It sounds horrible to admit now, but when I was pregnant with Dylan one of the many emotions swirling around in my head at that 20-week ultrasound was disappointment that we were having another boy. Part of it was that just like when I was pregnant with Riley, we’d come up with names and vague half-formed imagined babyhoods for both sexes, and putting one entire (non-existant, but still) persona to rest was oddly difficult — a wistful strange feeling of saying goodbye to someone who was never there in the first place. With my first pregnancy, her name was Madeline; with my second, it was Audrey.

I’ve never longed for a daughter, and in fact there are many aspects to raising girls that terrify the living shit out of me, but I think this last time around I was feeling let down because I thought having another boy would be like giving birth to Riley all over again. I had this misguided idea that everything would be exactly the same, which isn’t to say I didn’t want another Riley, but I — oh, it’s hard to explain. Like if you had some wonderful rich meal from this exotic, exciting menu, and it was delicious and filling and fantastic, and you went back to the same restaurant the next day and, you know, wouldn’t you want to try something different this time to more fully round out your gustatory experience?

Hmm. Note to self: work on metaphors.

Anyway, obviously that was totally naive. Right from the getgo it’s been obvious that Dylan is no Riley clone, he’s absolutely his own personality, as complex and delicious as something from the flipside of that bad-metaphor-menu. We would have loved a girl just as much, but it’s impossible to comprehend, now — the notion that Dylan might not have been Dylan. I’m not religious and not normally much of a woo-woo believer in fate or destiny but man, it’s hard for me to think that our kids are the product of this capricious life path, one that could have so easily veered in any other direction. Even a single confused sperm (“Um, has anyone seen the corona radiata? My GPS is all fucked up, here”) and the picture could be completely different, I suppose, but my brain cannot wrap itself around that concept. It’s like trying to think of infinity. Or Helena Bonham Carter’s fashion choices.

All that said — my glorious status as mother of two boys acknowledged with gratitude and love — I can’t help sometimes thinking that I sure do have to deal with a lot of penis these days. Remember Mr. Brown in Reservoir Dogs? “I’m talking morning, day, night, afternoon, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick.” Diaper changes, baths, getting dressed: it’s a veritable Vienna sausage party around here. SO MUCH TINY PENIS, ALL THE TIME WITH THE PENIS.

And men, I’m sorry, but I don’t know how you take that thing seriously.


71 Responses to “Franks, beans”

  1. cherish on November 6th, 2008 3:23 pm

    Bwahahahahaha! I have four boys so its a regular old penis party around here too

  2. iidly on November 6th, 2008 3:24 pm

    I too am surrounded by testosterone and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  3. Shelly on November 6th, 2008 3:38 pm

    hahahaha The last line was a clutch ending to the post!

  4. Amy on November 6th, 2008 5:23 pm

    And do you find, too, that Riley just can’t leave it alone since he potty trained? I swear, it’s been four months since Jacob was trained and I bet he’s had his hands out of his pants for MAYBE 15 minutes total.

    Too funny. I try to think of it this way–starting in another year or two, I can get away with girlfriends for some total girly time, and I’ll never have to share. (Also, no dealing with a teenage daughter. Yikes!)

  5. Sundry on November 6th, 2008 5:32 pm

    Ha ha ha, “since he potty trained”. Ha ha ha OH GOD HELP ME.

  6. Karl on November 6th, 2008 5:32 pm

    Who says we take it seriously? It’s all a put-on. (Well, I dunno, maybe for some guys it’s all they’ve got.) You know, boys and toys…

    As for hands in pants, we had two of each, and had BY FAR the most hands-in-pants trouble with the caboose. Who was a girl. Think of that, and tremble! Luckily it didn’t carry over into teenager-ness, or at least not obviously.

  7. April on November 6th, 2008 5:36 pm

    “Vienna sausage party”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA! That is the best.

    Yeah. Penises. I don’t know how they deal with them either.

  8. Jem on November 6th, 2008 6:09 pm

    My sister was the same – except she had ALWAYS wanted a girl. Like, really really wanted one. She ended up with three boys, who she loves of course, but still really wishes she could have had a girl as well. And of course her new boyfriend she met after her divorce, has two boys. It’s quite a household :)

  9. Lesley on November 6th, 2008 7:13 pm

    Girl, of all people you NEVER have to worry about metaphor. You give me metaphor-envy.

    I’m so glad the combined magic of you and JB produced Dylan cuz he’s a riot of charm, laughs and teh cute. Having said that, it would be cool to add a girl to the mix. Something tells me she’d kick ass.

  10. Shelley on November 6th, 2008 7:59 pm

    AUDREY! LOOOOOOOVE Audrey! Wanted to give my 5 week old today (!) that as a second name but hubby was against it. Jerk.

    Anyway, I have two girls – 32 months and 5 weeks – and they are not the same at all. I know my second is too young to see lots of personality coming through but we do get some glimpses and so far she’s showing us she’s different from her sister. Their overall temperment and demeanours are totally different – thank gawd!

    Potty training will come – it has to right? Are you (or his daycare providers) using the whole “look at these other kids at daycare using the potty” thing? That was what really sealed the deal on our oldest and her training. Mind you she still wears diapers for naps and overnight and has the odd ‘accident’ during the daytime, but she’s pretty much trained.

  11. SART's Hubby on November 6th, 2008 9:02 pm

    Male Perspective – As someone who’s been schlepping a penis around for nearly 29 years, I can attest to two things:

    1. The fascination with it never ends. Especially from our first-person perspective on it.
    2. It’s damn near impossible to take one seriously. Honestly, penises are just sort of… silly-looking. And that’s without getting into the oddness of the scrotum. To paraphrase Tim Allen, it’s like God said, “Well, we got some leftover elbow skin? Let’s just throw it down there…”

    And for admitting these deep, dark secrets of Man-hood, I now must go turn in my Man Card.

    PS: I LOVE it when my son embarrasses his grandfather by talking about it in public. Especially in church.

  12. links for 2008-11-07 « Shut Up, Sit Down on November 7th, 2008 2:31 am

    […] Franks, beans : All & Sundry "All that said — my glorious status as mother of two boys acknowledged with gratitude and love — I can’t help sometimes thinking that I sure do have to deal with a lot of penis these days. Remember Mr. Brown in Reservoir Dogs? “I’m talking morning, day, night, afternoon, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick, dick.” Diaper changes, baths, getting dressed: it’s a veritable Vienna sausage party around here. SO MUCH TINY PENIS, ALL THE TIME WITH THE PENIS." […]

  13. Annika on November 7th, 2008 7:32 am

    So true, my two boys are 1 and 4 and I mourned the idea of never getting to put pretty dresses on girls, but I’ve never been a girlie girl myself. It was meant to be – penises everywhere.

  14. Ellen on November 7th, 2008 8:21 am

    It’s funny because growing up and nannying as an adult I wanted boys. So little drama, so easy to distract (go pretend you’re stalking a bad guy over there!). Now, wih my daughter (10ms), I cannot imagine anything else and I’m actually getting a little scared of having a boy. But we want three or so more, so I’d better get used to the odds.

    Re: diapers. I’ve always found girls easier to change. Granted they don’t like it when you dig stuff out of the hoo-ha, but it rarely gets difficultly deep and with boys there is just so much… surface area.

    But we have had a boy’s name since before we were dating (discovery in casual conversation that we liked the same name, not discussing our potential children!) and I think we would both be sad if we never got to use it.

  15. Bumbling on November 7th, 2008 8:26 am

    I bet that JB will have some objections to this line “SO MUCH TINY PENIS, ALL THE TIME WITH THE PENIS.”

    Hee hee.

  16. Sarah on November 7th, 2008 10:26 am

    LMAI. Okay, thank you for my first laugh of the day!! I’m crackign up at this…and also cracking up as the voice in my head says “imagine the searches that will bring people to THIS post”!!

    I feel for you. So glad I had two girls after my boy…definitely glad :D

  17. Robin on November 7th, 2008 11:42 am

    Two words: baby boners. Whoa, I had no idea.

    Oh, and? The way my son gets this glazed-over, far-away look in his eyes while he fondles it.

    God, I feel dirty writing that.

  18. Karen on November 7th, 2008 5:37 pm

    Two boys and a girl over here. Amazing profound relief when our third was a boy…. even in the early years I had already learned that my daughter is WAY more complicated than her older brother. Also, as my husband points out, with a boy you only have to worry about one dick. With a girl, you have to worry about ALL of them. hmmm….

  19. Joy on November 8th, 2008 10:41 am

    Hoo. What a funny one. I was surrounded by it until a year ago until my daughter was born. In my family I have my dad Richard, my husband Pete and son William. That means I am surrounded by Dick, Peter & Willy.

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