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.

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Pete
Pete
13 years ago

One pull at a time. ;-)

samantha jo campen
13 years ago

Me too. I was freaked at having a boy and now I can’t imagine it any other way. And for a second kid I’d want a boy because girls scare me now.

It was meant to be. Totally.

samantha jo campen
13 years ago

Oh and btw, our girl was Madeline too! And I did go through a brief mourning process as well.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

Baby girls are so cute, but then I think about how I was as a teenager.

When I had my son I was really hoping for a boy and when I found out what I was having I was so happy. Second time around I would like to have a girl and would probably feel the same way if I found out I was having another boy. Like you said though, they each have their own personalities.

Robin
Robin
13 years ago

Wow, right there with you! I have 2 boys – a 2 year old and a 6 month old – and while I was disappointed to find out #2 wasn’t a girl, I’m now kind of relieved. First, despite their penchant for physical danger, teenage boys are soooo much easier than their girl counterparts. I was a downright bitch to my mom from 13 until 18. My brothers might have wrecked some cars and broken some bones, but they weren’t HATEFUL.

Also, I imagine it is way harder to properly clean a super poopy girl diaper.

Swistle
13 years ago

Ha! Totally agree! My first was a boy and my second was a boy, and they were SO DIFFERENT from each other, it made me why I’d thought “being a girl” would be “more different.”

bessie.viola
13 years ago

HA! All that penis… that was one of the reasons I was afraid of having a boy. I don’t know what to *do* with that thing! Not for a baby, anyway!

I know what you feel about the “loss” of the other sex, though. We waited to find out until delivery, and although I was THRILLED to have our baby girl, Madeline, both my husband and I admitted that we mourned our possible baby boy a bit.

It seems silly, especially for those who have actually experienced a loss, but we’ll never have a firstborn baby boy Collin. And that was a bit sad.

Madeline, however – it is sure that she was our absolute destiny. :)

Lori
13 years ago

Even the WORD “penis” is hysterical to me.

tash
13 years ago

Very funny… how do they take it seriously?

Nice one Pete!

Great post..

Laura
13 years ago

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

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA.

Nicole
Nicole
13 years ago

I have 2 boys as well, and my experience mirrors yours so closely. I was disappointed to find out my second was going to be a boy, and on top of that, I felt guilty and ashamed of my disappointment. After all, we’re supposed to hope for a healthy child, boy or girl, right? But then the little fella arrived, and I fell instantly in love. He is so sweet, and so cute (and so frustrating and dastardly- he’s 2)…and I cannot imagine life without him. I guess a small part of me will always wonder what it’s like to have a daughter, but I will always treasure my two little guys.

Emma
13 years ago

Yet again, pulling the thoughts right out of my head…
Now that baby is almost 1 and toddler is almost 3, immediately, when I put them in the bath together, their hands go straight to their tackle. I just sit there perplexed – how can they already be so penis obsessed?! And I’ve got to worry about the balls lately too as toddler has a hernia and his testicles now have a life of their own…
And yeah I really hate that I haven’t used my girl baby name. But other than that, I have no regrets. Perhaps I’ll use it on another pet one day. Except it would totally insult people as it’s old family names.

dorrie
dorrie
13 years ago

Word infinity.

When I was pregnant the first time, I was terrified to have a daughter because of my fucked up relationship with my Mom, which I did NOT want to put anyone through. But, you know, that’s what I got, and it’s fine because I’m not my Mom and my daughter is not me. Huh. And her name? Audrey. GOD we have good taste!!

georgia
13 years ago

How you are able to deliver such funny and interesting posts EVERY. DAY., I’ll never understand. Except now I’m thinking of Vienna sausages as penises and it’s making me a little creeped out.

Sally
Sally
13 years ago

I was just asking my husband last night “How long do you think it will be before I stop being totally weirded out by tiny balls?”

And they way their hand seem to be super strength penis magnets – especially when the balls are poopy – totally grosses me out.

babelbabe
13 years ago

I have four boys. I know that feeling really well. It was most intense for the first one but happened each time.

I do love the name Audrey. Go for another one! : )

Allison
Allison
13 years ago

I have two boys who are 4 and 7 and just wait until you spend all your time asking, “Can you please take your hand out of your pants?”

I don’t miss not having a girl, but I do sometimes wonder how I am going to survive the next 15 years in the House of Boys. All I know is it is NOT my job to clean the toilets.

Felicia
Felicia
13 years ago

We don’t know if we’re having a girl yet but trying to decide between Aubrey and Audrey… how funny.

As much as I loathe diaper changes on my son (scrotum spelunking for poop and all that) I cannot even imagine wiping poop out of LABIA. *shudder*

Trenches of Mommyhood
13 years ago

Tell me about it! Over here in the Trenches, it’s constant sword fighting.

(My girl would have been Lydia.)

M.A.
M.A.
13 years ago

Thanks for the multiple smiles as always — finally found a quiet minute to watch the video of Dylan doing his worm dance — love the stealth approach to Cat… nice kittie! Also, laughed heartily about Helena Bonham Mumble’s fashion sense — you’re right… it rather boggles the mind.

SART
13 years ago

I don’t know what it is with 3 year old boys and their love affair with their penis. Oh wait yes I do, it never ends! Nugget even loves to talk about his penis. Especially in public. Like my parent’s church.

We just found out we are preggo with #2 and hub and I are convinced it’s going to be another boy. I think I’ll be ok with another boy. I’ve been there, done that ya know? Although if it is a girl we have the perfect name: Annemarie.

Tim
Tim
13 years ago

My friend turned me onto your blog…You are a source of daily laughs…even for a guy without kids….thanks!

pam
pam
13 years ago

as the mother of BBB triplets, *i feel your pain*. man. but ditto was a PP said, i’d rather wipe down all those pieces-parts than always have to remember “wipe down” or whatever it is for a girl.

we knew the triplets (being identical) would all be the same sex, but didn’t find out ahead of time. i was pretty terrified of the prospect of three girls – three teenage girls, three proms, three moody bitches like i was at 16. i wouldn’t trade my boys for the world.

Christina
13 years ago

Hysterical – and boy do I relate. I have an 17 mo boy and a 13 mo girl – and my son’s love affair with his penis is unending. Also, I was alarmed to find out that little dudes get baby wood. Why was there no warning about that?

Joanne
13 years ago

This is why I can never find out the sex of the baby. I think (perhaps incorrectly) that I would be more disappointed at an ultrasound than I would in a delivery room. I’m always just so happy and grateful that the baby is born, I don’t think I could think “oh, hurray! The baby is born and it’s healthy!” and simultaneously think “but I wanted a _____.” So far, anyway.

Amie
13 years ago

I’m sort of in a limbo state of being thrilled and excited at the arrival of another baby boy, and totally dreading having the penises (penii?) outnumber the vaginas.

Melospiza
Melospiza
13 years ago

Penises: they never go away, but they do become less a part of mom’s life. At least in my case.

I had a boy and then a girl, and both times I was so absolutely rock solid positive that I was carrying what did indeed pop out that I would have stunned and confused in the delivery room had either one turned out differently. Since this was much less “instinct” and much more “luck” it could very well happened. And now, instead of mourning the girlchild-that-never-was, or the boychild-that-never was, I can mourn the boy-who-has-no-brother, and the girl-who-has-no-sister.

I’m professionally trained to find the cloud in every silver lining, you see.

Christy
Christy
13 years ago

We have three girls (7, 5, and 5months). I was actually terrified we might have a boy with my third pregnancy. Is that weird? My older two are such great playmates, and we are such a girly house (my poor husband). I had a more wistful feeling of saying goodbye to a certain name. We had a really hard time coming up with boy names each pregnancy and had a plethora of girl names we had to choose from and agree on. Girl names I loooved but my husband did not…Margot and Claire.

SalGal
SalGal
13 years ago

Its interesting to me how we all have the same basic feelings about our kids in that we love them more than we thought we ever could and it works out no matter what sex we “wanted” them to be. Yet, there is always that bitter-sweet longing for what might have been. I have mixed set (almost 4 year old girl an 15 mo old boy) so I have the pleasure of raising both sexes but I still wish sometimes that my daughter had a sister to grow up with and share things with and that my son had a brother for the same reason.

I guess we just wish we could have it all – for us and for them.

Half Assed Kitchen
13 years ago

I will never ever ever watch Reservoir Dogs. I’m way too fragile for that.

Dawn
13 years ago

This post made me laugh so hard, I *had* to come out of perpetual lurkdom to say so!!

melanie
13 years ago

I think would be the same no matter what – the mourning period for the baby you aren’t going to have. At least that is how I looked at it all through my pregnancy. We didn’t find out who was coming until she was here so I had imagined two very different outcomes: Moira and Oscar. Moira was the one who arrived and from the moment I held her it was awesome but I knew I would mourn the Oscar who didn’t exist a little, just like I would have mourned the daughter I didn’t have if Oscar had arrived. Of course, when you find out in the delivery room the mourning period is really short since the world has just been turned upside down and OMG I had a baby and are they really going to let me take this thing home? Do they know I will eat nothing but Halloween candy for breakfast if given the choice?

Now that I have a girl I would like another girl because that is what I know and there is still only one penis in my life.

Meg
Meg
13 years ago

I definitely long for a daughter. I know I’ll be happy with boys, but I really think I need a daughter in my life, too and might even plan to adopt a girl if I don’t give birth to one. I do really want a boy AND a girl though.

jonniker
13 years ago

It’s funny, I was (oh AM) terrified of having a girl, but of course, now that I know that’s what I’ve got in there, eh, I sort of can’t see it any other way — even before she’s here. I think God or biology works wonders that way, and thank heavens.

On the flip side, I was telling my sister that I thought at least since I was having a girl, that diaper changes would be easier, as there wouldn’t be all that JUNK to maneuver.

My lawyer-turned-preschool teacher sister said, “Uh, no. Girls are worse. Instead of gently cleaning a stalagmite, you’ve got a DEEP CAVERN.”

So, uh, hooray for penises? When you’re annoyed managing your Day of Penis, think of me cleaning poop shrapnel out of places I WOULD SO NOT LIKE TO BE.

Emily
13 years ago

Boys are such BOYS even when they’re babies. I said something to my two-year-old about his eyeballs today, and he immediately grabbed his crotch and giggled like it was the funniest thing ever. Seems his father has been teaching him where his balls are in the bathtub. I don’t think anyone had to teach him that it was funny, though.

Leah
13 years ago

I too get totally weirded out by how random the creation of an entire person is. A different sperm, a different egg and BAM, entirely different human being! Crazy crazy shit, yo.

(For me it’s even weirder to think that if I hadn’t had that miscarriage last December, THIS baby would never have existed. I imagine that feeling will only grow once I actually know the little guy and then try to imagine my life without him. Man, parenthood is such a mindfuck.)

Belle
Belle
13 years ago

Our son came first so then I thought, wow, wouldn’t a girl be great for the 2nd one? I could dress her up in all that cute fussy stuff. Got the girl, alright…..but she had a mind of her own (still does at 28 but I appreciate it more now) and all she ever wanted to wear was her brother’s hand-me-downs. And a football helmet.

I will always remember my husband saying he just didn’t know how he could love another child as much as he did our first. And then little missy came along……and he soon found out that it was indeed very possible!

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

Ay yes. Boy number 1 was also to be Madeline. And boy 2 was to be Clara. I’d try for Lillian with a number 3 but I’m TERRIFIED of a third boy. I cannot imagine the number of times I’d have to change the sheets or how long I’d have to wait for the bathroom when they’d all be teenagers. God help us.

Anais
Anais
13 years ago

I really want my first to be a boy and my second to be a girl. If I end up having two boys, I’d like to adopt a girl. Or, if I end up having two girls, then I would try to adopt a boy. I just want to have one of each sex.

Claudia
13 years ago

Funny, I was thinking the SAME EXACT THING about penises the other day. Which – I don’t know what that says about me but, whatever. I really don’t know how they walk around with those things (to paraphrase Elaine Benes). Anyway, I have two girls (the first one is Madeline, btw) and couldn’t imagine life any different than it is. We were both thrilled to have two girls, weren’t sure what we’d DO with boys, you know? But again, if we’d had one, we’d have figured out pretty quickly. My second daughter (Juliette) is very boy-like in her style of “playing”. She loves both Spiderman and My Little Pony. She likes to play “fight” with her sister but has to sleep with all four of her stuffed kitties. Not sure what shape I’ll be in come puberty but I doubt it’s much fun no matter what gender your children are.

Fernanda
Fernanda
13 years ago

I think my boy is broken!
I have a 13 mo boy and he NEVER touches his penis!
I taught him just last week to grab his peepee, but he only does it on comand!
Isn’t that weird?!

Catherine
13 years ago

My 2nd is a girl called Audrey. But I had the reverse of you, I imagined a life with 2 boys. A boy and his best friend. Overalls and frogs and all that. I guess we have that too a point, but it’s not the same. Instead we have pigtails and WAILING. My son never wailed like his 3 yo sister does. And the penis? Does it ever stop?

Katie
Katie
13 years ago

Heh, penis. I too am the mommy of two boys, aged 3 and almost 2, and am sorely the lone female in our house. Even the dog is male, dangit! I just wish I didn’t have to worry about which of them missed the toilet during their night-time potty trips and if I’m going to step in it in my groggy state!

Now, I was always wanting a boy and a girl, especially since I only had a sister and so wanted a brother growing up. We even had two girls names picked out, Hailey and Kora, just in case our ultrasounds were incorrect, but never got to use them. Today though, I am so glad I only have boys! Have you seen all the crap little girls need these days! Jeez, I thought I was high maintenance, but not compared to the little princesses of today’s world.

And then there’s the issue of dating in about 13 years, I am so glad I only have 2 penises to worry about, not the hundreds of others wandering around the local high school!!!!!!! I remember my horny high school years, and no I am not sad I won’t have daughters to parent through those horrid years! Boys will be enough of an experience!

elizabeth
13 years ago

I know what you felt… I did too with our second. And now? I have 3 little penises running around here. That is sometimes way more than a girl can handle!

maggie, dammit
13 years ago

See, when I got pregnant for the second time I wanted another girl because I was terrified of the newness of boys. I wanted what I already knew (and I got it.)

I don’t know how they take that thing seriously, either. Honestly, it’s so DANGLY.

Liz
Liz
13 years ago

Mom to 2 boys here too (2.5 and 6) and it truly is penis ALL THE TIME. I hate being outnumbered some days and don’t even get me started on my emotional reaction when I think about being the mother of the groom (uh..rushing life much?) but then I think of the way I was towards my mother as a teen and whoo hee..SO glad I have 2 boys.

Still a little girl would be nice…..*sigh*

Sadie
Sadie
13 years ago

yeah, whiskey tango foxtrot, Helena Bonham Carter?

NancyJak
13 years ago

Elizabeth Armstrong was going to be my daughter’s first and middle name. I found out at 5 months it was a boy and I cried and cried. 18 years later I thank GOD that humongo lump in my belly turned out to be a boy. It takes both he and my husband to keep from taking myself and my theories and principles too serious! And, I’m the QUEEN of the household – I don’t have to share it with anyone.

Maria
13 years ago

Man, I hear you loud and clear. Penis #2 is due in 8 days.

My first dream-girl was named Madeline. My second dream-girl was Charlotte.

I’m pretty sure I’m done making babies, but it’s hard not to feel wistful, even as I near the day of my second son’s birth.

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

Ditto…..our girl was Lily Randolph (because I was named after my grandfather) and I too, have two boys (4 and 6) The penis thing is an ongoing issue in our house, too. So much so that I declared that the rest of our pets have to be girls to even the odds. Just watching from afar I can’t imagine Dylan not being Dylan either. And I can’t imagine your family any other way….it’s just perfect!