Saturday, June 13, 2015

Baby Gender Pt. I: If It's a Boy

In about two weeks, Mrs. Blackwell and I will learn the gender of that little bundle currently growing in her tummy.

Until then, we're left to ponder one of the two possibilities of what this new addition will be.

Boy, or girl?

Also, until then, we'll be questioned repeatedly about which gender we'd prefer. As to that question, I really, truly have no preference.

As usual, Dave Barry nails it. 
There are upsides to both but for purposes of this blog, I'll cover the positives of having another boy.

The first thing that pops to mind for me is that we won't have to buy as much new stuff.

Clothing, bedding, toys, clothing, clothing and, yes, more clothing. We won't have to buy most of this stuff. God, how great that would be.

Think of how cute our little guy would look wearing the exact same outfits his brother wore at the exact same age. And think of how thrilled he'll be to be the recipient of all those hand-me-downs as he grows older.

I remember how much I loved getting my older brother's clothes, shoes, and sports gear. Conversely it was equally fun to watch the conveyor belt of brand-spanking-newness he enjoyed with regularity.

A little kid can be forgiven for being less than excited about mom and dad saving a few bucks and being stuck with the second-hand treatment throughout life. I know that, as I grew up, those items that I got brand new were treasured. Not that I was neglected; Mom and dad bought me plenty of new stuff too but when you're a kid, a train of second-hand anythings starts to feel like a backhand to the noggin.

Those are the tangible conveniences of having another boy. A bigger plus are the parental benefits of my experience raising a boy. It's all I've known.

I'm three years in now and, to my knowledge, I haven't blown it yet. Odds are, the second boy will benefit from my experience.

A girl? That's a whole different ball game, tantamount to starting from scratch.

I'm told frequently by moms that boys are easier. They're more blunt, less nuanced and, in the kindest sense of the word, more simple.

Little girls, I'm told, are anything but simple. And if they're anything like their adult counterparts this has to be true.

Upside down with markers in bed? Who
wouldn't want another one of these things?
I won't go into the many, many ways that women are more complicated than men — there's about 10,000 other blogs that do it better than I. Suffice it to say that I tend not to comprehend, much less identify with, their complexities.

Little girls pose a unique challenge via a more refined level of communication that demands a more in-tune approach from the parent.

I've never been blessed with a particularly sensitive receptor for the female frequency of communication. As a result I compensate with an absurd amount of blunt candor and straightforward questions all designed to illicit emotionally primitive responses that I can connect with.

This approach worked on exactly one woman and, once it did, I sunk my hooks into her and haven't let go.

So, I don't do refined subtlety; but this approach works alright with the boy.

He's a blunt little object who lets you know exactly what he wants, when he wants it and at what temperature. Little girls — I'm sure — are like this too. But that level of nuance and delicate emotion is intimidating.

If we have another boy I won't need to worry about this. That communication highway is straight, narrow, with few exits and the destination almost always clearly defined, just the way I like it.

Of course none of this means that boys stay simple to raise. In thinking about my teenage years and the astonishing number of moronic, shortsighted, life-threatening, and downright idiotic decisions I made, I know that simple has its downside too.

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