Last Friday the whole family got up bright and early and trekked over to the Children's Hospital at Stanford to find out (for sure) what Baby #3 will be. Truth be told, we found out at our 12-13 week NT ultrasound, and even though my OB assured me that the ultrasound docs "are never wrong" even at that early stage, we wanted to wait for confirmation from the "real" ultrasound (read: see an actual penis) before telling the world:
It's a boy!
A boy with big feet.
So big, in fact, that they adjusted my due date a week early. (Here is where I would like to add that if I can help it, he will be born even a week earlier than that because having given birth to a 7lb baby and a 9lb baby without an epidural? I sure as hell could feel the difference in those two pounds and I would prefer not to go through that again.)
So we're having a boy, and having had only girls, I am feeling a wee bit anxious.
It's funny what people say when you tell them you are having a boy.
"Your husband must be so happy."
"It's be nice to have another man in the family."
"He's going to be huge." (Okay, that one, my husband kind of digs because he sees our son as the future savior of the sucky San Francisco 49ers...)
I want to say, "No, actually, I really wanted a boy." And, "My husband always said his karmic destiny was to have five girls." And, "Even with another man in the family, they'll still be outnumbered."
I really did want a boy. A healthy baby, yes, but of the boy flavor. I wanted to change it up 'round here, and because this pregancy was so unexpected, why not really do something different?"
Except that...I have a hard time dealing with (typical) boy energy. The loud. The rough-and-tumble. The high-energy. The swagger. Not to say that girls don't behave this way, too, I don't mean to stereotype, but when you have girls and then are in situations where you are surrounded by boys, it can be...different.
We are the parents of two mostly mellow girls, who play mostly quiet, mellow games. And who speak in hushed tones behind their closed bedroom door.
They don't slam doors (except when being dramatic). They don't make their toys into weapons. They don't leave their lego all over the house...they are girls. And as they get older, I see just how much girls and boys are hard-wired to be different. We didn't make a conscious decision to raise our girls to be "girly." In fact, Bunny is as opposite of girly as an 8-year-old can be, while Wallie I am sure would be more girly if her older sister would let her.
We have truly loved—and continue to love—being parents of girls.
I will have to learn to like toy trains. I will have to learn to like navy. I will have to learn how to potty-train a boy. I will have to figure out what a decent boy haircut is (not military-buzz-cut-short, not Rene-Charles-long, somewhere in between.)
One thing I will say, though, is that I am looking forward to the influence that Bunny and Wallie will have on their little brother. I'm hoping that they will help him appreciate all the things they like, mellowness being one of them.
As far as our influence goes? Call me old-fashioned, but I definitely have ideas about how this kid will be brought up, and it will be "Hawaiian-style*," meaning that there are certain shared cultural traits that kids raised in Hawai'i (or predominantly Asian or even "old world" cultures) have, and it's very familiar ground for me.
He will be raised with plenty of "aloha." (Just like my girls.)
He will be taught to stand when a women enters the room or walks up to the table or group where he is sitting. He will also be taught to stand up when a women leaves the room, or table or group where he is sitting.
He will not wear a baseball hat at the dinner table.
He will open the door for women—and men—who approach an entryway before him.
He will pay the check when he invites a woman—or man—to dinner.
He will bring you a small gift when you invite him to dinner or to stay at your house.
He will know how to cook, do dishes, and wash and fold his own laundry.
If you are lucky enough to be one of his many "aunties," he will greet you with a hug and a kiss every time he sees you.
He will help you: with your groceries, get across the street if you need it, mow your lawn if you need it, if you look like you need another set of hands.
He will be taught to be honorable and respectful, especially to his elders. Especially to women.
He will NEVER give a limp-fish handshake.
In essence, he will be the the exact opposite of those jackasses on Jersey Shore. (If I ever hear him refer to a woman as a "grenade," he will be dead to me.)
Perhaps by then manners like these will seem out-dated and old-fashioned but please, be kind to our boy anyway, because he will be kind to you.
(P.S. Boy-raising tips most welcome!)
*If you aren't familiar with "Hawaiian-style" child-rearing, a perfect, easily-accessible example of the end-result is Barack Obama. However you feel about his politics, his easy-going, quiet, respectful manner is demonstrative of how island boys are raised. I even wrote a post about it.