with my daughter. Have a safe migration back to the savannah’.
I love my baby girl and I will not dread her ascent into adulthood. I choose to naively assume that we will continue merrily along on a sea of mutual adoration of each other and of cheese. So quit it with the warnings, random public. You remind me of the intake nurse at the hospital where I gave birth to my first child. I arrived in an early stage of labor and she asked me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10. I thought things were less than fun already, so I told her I was at an 8. She laughed pityingly and said ‘Honey, you ain’t seen nothing yet, I’m just going to put down 6’. She may have been right, but sometimes, GI Joe, knowing is not half the battle. Sometimes the key to winning the war is to just be content with how things are. And when things do get tough, the tough go to the girls section at Target.