Apparently I’ve reached the pinnacle of reproduction. I might need to get some business cards made up or something. Maybe produce a line of t-shirts. I definitely need to advertise my skills in some way.
Lauren Dubois, journalist, writer, pigeon pair producer.
It’s a talent I didn’t realise I had but I’m assured I’m “very clever” for conceiving a daughter when I already have a two-year-old son.
When I announced I was having a girl, people were genuinely THRILLED.
I mean, I knew people wanted me to have a girl. I’ve already got a boy and I knew if I announced I was having another one the reactions would’ve been…. less. There’d be a slight tone of commiseration. I’d get the consolation prize comment of “at least your son will have fun with his little brother” with a faint whiff of “never mind, you can try for a girl next time”.
But I’ve achieved the perfect boy/girl combo so all I got when I told people was pure excitement and repeated commendations on my ‘cleverness’. People assume I must be extra happy this one is a girl.
You see, having one of each is the ultimate goal (apparently). Two of a kind is sort of ok but obviously not as satisfying as a pigeon pair. Three of a kind is a DISASTER in which the parents must be living a half-life of disappointment and deprivation because they’ve failed to produce an even distribution of children.
It baffles me that people are so invested in the make up of other people’s families. Bus drivers, shop assistants, randoms in the local park… they all have opinions about how happy or sad you must be with the kids you’ve got. Like it affects them in some way.
I’ve been told people actually turn up to visit mothers in hospital to pass on their condolences over a third son or daughter. “I’m so sorry” or “maybe next time” or even “you must be so disappointed”… Don’t even get me started on the reactions to the fourth or fifth of a kind. A black veil and dark glasses would be required.
Too many boys means too much dirt, noise and OH MY GOD the food bills. Too many girls means bitching and fighting and dad needs to get a shotgun etc. etc. cliché, cliché. It’s positively SIDE-SPLITTING. Oh my, let me sit down before I wet myself.
Look, gender disappointment is a real thing. Some mums and dads do have a preference, especially if they’ve already got a few of a kind. It’s completely understandable because it does affect the dynamic of their family.
But the disappointment, acceptance and eventual joy in welcoming a new baby boy or girl belongs to the parents and the parents alone. It has zero impact on anyone else. And it doesn’t make it easier for them when everyone else has a smart arsed comment about it.
I’ve learnt the ‘clever’ pigeon pair mums don’t escape the comments either.
It appears I must be done with the child bearing. Once you’ve got a pigeon pair, you simply mustn’t produce any further children. It’s selfish and unacceptable. WHY would you want any more children when you’ve got your boy AND your girl you greedy, ungrateful glory hog?
Even my obstetrician said “well done! You don’t need to do this again!” even though she’s technically doing herself out of some future business.
Just so we’re clear, I had no say about what I’m getting. We do know that, right? I mean, I’ve gotz skillz, but choosing the flavour of child I produce is not one of them.
It’s one of those great levellers in society. You get what you get and you don’t get upset. It doesn’t matter who you are or how talented you may be, it’s a total lucky dip.
I am, of course, thrilled to be having a little girl. But, the thing is, I would’ve been thrilled to be having a little boy.
GASP! She lies!
Nope, I’m serious. I wanted to have another baby to have another BABY. Not a girl, not a boy, just another human being we could love and cherish and raise as part of our family. Most of all, I wanted a sibling for my son. Part of me is a tiny bit sad he’s not getting a brother. I worry he won’t be as close to his sister as he would have been to a brother.
But, you never know, I might really piss people off and go for a third.
Do you have a pigeon pair? Do you understand why people are so obsessed with having at least one of each?
This post is also featured over at Essential Baby
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