March 23, 2007

Will They Or Won't They ...

There comes a point in every pregnancy (around 20 weeks or so) where the parents-to-be have to make one very important decision: Will they or won’t they find out the sex of the baby? Everyone wants to know. In fact, it’s the second most common question I receive after “How on Earth did you convince her to marry you?” and it’s one Brittany and I have struggled with for months. This is partly due to our over-analyzing of all decisions before committing to them, but mostly it’s due to the fact that, deep down, Brittany loves it when I’m miserable.

Recently, the debate on this has heated up. Next week hails Sonogram Monday—our first (and only) opportunity before the child is born to find out if we’re having a little slugger or a little ballerina—and Brittany and I are split right down the middle on what to do. Obviously there are two schools of thought on this, and I’d like to present both to you without bias so you can develop an informed opinion of what we should do.

School #1: We Should Find Out. This school of thought helps you plan accordingly with names, clothes, softball positions, etc. You’re no longer hand-tied to greens and yellows, and can build a baby room based on cool themes like trucks or dragonflies instead of decorating it in fruit. As a mother, it helps you feel more connected to the child. As a father, it lets you know whether you’ll need a baseball bat to teach your son how to hit homers or a cheerleading baton to mercilessly beat any boy that so much as winks at your little princess.

The only con to this argument is that people may be over aggressive in their purchases, leaving you no neutral clothes for any future children you may have. Then again, all your children may be the same gender, so it wouldn’t really matter. Which bring us to …

School #2: We Should Keep It A Surprise. This school thought, of course, has the very important element of being THE DUMBEST SCHOOL OF THOUGHT I’VE EVER HEARD!

By now you’ve probably guessed which side of the fence I fall on—the logical, sensible side where you learn the sex of your baby—and which one Brittany falls on—the wrong side. I really don’t understand why anyone would wait nine months for an answer to a question that’s attainable at four. To put this in perspective, I like to think of it in these terms: Sure, you could wait until Christmas to ask for “Gilmore Girls” Season 1 on DVD, but why would you when, with a quick trip to Target, you could be watching it this Saturday night?

This argument seems to be ringing hallow around my house, though. For some insane reason, Brittany thinks that her opinion is more important than mine. She brings up senseless points like she is carrying the baby and she is dealing with constant back pain and she is going to have to push the baby out of her fun zone. She says all of this without taking into consideration that she is driving me crazy.

So I spent a few days doing some soul searching and trying to find a middle ground. I offered to have the doctor tell me only, so she would still be surprised. This was met with a welcoming “No way, Mr. Blabbermouth.” I even offered to do laundry for a year, though that deal fell through when I, not knowing what the washing machine looked like, attempted to shove our clothes into the hot-water heater.

That slick move officially lowered my voting power to 49%, just shy of what is needed to win a decision in our house.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that, even though I don’t agree, she does have a point. While a dad’s role is important, it’s not nearly as vital as mom’s. So far, Brittany has had to do all the hard work. She’s sacrificed many things—her energy, her figure, her dream of becoming a pole dancer—all while keeping up with her job and home life. And I admire that.

If this gift is something that means that much to her, I can suck it up for the next 4 months. Sure, it’ll be tough, but I can do it. After all, I love her. And, when the big day comes and Brittany’s ready to push, I hope the doctor looks up at both of us and relays the news I’ve been dying to hear since we passed on finding out the gender the first time:

“Oh my god, this baby has a giant head!”

Payback is hell, love. Payback is hell.


jennieb said...

wow...what a shame that i will know before you :) don't worry...we won't tell brittany!

kdg said...

What do you mean, "a slugger or a ballerina"? I've seen both you and Brittany hit, Brian. You're a much more convincing ballerina.

january said...

fun zone and pole dancer in the same post?
good thing that baby belly has slowed her down a great deal.

matt said...

As the first traitor to post, I say SURPRISE is the way to go. Besides, you can't send it back! And you will have twice as much material to debate on names. Who knows--you might need it on a "slow" week.

Laurie said...

Make it a surprise! Think of how exciting it will be when Brittany goes into labor - it's worth the wait! Besides, you can always decorate the room after you figure out the baby's personality! Maybe trucks aren't the way to go if it is a boy....

(Dan disagrees with me)

NKYGAL said...

My husband and I couldn't wait to find out both times. For us it was more about being able to refer to the baby as a 'he' or 'she', instead of 'it'. It was part of the bonding process between us and the babies.

Wise One said...

Well Well Well... the argument continues. I can totally understand both sides of the story but let me say:

1. It completely makes sense to not find out the sex of the baby. I mean this isn't a very important thing in your life so who really would want the extra prep time to get ready for it. It's like when I order a pizza... oh wait, thats important enough for me to know whats on it before it arrives. Strike that.

2. It's allowable for you to not know what the washing machine is but not the hot water heater. I recommend replacing "hot water heater" with "vacuum cleaner".

3. Thanks for not letting me die on Saturday, you're a good friend.

Theresa said...

Ultra sound was new when I was having my babies in the 80's so we never knew the sex of the baby. It was my husband who announced, "It's a boy!, It's a boy and it's a girl!" (I knew somehow what the sex was before they were born). Anyway, in the scheme of things, not knowing the sex is probably the least important thing to wonder about.