For months, people had been asking us what we were having, a boy or a girl. Bex had it easy, she was at home with the hyperemesis, throwing up all day. But I was out there in the world fielding all of the questions that came from well meaning busy bodies.
The early but all too frequent conversations went something like this:
“Do you know the gender yet?”
“No Peggy From Work who I barely talk to. It’s too soon to tell.”
“Well, I hope for your wife’s sake it’s a girl.”
“Well I don’t think it’s any of your damn business Peggy.”
Then family members started interjecting their humble opinions:
“Oh, you’ve been sick? I’m so sorry to hear. On the bright side, that’s a sign you’re having girl.”
“Little girls are so much fun. All the dresses and pink stuff”
“Oh I hope it’s a girl! We need another dancer in the family”
Or my favorite,
“You’ll love having a girl. They’re so much fun! Boys are just boring. Sorry David.”
It didn’t seem to matter who we talked to, my family, her family, our friends and coworkers, there seemed to be such a strong bias for little girls. Even Bex got in on the act for a little bit. She kept pointing out cute pink outfits, purple crib sheets, and suggesting girl names. Every motherly instinct inside of her was saying, girl. Who was I to argue with that kind of ESP?
Then came the twenty week ultrasound.
By that point we had been to enough doctor visits for me to know my place. Bex was the patient, not me. So the doctors were really only interested in talking to her. That meant that any questions, comments or concerns on my part were, you guessed it, blown off. So I sat there, quietly thinking about the cheese and cracker snack buried in my wife’s purse.
The ultrasound room was quiet and freezing. The monitors were turned so that Bex couldn’t see anything but I had a clear view. What I saw was amazing. To me, it looked like the scene in Jurassic Park where the archeologists are scanning the dirt to look at a velociraptor fossil. Only it wasn’t a fossil. It was our kid. I knew I was looking at a skull and at the base of the skull was long feathery looking thing. Or was it scaly looking? I don’t know. But what I do know is that long bone was the spine.
So we waited, and listened, and I thought about where we were going for lunch afterwards. Applebee’s? Barbecue? In-n-Out? And just as my mind was consumed with the thought of a warm, greasy, pile of animal fries smothered in cheese, onions, and sauce, the tech asked the all important question.
“Would you like to know the gender?” “Uhh…Does a bear shit in the woods?”
With all the talk of ballerinas and barbies I felt confident that I knew the answer already. It was a girl. Bex was so convinced it was a girl that she had even convinced me it was a girl. How could her mother’s intuition be wrong? We’re definitely having a girl right?
“It’s a boy.”
My jaw dropped but my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest. You remember Tex Avery cartoons, the lecherous wolf who would whistle at sexy red riding hood? Yeah that was what my heart was doing. Or maybe more accurately, we were about to reenact the chest burster scene from Alien.
Then I looked over at Bex. Her face had fallen. Not by much. Just enough for my spidey-senses to kick in. A forced smile, barely a grimace came across her face. It’s not that she seemed upset, more like she was having trouble switching gears as a life of football games, Batman, and poor teenage hygiene flashed before her eyes.
“Are you sure?” I asked the tech. Trying to sound as concerned as my wife looked. Really, I was doing a touch-down dance on the inside.
“Very sure.” the tech said “See there are his boy parts.”
She zoomed in on what looked like two walnuts and a tootsie roll. But what we were really looking at was our son’s very first (and hopefully last) unsolicited dick pic. Unsolicited on his part that is.