Tuesday, July 14, 2009


“At least he doesn’t have to wax, unless he turns out to be one of those metrosexual cleavage-flaunting weirdos,” I thought and sighed, amid cries of “Congratulations, it’s a healthy baby boy!” at Breach Candy hospital, where I was attended to by an all-boy doctor squad. Since I was rooting all along for a girl, in this column and otherwise, I was a tad disappointed. The husband however made me see the brighter side. “Now you have two men to bash in your column instead of one,” he said. Ah well, we’ll see. Anyway, the bloke has inherited my curly mop and my cleft chin, so that’s reassuring, I thought.

J however made me feel better about the new Y chromosome in my life. “Look at it this way. The good looking guys get the girls, the nerds get the good jobs. He sure has the looks, and he will have the intelligence, at least genetically, unless he screws it up by not reading, or some such. So he will get the girls and the jobs. That’s a win-win. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the hymen.”

Shudder. I never thought of a girl so metaphorically, but he had a point. “Believe me, if she is pretty, the day she steps out in those short skirts, you’ll start having them palpitations, and make dagger eyes at all within vision,” he further explained. He also believes that for a girl, not getting a prom date (God forbid) leaves a deeper scar than a boy not making it to the school football team. Trust J to always come up with a gender theory for everything.

His theory, and it suits me fine, is that since it’s a boy, the job of making him a man is not mine—all I have to do is see him through infancy, and then it’s up to the father. So whether it’s football or cricket practice, archery, or whatever is cool then, it’s not my responsibility, so that’s kind of cool.

Although I’d rather his elegant fingers pick up guitar strings or a paint brush, rather than a Play Station controller, it’s a risk I have to live with. “At least there’s 50% of me, so it can’t be all that bad,” is my only consolation to myself. But each day, as we (father, son, and I ) do family time, I am constantly wondering whether the ambient sounds of Elder Scrolls Oblivion (the husband’s latest PS3 addiction) is going to subliminally corrupt the mind of the infant.

The simple fact is, every boy wants to be exactly like his father or exactly unlike him. Both ways, the dad is a great role model. We’ll see. At least that’s what they call having your boy and having you too.

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