Boys Are The Best, Say AmericansNovember 18, 2009 4 Comments
Although Americans like to think themselves above that kind of prejudice, Aaron Traister found that while boys were a blessing, girls are just gross.
His first child, a boy, was greeted with much congratulations and excitement from everyone who inquired about the sex. News of his daughter, born a few years later, was met with warnings about the difficulty of the little pink bundle.
I was excited about having a boy, but I was also excited because I had endured a good deal of ball-breaking from my guy friends before the gender had been determined. My buddies ribbed me about having a yucky girl baby. One friend went so far as to assure me my wife and I would only have girl babies for future pregnancies as well. It would be a plague on my house — a plague of girls.
When it turned out the curse had been lifted — or, more precisely, that it never existed — I admit: I crowed.
Aaron was nervous about having a girl himself — an even more alien life form that his drooling son. When he heard the news he noticed his behaviour began to change as he slowly became aware of the difficulties she would face. This lead to a hypersensitivity to people’s reactions to the announcement of her gender.
A kind of pitying, you-lose sentiment was common among dads without daughters. They always delivered some polite variation of, “Dude, that sucks.” Or, “What are you gonna do with a girl?” I remember talking to a friend whose second son was born with a heart defect that required two open-heart surgeries before the kid’s first birthday. When I mentioned how impressed I was with the way he and his wife shouldered such difficulty he said, with a sigh,”It’s been rough.” He then slapped me on the back before continuing, “I’m just glad we didn’t have a girl. Good luck with all that!”
Women were no better. They couched their disappointment in advice about the difficulties of raising girls — apparently a constant source of aggravation from birth to adulthood.
There is an old wives tale about how to tell whether the child is a girl or a boy. If it is a girl the mother will lose her looks and become sickly, as they are supposed to suck away their life force. A boy, on the other hand, leads to a glowing mother who radiates beauty.
He loves his new daughter and finds her even more laid back than her older brother. Yet he wonders how he would feel about her if he didn’t already have a son.
She is lucky to have such a thoughtful dad.