Conversations that couples probably did not have 50 years ago

Remember how we discussed the part where I tend to think way too much about the too-far-ahead future? And how GH usually humors me? Yeah, I've changed my mind about the humoring part.

Yesterday he decided to be clever and start doing an impression of me. (Note: in his impressions, I sound like I belong on Teen Girl Squad. It is important to know this so that you have a clear mental image.)

So. We have GH, mocking me in Teen Girl Squad voice. (And no, we were not even talking about babies, so don't ask me where this came from.)

GH: And what if one day we have a baby that is half-girl/half-BOY? What then? And we have to just decide right then what it's going to be! And what if we pick the wrong thing and the kid resents us for it. But we have to decide! We HAVE to decide!!!

Me: You think we're going to have a hermaphrodite kid?

GH: No, but it's something YOU probably worry about.

Me: Actually, that one hadn't occurred to me. Okay, I guess we'd have to pray and fast about whether it's actually a boy or a girl and tell the doctor which---

GH: Oh. We're definitely going to have them make it a girl.

Me: How come?

GH: We just are. Because it would look weird later if they started as a boy and then changed over to be a girl.

Me: Weirder than a girl who switched later to be a guy? Like that "guy" on Oprah who had the baby?

GH: What guy on Oprah? I have no idea what you're talking about.

Me: You know, the one who was born a girl but had a sex change but kept his reproductive organs so he could give birth later---

GH: ---Okay see now I'm uncomfortable, I don't want to talk about this any more. I only brought this up to make fun of you and you're taking it seriously and turning it into an actual discussion. This is not okay.


CoolBoy said... [reply]

Yeah, except that thing's totally not a guy, just a freakshow. Not having boobs doesn't make you a man. The whole uterus thing totally shoots down the man part of "pregnant man".

Anne said... [reply]

When I saw you had updated I was really hoping for a post about the fight hobbit-child tried to start yesterday during the Primary presentation. However, this is quite entertaining as well...and we should not allow our husbands to compare notes about how much we worry about ridiculous things.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Oh, I know!! Totally need to write about that shoving match, GH and I had to crouch down for fear that everyone would see us laughing.

Audra said... [reply]

You now may have manifested yourself a hermaphrodite child and it is all GH's fault!

The good news is... you have a plan!

Jenny said... [reply]

girl turns boy, saves uterus and claims to be man birthing child? Wow. Where do you GET this stuff?!
Totally trumped teen girl squad.

Giggles said... [reply]

I've actually wondered what I would do if one of my children were born that way. And I think I brought it up to my boyfriend too. He'd never heard of that happening though, so that conversation didn't get to far.

Science Teacher Mommy said... [reply]

Too much biology for me--I've worried at least once during each pregnancy that junior would be a hermaphrodite. Seeing that little bat and balls three times has been very reassuring.

Azúcar said... [reply]

"This is not OK"

Giggle-snort. Don't OPEN the can of WORMS GH or there will be hell to pay.

goddessdivine said... [reply]

Hermaphrodite children......

Yeah, uh, don't know what to say to that one.

*word conf: ladiest. (Nice.)

Audrey said... [reply]

OH MY GOSH. My husband and I have had this conversation, and it was totally me who was worried about having a hermaphrodite child. And we've only been married four months and are nowhere near pregnant... so he is pretty much a saint for putting up with me.

Really, I can't think of a worse thing to have to deal with. With other birth defects, at least you know what you're dealing with and of course it would be hard but you'd educate yourself and do the best you can. But with this, holy crap. How am I supposed to decide if the baby is supposed to be a boy or a girl? And what if I guess wrong? And then the kid hits puberty and they hate me not just because they're going through puberty and are heinous in general, but also because they were raised as a girl and are now sprouting facial hair (or were raised as a boy and are now sprouting breasts). And then they go through SERIOUS gender confusion throughout their life. Yikes.

Giggles said... [reply]

While you're worrying about thinking way too much, have you considered what to do with your online stuff when you die? (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104024294&ft=1&f=2)

I haven't actually written my blog into my will yet, but I have ensured that the people who need to get at my accounts when I'm dead can. I don't want someone to keep sending me emails after I'm dead and think I'm really rude for not replying just because they don't know I'm dead.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Yeah, I think that's why in all the headlines they refer to him/her as a "man."

Audra, it's nice at least knowing where to put the blame.

Jenny, I get it from Oprah. You know all good things come from there . . .

Giggles, how has he never heard of it in a world where Lifetime television exists? Unless he's not WATCHING Lifetime, which, okay . . .

STM, did they x-ray for underdeveloped ovaries? Did they???

Azucar, I know, right? I mean, HE'S the one who brought it up and then it quickly became less-than-fun for him.

Nemesis said... [reply]

Goddess divine, I'm going to put the hermaphrodite children back on the shelf of "things to NOT waste precious time worrying about when there are so many other, more pressing and real things to worry about, like when my daughters should start wearing makeup."

Audrey, it looks like you can do my worrying for me, which is a load off my mind! I'm sure GH will thank you too. :-)

Oooooooh, Giggles, this is a very important thing to consider!!

Anonymous said... [reply]

At quite a junction here. I love reading your blog, but am a little sad by this one. Maybe the comments about "things" and "its" as though hermaphrodites or transsexuals aren't humans. I know that some people of faith don't agree with transsexuals and the like, but it doesn't mean people have to be hateful and hurtful. Just sayin'.

Audra said... [reply]

Oh, and it just occurred to me... with the advnaces of DNA testing, they can test the DNA to see the biological basis of the babies gender... so you can stop worrying now! So if your child blames you at a later date for a "wrong decision" you can just say it was DNA!

chosha said... [reply]

Personally if I had a hermaphrodite child I would gender them male, because it's much easier to remove male genitalia later if they identify as female than to regret removing it if they identify as male. And most children know their gender identity before puberty, so there would be plenty of time to make the decision before puberty makes it all more complicated.

CoolBoy: Thomas Beatie is a transgender man and never claimed to be a biological male. Gender Identity Disorder...feel free to educate yourself. If Nemesis and GH have a hermaphrodite child, you might be glad you did. :)

CoolBoy said... [reply]

chosha - I was writing based on his international title "The Pregnant Man", bestowed upon him by Oprah, whether or not she used it herself.

And I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

T-M-F - In the interest of not having to type "he/she", "the child", or "the individual" and potentially causing offense to a hermaphrodite or transsexual that should read this blog, which English-language pronoun would you suggest be used? This seems more like a language inefficiency than intentional dehumanization or insensitivity.

Sean said... [reply]

Audra, classic human chromosomal gender is XX for females and XY for males. But there are other combinations (such as XXY) that make DNA just as iffy a basis for assigning gender as visible genitalia. There are also conditions such as mosaicism and chimerism in which a portion of the body's cells are one sex and another portion are a different sex. And finally, there are situations where the individual has a classic XX or XY chromosomal sex but has a hormonal condition that leads to feminization or virilization of the visible sex characteristics.

Just more evidence that the gender binary we cling to is an illusion. The sooner we ditch it, the better, I say!

Anonymous said... [reply]

Cool Boy, I simply thing instead of saying "that thing's totally not a guy" you could have said, "that person's not totally a guy". I will allow everyone their own opinion about the matter. But I have a hard time listening to someone's opinion when they can't even respect another person enough to call them a person. Thomas Beatie is not a "thing" no matter how much you disagree with him or his decisions.

Ms Nem - there's a book called Middlesex, won a whole bunch of awards. Good read, not a "freakshow" parade or anything. Just a really intersting fictional read about intersex/hermaphoditism 50 years ago.

Lady Susan said... [reply]

Actually, this concern isn't completely unfounded. This American Life recently had an episode ("Somewhere Out There"), where they talked about two transgendered kids--born boys but preferred to be girls(Act Two). After listening to it, I seriously thought about how I would respond as a parent.


The rest of the show is great and deserves as listen.

tamathy said... [reply]

There is the option of leaving the child the way they were created and letting them decide.
The thing to remember though is that no matter how late you stay up every night worrying over all the possibilities and planning how you'll fix or deal with them - your kids are going to come up with the one thing you (and maybe no one else in history of the world) could have ever thought of- to worry you sick, break your heart or just make you crazy. Just count on it. But you'll get through it. You have GH and you both have the gospel and a great sense of humor. Instead of worrying -practice laughing at everything- like you're insane. I promise this will be a valuable skill when you are a parent. Though from your post I'm confident it's one you already possess.

Katie said... [reply]

You don't know me, but I am Audra's sister-in-law, so Hi. We had this whole conversation last week where I was like, "You KNOW Nemesis?! Like, in real life?!"

Just had to say that in the new-mom-extreme-paranoia that I experienced after giving birth to my first son, even after he checked out as being perfectly healthy I still had this fear that they were going to find out he had ovaries or something.

Thank goodness the worrying lessened with each child.

Pie said... [reply]

ROFL... GH pulled thise "what-if" scenario directly from a House episode! Bwhahahaha!!!

WV: nematif... occurs in the unlikely event Miss Nemesis has not formulated an opinion on something/anything ;)

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