Father of two young girls addresses the most annoying question in parenting
People ask questions when you have children. Neighbors. Colleagues. Some of them get personal. Ever since my wife gave birth to our second daughter three months ago, this is, by far, the most common question I get from people: Are you going for a boy next?
My answer undoubtedly is: It’s really none of your business what our family’s copulating schedule is, but even if it was, are you fucking insane? Three children? Do you realize then that my wife and I would be outnumbered? It’s divide and conquer, you nitwit. Get with it.
I usually get blank faces and further avoidance. Occasionally I get to ride the elevator alone. Which is a job well done on my side.
The question made me realize, though, that somewhere along the line, the general populace has gotten it into their feeble little heads that whenever a family has two or three or four of the same sex children, there has to be that last-chance dump to round out the lopsided-ness. Even before we had our second daughter, while Dina was pleasantly baking away in the womb, both my wife and I had gotten similar remarks.
Is it a boy or a girl?
It’s another girl.
Oh. Don’t you wish it was a boy?
Quite frankly, no, I didn’t wish it was a boy. Not that I didn’t want a boy, or a girl for that matter. I just didn’t wish it to be anything but healthy: ten fingers, ten toes, all the chromosomes and I’m solid. Doesn’t matter what type of plumbing is between their legs.
I’d gotten this question from both sexes, too. With the male audience (I’m ALWAYS guessing about what women think, and I’m rarely near the mark, so I’ll avoid guessing this time), I have to assume that they think having a son would be important to me so I can pass down the family name. Or that I’ll need another swinging dick around the house to do “manly” or “guy” things with.
First of all, the Miles family name will probably live on, and even if it doesn’t what do I care? If the Miles name does ever die, I’ll surely be in a pine box by then (as most necrophiliacs can attest, most of ‘em are made of fiberglass these days). I won’t care because I can’t care. Philosophical/magical reasons aside, I’ve never put that much stock in legacy. The Miles name is just that, a name. Doesn’t make my life less complete by not having a male heir.
As far as doing “guy” things, I can still do them. In fact, I’ll probably have more opportunities with three women around the house. Be a damn good time to go camping or see a ball game when they all hit their cycle at the same time, eh? Just toss a chocolate bar into the middle of the pack and hope my limbs remain intact. You guys watching the latest rom-com with Hugh Grant? Seems like a good time to lock myself in the den and watch porno.
See, I’ve played enough male-dominated sports in my lifetime to last ten men. I played organized baseball, basketball, and football since I was a wee tyke, and while I was never great enough to play professionally, it also never made me yearn for a son to coach or to produce a prospect to fill the hole I’ve never had by not going pro. Which is a good thing, as I’d probably just end up foisting unreal expectations on my imaginary son, anyway.
Besides, who’s to say my daughters won’t grow up to play in the WNBA or another sport no one gives a shit about?
This all gets me back to the question: Are you going for a boy? No, I am not. I love my girls. They’re irrational and make no sense and will grow up in a world that wastes thousands of dollars to test the DNA of claw scrapings that may or may not have been left by a mythical creature (surely you’ve all watched Finding Bigfoot?) instead of feeding the homeless, but that’s the fun of it all.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
A side note, if you will: Over the last handful of months, as I’ve voiced my stance on not having more children, the second most common follow-up question I get asked is if I plan on getting a vasectomy. This mostly by close friends and family, as I think neutralizing sperm is one of those squirmy topics often considered to be off-key to the public.
Like my answer above, my answer undoubtedly is: Are you fucking insane? A vasectomy?
Look, I don’t care about the commercials that claim how painless the procedure is, or boast about their latest technology (last thing I need is a red laser beam honing in on my cojones, dig?), or contest that it’s reversible, or even the guarantee that I won’t miss work after the procedure. (Why that’s a selling point, I don’t know–wouldn’t you want a few days off to cry and blabber about losing such an integral part of your manhood?)
But one thing is certain: Vasectomy is out.
There’s absolutely no way I want more children. We can’t afford it, both mentally and fiscally. But I’d gladly have another handful before I let some quack snip me down there. Luckily, my wife and I were able to pull the goalie and get pregnant when we wanted. We were also able to stay unpregnant when we wanted, so we’ll continue that natural path (you don’t want to know, but it involves a spatula).
That is, until I’m closing in on 50 and change my mind to snag me a male heir.