Little Ladies and Young Gentlemen

Now pregnant with my third child, I  am again thoroughly convinced that I am having a boy. This time feels more probable, however; and the odds are in my favor. Even the nurse at my OB’s office exclaimed, “Oh, it’s a boy!” when my baby came up–flailing and jousting–on the monitor during an ultrasound. Unprofessional as it were, she, too, felt my baby’s male energy.

Today, I will hopefully find out, for certain, whether or not this is a boy tumbling inside of me.  Cute as girls may be, I’d hardly be hyped about the prospect of throwing another ball of estrogen into the girl-fire I’ve already got going.

There are so many rules in girlhood. I am constantly having to say things like, “Sit like a lady” and “Is that what a young lady would do?” The rules for boyhood are fairly simple: “Just don’t break your neck.” Counter that with all the lady-etiquette girls must learn if they want to be deemed well-mannered and “nice.” I won’t have to tell my boy to close his legs when he sits down, to keep his skirt down over his knees, to make sure his dress doesn’t get dirty and his jeans don’t get torn. People expect rough and tumble behavior from boys; they aren’t alarmed when a little boy has ripped a hole in the knees of his Levi’s. Even when boys cause mischief, people just shake their heads and laugh whereas, when a girl behaves similarly, she is considered ill-behaved and poorly parented. Hey, I didn’t write these social moires; nonetheless, they’re carved in stone.

My second daughter is a tomboy who’d be leaping off furniture if I let her. Sometimes, I feel bad about correcting her because I know she’s just playing, using her imagination, and expressing herself. I know that, if a boy did the exact same thing, no one would blink. But she is a girl, a very cute one at that, one who elicits a lot of attention, and people are always watching.

Even the disciplining of boys is perceived very differently. I see parents bring their little boys to tears often; people typically think the boy must’ve done something to deserve it. “They’re so rowdy,” is the philosophy. When a girl needs to be read the riot act, it’s perceived as the parents’ fault–too strict or overbearing, perhaps undisciplined parenting. A little girl in a heap of sobs is a sight no one likes to see.

My biggest reason for wanting a boy though is loyalty. As the adage goes, “There are mama’s boys and daddy’s girls.” With girls, dad’s get to do all the fun stuff and take all the credit. They’re gods in their daughters’ eyes. Most of the time, I feel like chopped liver. No matter how much effort and sacrifice I put in, the girls’ hearts are bent. Albeit, my second daughter and I are quite close when we’re alone together, and she even pretends to nurse sometimes. The competition between her and my elder daughter prompts her to be the affable and sweet one, too. The teen is, of course, a teen. It’s easy for the younger girl to play the opposite role and get a shoe in. But, as soon as I have to discipline her for something, she turns on me and starts sobbing for daddy. Men will baby their daughters, but they don’t coddle other men. I get to be my son’s go-to. It’s a fact that girls tend to clash with their mothers more than sons do. I’ve already got two titans with whom to contend.

I like watching boys act wild and tell ridiculous jokes. I love the ways they think and how they interact. I am enamored by their closeness with their mamas. I want some sugar in my bowl. I want a boy.


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