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My good friend, a fellow mom of two boys, recently shared the good news that she's pregnant with number three. As she leaned over her coffee cup to tell me the details, I could see that she was fighting back tears. "Is everything okay?" I asked.
"Yes, the baby's healthy," she said, and then, after a big sigh, "but it's another boy."
Now, this is not the first time that I've had this conversation -- not even with this particular friend, who has wanted a girl from the first time her pregnancy test was positive. And the so-called "war against boys" and the gender "genius gap" has been brewing for years, related primarily to stats that say boys are less likely to succeed in school.
Since when did boys become the consolation prize? Some say that because moms-to-be are women, they want what they know. One friend, a mom of two boys, copped to wanting a "mini me" because she feels she'll understand her better. Another said she wants a girl because she wants to have a close friendship with her, like the one that she has with her mom. "There are so many things that I love about my relationship with my mom that I want to carry on. I want to experience what her side of our relationship has been."
Then there are the stereotypes that peg girls as "easier" than boys -- at least in the beginning. They color and read and play with dolls, while boys jump on couches, race around the house and don’t stop moving until you tranquilize them with TV and toss them into bed. And, of course, there's the clothing factor -- no matter what anyone says, with boys you'll always have to weed through the "Lil' Slugger" t-shirts to find something you like.
But are these reasons enough to relegate boys to second place? Isn’t it enough to just hope for a healthy baby? I have two boys and often get questioned if I’ll have a third child, hoping it'll be a girl. I don't -- I love my boys. Sure, my neighbor has two adorable, well-behaved girls that never seem to scream or cry and can play "tea party" for hours on end. But I’ll take my crazy, hilarious boys, with their jumping and running and dancing and fighting and singing any day. Because they’re mine. And the good news is that what you get is what you’ll love.