So now that people know you're having a baby, the next level of absurdity is asking about the child's gender... two days after your first scan. "Do you know if it's a boy or a girl"... "Ummmm... no!" You say with the politest of voices and avoiding even hinting at the slightest bit of annoyance or surprise at the question. "How could you know the gender in the first few weeks of conception... don't you know that takes a while!", you wonder at the silliness of it all.
"Oh, ok!", they respond with a bit of disappointment. Then, maybe, just maybe, if they are interested in keeping the conversation going (which most of them always are), they will move on to the next line of questioning, trying to pry out of you that elusive gender, still hoping and wondering whether you're hiding something from them. "But surely you must have a preference... what do you want?" Now, this is a catch-22; there is no right answer. No matter what you say, you are going to be made to feel that you shouldn't have said it.
"I would prefer a boy", you say... "But what's wrong with a girl? Why would you not want to have a girl? Do you not like girls?" "Of course I like girls... I married one, didn't I? You asked for my preference and I am telling you!"
"I would rather have a girl first"... "Oh, how come? Isn't it better to have a boy first; wouldn't a boy first be a good thing? You could play sport with him and if you do get to a second one, he would be there to take care of his little sister"... Really? Why does it make a difference?
"We don't really care. We just want a healthy and happy baby. Whichever comes first is ok with us." Now you can't get more neutral than that, can you? You would think so; but no, there too lies a non-satisfactory answer. "Oh, come on! That's so weak. Surely you guys have a preference. That is such a non-answer.... Tell us, tell us..."
You just won't win! You give up and just say, "We are having twins; a boy and a girl... we are so happy to have both"
The conversation is still going, and you're starting to wonder why; you're hoping the topic moves away from your unborn child that is still about 6-7 months away from making its appearance in this world. The child hasn't even been born yet and he/she is the focus of so much attention; what's going to happen when it actually does arrive... Well, at least some of these questions will stop, but then you wonder which other ones will crop up...
Returning to the conversation, the next question focuses on the names for kids... Again, a long way away from birth and people are wondering what you would call your little one. "Surely you guys have thought of names; you would call your boy [XX] and if it were a girl, you would call her [YY]". Again you insist that you haven't reached that stage yet and will be thinking of names when you find out whether you're having a girl or boy. It's something you would think of later. They just don't buy it... "Is it going to start with a K? A? T? At least tell us the alphabet you guys are thinking of... Come on, don't be like that. Give us a hint. We are dying to know... and maybe that way we can even figure out if it is a boy or a girl" Why! Why does it matter, you wonder. "We will name him Apple or North", you joke, to try and get another absurd response or an admonishment.
"You're joking, right? How can you name your child Apple?"
You grin and say, "Of course I'm not kidding. What's wrong with that? If the Kardashians and Gwyneth Paltrow can come up with names such as those, why do our kids need to be different? And then, if I do name the child Apple, he or she will truly be the 'apple of my eye'". And as you say these words, you can see the shock and horror unfold on their face. And then you can't help but smile at your pure evil and deceiving mind...
For those of you parents-to-be out there, don't succumb to these societal pressures and norms. For the relatives and friends of the parents-to-be, leave them alone. I am sure if they wanted to tell you something, they would do so without any qualms or hesitation. After all, what's in a name! And why can't you just wait to be pleasantly surprised?
For those of you following my series, up next will be the absurdity and ridiculousness that is baby shopping. The stores and brands that peddle some of this stuff have made an industry of instilling fear in the parents-to-be... you need this; you need that... your baby won't survive without this... a billion dollar industry has been born purely on this sense of fear and paranoia!
P.S. We are not naming our little one Apple and nor are we calling the child North!