Monday, 11 July 2011

Three Girls, One Boy

TRAWLING the web, like you do when the kids are in bed, the man is banging his drum elsewhere (in a good way *tuts*) and there's bugger all on telly I found this article on the BBC News site: Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice,

Though it starts with the topical, if tenuous, link to the Beckham's then forthcoming new baby girl it goes on, if you can't be bothered to read the link, to wonder and explore what it's like to want or to have a different sex baby to the babies you've already had.

I had three girls, including twins, when I got pregnant for the third time and as always, we chose to wait until the birth to see what was coming (I think knowing the sex of a baby before it's born is a bit like unwrapping Christmas presents at Easter). I knew, theoretically, there was a chance that the baby would be a boy but I was over 40 years old and more concerned that the new baby would be healthy rather than what sex it might be. I would have been more than happy to have a fourth girl if only because of the amount of girl clothes and girl toys we already had.

But by the time I was ready to give birth I had reached the end of what little patience I still had left with the cheerful and, no doubt, well-meaning souls who kept asking if I was hoping for a boy, as if my three beautiful daughters were consolation prizes for not landing what was clearly the star prize.

Even at the hospital, the attending nurse in that cheerful, chatty, calm and (sorry) irritating manner they have, on discovering that I already had three girls, made a bet the newcomer would be a boy. I didn't take her bet, to be frank she was lucky that it was only The Man squeezing my hand that stopped me slapping her face.
I am never a happy pregnant person.

By the time I was laid flat on my back in the delivery suite for a c-section, I couldn't have cared less if I was going to give birth to penguin as long as it was healthy and happy and outside of me. In came the South Vietnamese Stunt Delivery Team and wrestled the new arrival into the world and he proved, or why would I be writing this, to be a boy.

The nurse handed the small bundle to The Man with a stage-whisper you could have heard in the lobby. And do you know that bit in Tommy The Musical when Ann Margaret gives birth to Roger Daltry and they sing "It's a Boy" ( it was a bit like that.

A Boy.... A Baby... A Boy Baby...

I think my first words may have been "But I don't know anything about boys." I was all bewilderment mixed with astonishment and love, straight on, heads up, all or nothing, besotted love. And still am five years later, despite learning on day one, hour seven, that the major, biggest and most enduring difference between boy babies and girl babies is that boy babies can p*ss in your eye.

And having a boy after three girls has proved to be an eye-opener in more ways than one. For one brief mad moment (the first couple of years) I thought that I could grow the 'Perfect Man' from my little boy seed. He would be intelligent, witty, he would empathise and be patient. He would enjoy shopping for shoes. He would make world peace a reality and become President of the Entire Universe while simultaneously topping the charts every week and writing best selling-novels.

But at 5 years old, he wants to be a train driver, thinks Dr Who is in charge of the world and likes shouting, running around, getting dirty and hitting things. He has permanently grubby knees and thinks the digestive system is a some kind of sound system. He is, people say as if  having three sisters might have infected him with a passion for pink and sparkly things, very much a boy.

(I haven't given up on the President of the Entire Universe thing quite yet, though).


  1. LOL! I had three girls first. I don't think the pregnancy hormones wore off very quickly as I had the urge to punch people each and every time they said to me 'Awe... now you have your boy, that's your family perfect now.'

    That said, I sympathise, these boys, they don't really do the whole sitting thing much do they? I mean I recall raising an eyebrow while I (shamefully) watched a friend with two boys who were lets say 'active' at the dinner table, while my then only two girls sat quietly on their seats... and now I have two boys... that is karma!

  2. I love this post so much and it totally sums it up for me. x


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