Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Being Replaced

Back in 2007, once this whole having a baby thing came into fruition, I really wanted a girl. Why? I don't know. I'm not particularly girly myself, but I thought it would be fun.

Then I had a girl, who is a complete daddy's girl and she can be a little too dramatic for my tastes. All my friends had these quiet, gurgling, content baby boys who wanted to be by them every second. Then I thought that a mama's boy would be kind of cool (grass is always greener).

Then I realized the terrors that some boys can be. Not so much the psychological terrors (girls still have that covered), but rather the terrors that literally climb the curtains and throw breakable stuff and draw on furniture with magic markers and look at you like you're nuts when you point out that any of these behaviors are unacceptable. THAT kind of terror that lands you in the emergency room far too frequently and causes you to lock or super glue everything in sight.

Then I came to appreciate having a girl - a thoughtful, non-reckless girl - again. If you come to my house now, most of the time you wouldn't realize we had a kid if you removed the kid books and few toys lying out. There are no cabinet locks, there are no toilet locks, breakables are sitting out, our trees are completely decorated and she doesn't mess with them unless she wants to look at an ornament. Of course, friends with little children who are terrors are mortified at the 5,233 ways a kid can hurt himself at our house.

Then I again see the attachment that little boys have with their moms and get a bit whimsical that I don't have a little boy.

And then, and then...

I realize what a strange, odd, peculiar dynamic that some mothers have with their sons and daughters-in-law if their sons get married or are in a serious relationship. It's as if the wife and mother are vying for the affection of the husband/son. At what point does the mother let go or, in some cases, does she ever let go? At what point will the mother realize that she shouldn't be washing his laundry and that her role has changed from caretaker/authoritarian to something more like a friend who should stay out of her son's personal life? Sure, she can give advice if asked, but at what point does she realize that the essence of her "job" as a mother is complete and she can take a well-deserved step back and appreciate the person she helped shape without treating him like he's still a child who can't make decisions for himself?

Not that I would be dealing with and/or observing this behavior at all, you know, with the in-laws in town or anything like that.... 

So now I'm back in the camp that having a girl ROCKS because I don't have to deal with this with her potential suitors. Well, I'm sure I will have to deal with her potential suitors, but I don't see me coming between her and her potential suitor in the same way that mothers can feel threatened by their sons' girlfriends/wives. You see, my reflections on her suitor(s) will be things revolving around her personal safety - do I get the drug dealer vibe from him, do I get the violent vibe from him, etc. I don't think I'll be having the same issues that I might be having if I had a boy. Then my thought process might go something like: I've been his whole world for a decade and a half, and now I'm being replaced by this two-bit floozy who can't even multiply single digits without face strain??? 

Instead, my husband gets to deal with all of those psychological "being replaced" fears while I'm the cool and collected one for once.

It's good to have a girl.


Wendy said...

Definitely good to have a girl. :) Girls rock!

Quietly Subversive said...

Most of the time, unless they're being particularly diva-like.

Wendy said...

Ah, but is diva part of being a girl? Because mine is particularly prissy.

Quietly Subversive said...

Soooo prissy. She matches my husband very well in prissiness. :)