It started after I had my second baby (a boy) to follow my first baby (a girl).
“Oh, you got a pigeon pair!” people would say.”Congratulations!” Sometimes they’d add, “Well done!”
What am I supposed to say? Thanks? I didn’t actually “do” anything to have one child of each sex. I had a 50 per cent chance of that happening naturally, so the odds were pretty good. I didn’t fly overseas and go through some expensive gender selection process. I didn’t even try modifying my diet or changing sex positions to increase my chances of having a boy the second time around.
No, I honestly didn’t give a f***. I just wanted another baby.
What bugs me about it is that people think I would care. That I would welcome my second child with extra joy because he was a boy. That somehow I would want him more and love him more, just because of what was between his legs. That I would feel self-satisfied, as if my job as a mother was complete.
I've seen what's happened to friends with a boy and a girl when they've announced they're having a third child. Some people are totally baffled. Why would you even try, when you've got the boy and the girl? What more could you possibly want?
To me, parenthood isn't about some set of boxes to tick. Husband? Yep. Son? Yep. Daughter? Yep. Dog? Yep. Done.
My two children have already brought me so much joy. I've watched them take their first wobbly steps, seen them run their fastest at the school athletics carnival (and still come last), and felt proud as they danced, slightly out of step, at the school assembly. I've heard them say their first words, listened to them tell me I'm the nicest mum in the world (and the meanest), and praised their poems that don't quite rhyme. I've felt a thrill every time I've measured their height on the doorway in the kitchen and seen they've grown. I've kept their drawings, from the random scribbles to the ones where all the trees and flowers have complex root systems. I've felt them hug me so tight they nearly choke me, and I've welcomed them into my bed in the mornings, cold feet and all.
Of course they've caused me stress and pain too. I've lain awake at night, listening to their breathing. I've felt their foreheads. I've rushed them to the hospital. I've kissed every body part better, a hundred times over. I've struggled through their homework with them. I've worried that other kids at school are being mean to them and wondered what I can do to fix it for them.
Here's a video showing how adorable siblings can be. Post continues after the video.
There's so much more ahead for me and my children, so much more that I'm looking forward to and so much more that I fear. But not one time have I smugly thought, "Well, at least I've got my boy and my girl."
When it comes down to what parenthood is all about, the true joys and the true sorrows, gender doesn't enter into it.
So don't insult me by congratulating me on a pigeon pair. Just congratulate me on having two kids.
Have you had comments from people about a pigeon pair?