Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Right now, there is a huge debate raging over a couples decision to scientifically choose the sex of their baby because, after having three boys, they want a girl.  Now, this is illegal in Australia so, to bypass this, they have decided to fly to Bangkok and make their dream of having a daughter and their desire to provide a sister for their three sons, a reality.


Now I’ll sit on the fence and get splinters in my arse about whether I think this is cool or not.  Mainly because I have a girl and two boys.  Therefore, I don’t know anything about wanting for anything other than what I was lucky enough to receive, the best of both worlds.

I want to touch more on what possibly people think they may be missing out on if they only end up with only one sex.  Is there really a major difference between having  boys and girls though?  Sure, one has a penis, one has a vagina.  Is one smarter than the other because of its gender?  Definitely not.  If you have a girl, does mean she’ll never want to go fishing with her dad. Nope.  If you have a boy, does that mean you won’t have a shopping buddy.  Um, hello, I swear this worlds economy could be sustained on hair products sourced by the young men of today alone, so nope again.  Do I believe my daughter cannot be the leader of this country all because she was born a female, absolutely not.    

I can tell you though; regardless of sex they will all:

  • Cry so hard as a baby you think they will damage themselves 
  • Make you feel like you would sell your soul for an entire nights uninterrupted sleep
  • Have at least one explosive diarrhea incident
  • Get into trouble with a teacher
  • Have to do cross country and hate every minute of it.
  • Projectile vomit from the doorway of their bedroom.
  • Lie about where they have been, especially if it involves drinking passion pop at the school carnival. (Or so I’ve heard)
  • Inflict physical pain on a sibling that in normal circumstances would see them charged with assault.
  • Never be told by their parents they can't sing out of tune.
  • Request Toot, Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car, just one time too many.
  • Not leave home when you expect it.
  • More than likely return home at least once after they’ve moved out.
  • Have a minor bingle in their car being a dickhead.
  • Be a victim of bullying
  • Want to be the cool kid.
  • And last but not least, practice tongue pashing kissing on their pillow. 


The thing is, every family is different.  Every combination is what makes each family unique.  I honestly don’t know what I would have done if I had three girls or three boys.  Would I have stopped?  Kept going until I got what I wanted?  Charted my cycle, followed some voodoo?  Well, actually, I probably would have kept on going except my ever vigilant husband spotted this and booked himself in for the schnip the minute we had the all clear with number 3, Mr Jack. 

I grew up with one brother.  During the years we have fought, hugged, punched on, loved, kissed and told each other to go and stick objects where the sun don’t shine.  I honestly think you could ask any gender sibling combination and they would say the same. 

I still distinctly remember him refusing to stay home one Mothers day,  choosing instead to go surfing with his mates.  So I went into his room and wrote in very small letters onto as many his treasured Oakley posters that were plastered on his wall “ingrate” and “stay home pig”.  I also took sips of his secretly stashed Contreau.   We laugh about it now, but if he was a girl, would this scenario be any different?  Nope. I don’t think so.


My friend tells me she kicked in the toilet door on her sister when they were in their teens because of some minor argument.  Sound like something boys would do?  Think again.


The thing I’ve found is that it’s personality, not gender that defines people.  I want to enjoy my kids for what they are, unique individuals.  Sure, my boys may not  be future sports stars  and my daughter more than likely will not be a ballet dancer,  but to be honest, I reckon the fact that I have living, breathing souls with heartbeats I can hear when I press my ear to their chests, is enough for me.


Dovic said...

I have no doubt in my mind that my 3 yr old boy is going to be my best shopping companion ever. You just can't pick em before they pop out and stamp their own little personalities in to your universe.

My ass is full of splinters too because I know there are sides that fit differently under different circumstances. My very firm guess is that I would always be more than happy with healthy and wouldn't give a brass razoo if missed out on sexes on both sides or at least not enough to do anything about it outside of following chinese prediction calanders. But I also have a stong forehead and pronounce toilet incorrectly. So I know we are all different as is our background and circumstances. Hence the splinters.

Also, if anyone finds this post after googling 'how to learn to pash' - pillows don't work. And neither do mirrors. Or oranges. Speaking from I heard from the cousin of a friend of a friend...ahem.

Alison @ Melbourne Mumma said...

Your last sentence sums it all up really - having a child that is good health, that's all one should ever really want for and enough a blessing in itself, in my opinion.

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

I wrote a post about this, called it "I'm Happy With My 3 Boys...No, Really!" because I always get the impression people don't really believe I could possibly be happy with 3 boys. BUT I AM. SWEAR!

But then, I never had that strong desire to have a baby of a certain sex. I just wanted 3 kids, and I never sat down and worked out what I wanted. You know how some people will say, "I want two boys and a girl." That wasn't me.

I knew a girl who had two girls and her husband REALLY wanted a boy (when our 2nd son was born, he called my husband to congratulate him, and asked, "What's your secret?"), and he suggested an IVF treatment to choose the sex of their next baby, but obviously they didn't do it, because as you say, it's illegal (I didn't know that until now). They went on to have a third daughter. He was REALLY upset when she told him the 2nd was a girl, so I can't imagine how he felt when he heard the third was a daughter. (We've been out of touch for years.) I just can't relate to that. But I do understand why some just have that desire. But I think that most, once their baby is born, regardless of sex, will love that child. How couldn't you?

Great post, hon. xx

Lucy said...

"it’s personality, not gender that defines people"

So true.

When I found out that my #3 (Lexie) was a girl, I'll admit to being ateeny bit disappointed. Charlie, my boy, was so easy in comparison to #1 girl, Olivia.

Until Lovely (Wise) husband said to me "So it's not that you want another boy. Just another EASY child." Errrrrrrr. Yep.

Personality, not gender.

Cchikkybabe said...

If I had 3 boys I would also do anything & fly anywhere that could give me a previous little girl! I am very lucky I have 2 of each but always wanted girls! Luckily my 1st was a girl & I felt like I had won lotto when we found out our last was my ling awaited 2nd girl! My brother has 3 boys, didn't bother him but I know how desperate his partner was and still is for a daughter! She bought books & was willing to try anything to get one... It's a personal choice and if u can afford to do it then great! Who are we to judge? It's their family and the longing for a son or daughter is an ache that never goes away even though we love & cherish the healthy children we have!

In Real Life said...

I feel incredibly lucky to have one of each, a girl and a boy. BUT - I would feel that regardless of what combination I was given. I would be saying the same thing, "I feel so lucky to have two boys/girls" too, because for me it is about feeling lucky to have two children.

I am sitting on the fence with you though...I am not sure if there is a right answer as to whether or not couples should be able to choose the gender of their child...I am not sure of the ethical/moral questions that arise...I think sometimes these scenarios are best left up to individuals to decide for themselves what they think is best for their situation and circumstances.

I like your list of what to expect regardless of gender, so true!

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Great post as usual. I am yet to have children so can't really relate but kind of feel if the technology is there and it doesn't affect the baby then go for it...


livinglifeasme said...

As a mum of two boys I have no idea what a dughter would be like. Choosing the sex of your baby is a bit too "designer" for my liking and not in the order of how things are meant to be. I don't have a girl, but I have a child who will tell me if my outfit doesn't look right, will help me choose somethng better and will straighten my hair if I ask. And no, I don't think he's gay, but if he was I wouldn't care in the least.

As for pashing - I wouldn't recommend a pillow but if you press your thumb up against your hand so it runs alongside half of the index finger, it makes a really good "practice mouth" - when my cousin said no to pashing practice he taught me this trick ;) LOL

Bronnie Marquardt said...

There was a short period of time when it actually was legal in Australia. I did a story with a couple who wanted a girl, because their boys all had a genetic-inherited disease and they didn't want their next baby to get it. But it's illegal again now ...
I would never judge others, but personally, all I ever wanted was a healthy baby (and as few sleepless nights and projectile vomiting/pooing incidents as possible).

Maxabella said...

No splinters here: totally against this silly couple. I can't stand it. It makes me so angry. Perhaps because it just seems to smack of all the selfishness and entitlement that we seem to think is okay in our society these days. No, no, no.

I read the rest of your brilliant (as usual) post, but I can't comment as I am still seeing red over that couple.

kj said...

A terrific post. Ahh...Passion Pop!

I have two girls. I also have 5 brothers and as such had a 51% preference for a girl when I was pregnant with #1. This went unvoiced until she was born, and would have remained unvoiced if she (and her sister) was a boy.

I occasionally wonder (actually, it's daily wondering) if there would be less chatter if I had boys. Probably more thumping, though...

Fred said...

I just wonder why it matters.

Why can't they have their opinion on this which is different. IF they want this option why can't their personal choice be to do it, and to leave you to your choices to not.

Maybe they just want to have a different sex. Maybe there is no rhyme nor reason other than they want that. Why is that morally worse than letting nature run it's course.

Isn't it more selfish to expect everyone to have the same opinion and behave like one persons opinion. What a dull life that would be.

It's an opinion and it has great validity in the fact that yeah personality matters a lot. But hey why get so worked up about it.

I can't see how this affects anyone's life but theirs.

Terry said...

I am of the firm belief that humans are the masters of our own destiny and therefore have the right to choose our path through life. The only proviso is that decision must not affect another human adversely.

Our choice was to have 2 children. We have 2 great young men now who have been taught to make those decisions themselves. They have made some howlers and have learnt from that.

I have no opinion on whether they are right or wrong.

EmmaK said...

I believe in the western world most of this kind of thing is women who just want one kid and want a girl. I think its mostly a fantasy women have about having some pretty little girl to have a manicure with etc so they think if I have one kid let it be a girl. And since I have two girls I can't imagine wanting boys but that's cos I don't have any I suppose so am scared of what I'd do with them, plus I hate sport! I'm pretty sure the procedure of choosing the sex of an embryo is pretty wrong though!
On another point I never practiced tongue pashing on a pillow!

Sparkly Tiara said...

What a great post! I've got the same 2 boys and a girl combo as you, but even just between my 2 boys the personalities couldn't be more different. It truly is the individual, not the gender.

Kathy said...

I have three girls. I wanted three children and I had a marginal preference for the first two (who were very close together in age by design) to be of the same sex, didn't care which sex though. With no. 3, who came along 4 years later, I just wanted another healthy baby and to experience a healthy pregnancy after two difficult ones, and I got my wish. All happiness for me ;-)

Husband *constantly* gets asked if he is disappointed not to have "got a boy". He sometimes feels like carrying a card to give out to people saying "I Am Very Happy to Have Three Lovely Daughters, No I Am Not Pining For A Fantasy Son, But Thanks For Asking".

Re the choosing the sex thing, meh, I don't know. I wouldn't have done it at any price but there are lots of things I wouldn't do that others do every day. Just not sure.

Laurie said...

In and of itself I don't see anything wrong with being able to choose the gender of your baby, but I hope that in the process the couple would be educated that gender (though not sex, obviously) is a social construct and be made to work through some sessions about an socio-cultural influences and sex discrimination that may be influencing their decision.

It makes me think of those stories of families in one-baby China committing infanticide if the child was a girl. Hopefully the couple would not be getting pregnant, finding out the sex, and then aborting the child.

I do think it's quite rude to say to a woman "You shouldn't be upset about the sex/your c-section/breastfeeding/etc. as long as your baby is healthy and happy." I wouldn't want someone to invalidate my emotions in that way, no matter how much they disagreed.

Great post, food for thought, and always a laugh!

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