about wanting another baby. There are all sorts of reasons I want another baby, but the eagle-eyed reader will have spotted that none of them is because I want one of those exotic, foreign creatures.... a boy.
And that's because I don't. I mean it's not as though I'd mind a boy, I've got three girls after all and a change is as good as a rest (apparently, at the moment I can't think of much that'd be as good as a rest, but that may be one for another day), but I'm not craving a boy. The possibility that this hypothetical child might be a boy has absolutely nothing to do with why I want it. In fact, if I'm honest, I'd sort of rather another girl. I know girls. I've got piles of pink baby clothes. And can you imagine being the younger brother of three girls? It's hardly fair to do that to a child is it?!
I've never really cared about the gender of any of my children. We didn't know what L was, and I sort of thought she was a boy, but when she arrived she was L, and I loved her. And we knew what A&S were from very early on (we had about a million scans) so I never really thought of them as anything other than girls, and that was good news because apparently identical boys are harder work (not in the teenage years, but we'll cross that bridge in due course).
But apparently there are women who don't feel like that: there is an article in today's Times (it's a work day, I get to read the paper at lunchtime!), and a programme on Channel 4 tonight, about women who want a girl - and apparently it's more often a girl - so badly that they have a psychological condition: gender disappointment.
And this got me thinking (and not just about the propensity of the modern medical profession to put a label on everything). Why girls? Why don't people (apparently) crave boys? It can't, surely, be because they think girls are all about the pink and the dressing up, can it? What then happens if they get a tomboy? And really, if you think like that, surely you shouldn't have a baby, you should have a doll. And isn't it interesting, in a world in which there are countries in which "a girl baby isn't a child" that in this country that may be changing, and girls are becoming the more "desirable" sex?
And I also wondered if maybe more people do care about the gender of their child than actually let on. I certainly felt while pregnant that it was important not to express a preference: possibly because I didn't have one, and possibly because I didn't want to be disappointed if I didn't get what I wanted. I certainly did feel an (entirely self-imposed) pressure to produce a grandson for my mother-in-law (now grandmother to six girls). Yet I knew she didn't care. So why did I feel I it mattered?
And I wonder. Should we care? Did (do) you care? And does it really matter anyway? Aren't they all just their own people, and don't we love them for that?
Picture courtesy of windwardskies.com. Thank you
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