Mom of Boys Learns How to Handle a Girl

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Amy Wilson wanted snails and puppy dog tails. What she got was a princess. Photo courtesy of sxc.hu.


When a receptionist accidentally let it slip that Amy Wilson's third child would be a girl, Wilson hung up on her. Not due to the shock of finding out the sex of her unborn baby, but because she'd been told she was expecting a daughter.

"I sat there in a daze," she recently wrote in a piece for Parenting Magazine. "This child I was just starting to feel stir inside me was a girl? I waited for the excitement to wash over me. It didn't come. Not only was I not thrilled -- I was disappointed. I'm still not sure whether I was more bummed by how I found out or what I found out. Either way, I was shaken."

Wilson, a mother of two boys, had no idea the stir her piece would cause when she wrote it. "....If you read my essay," Wilson writes on her blog, "I think you'll find it's much more about my concern about my apprehension about having a girl, than my proud statement of how anti-daughter I am."

I think Wilson needs to forgive us our confusion. Take this quote, for instance: "Even before I had sons, I worried about having a daughter. I could handle boys, with their cut-and-dried needs, but girls were so much more complicated. Girls have elaborate hairstyling requirements. They whine and mope, manipulate and triangulate. How was I going to deal with that?"

Wilson worried about how her boys would handle having a sister in the house too. "My sons sneer at all things princess, and so do I. We love to pore over the Birthday Express catalog so the boys can plan the themes of their parties through 2013. My role in this is to gasp, "Oh, I think you should have a pink-poodle party!" "YUCK!! That's for GIRLS!!" they shriek, and I laugh along with them. What will I do when I have someone who wants a pink-poodle party?"

As a mom of girls, I know that Wilson has it all wrong (something she admits to now that her daughter, Maggie, is 16 months old). I didn't give birth to a stereotype, I gave birth to a real, live girl. Two of them, in fact. And while they whine and mope on occasion (who doesn't?), I think Wilson is unfair in her generalization of them.

That said, it's only fair for me to admit that I can empathize. As someone who has always been female and who has only given birth to girls, boys are completely foreign to me. I walk down the "boy" toy aisles shopping for gifts for my nephews and feel like I'm in a strange land filled with mutant creatures and monster trucks. And I'll admit that it's a lot of fun having children who love to shop for shoes ... even if those shoes are for me.

Did you ever worry about the sex of your baby when you were pregnant? How did your feelings change once your baby was born?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.