Not Trying for a Girl

It's my fifth child's birthday today. My darling Ginger Fat Boy is 9. He is not really ginger and definitely not fat. But he is a boy and when I was pregnant with him people could absolutely not believe it.

"But you've already got a girl." they'd say. As if I'd kept having babies, even after three boys,  just to get a daughter.
bubbles copyright madmumof7.comI'll admit I was delighted when I found out baby number four was a girl. I actually couldn't believe it. I had hankered after a daughter as most women do.

I imagined girly days, hair plaiting, nail painting, shopping trips, chatty lunches, pink, sparkly things and lots of shoes and handbags and dresses to co-ordinate for my little princess.

Except it turned out she really prefers climbing trees and wearing comfy hoodies in any colour but pink. She does quite like having her nails done and loves shopping but would turn her nose up at any dress and is more likely to spend her pocket money on furry things with googly eyes than hair accessories. She did ask for her ears to be pierced when she was 10 much to our surprise but favours rubber spiky things in her ears rather than the sparkly, dangly things I wear.

Perfect- the future of my husbands family name looked secure for another generation and there was a bonus in the shape of a bubbly, beautiful daughter for me.  Everyone thought I'd achieved my ambition and fully expected me to pack away the maternity pants and get on with the less than easy business of raising four children.

Hmm - they didn't know me very well did they? To be fair, we didn't really plan to have any more but well, things change and after a few years when everyone but me and DH had decided we were done with reproducing I announced we were expecting another bundle of joy!

"But you've already got a girl!?!"

"Yes, I know. And maybe I'll get another one and maybe I won't." I'd reply. As it happened I did have another girl, but not until after Ginger Fat Boy was born.

boy in monkey shirt copyright madmumof7.comMy second daughter really is girly complete with a passion for clothes and shoes and blessed with hair that is even longer and more fun to play with than that on my slightly creepy old  Girl's World styling head. But I was still broody - and luckily for me so was DH.

After getting pregnant with baby number 7 however no-one asked if I was trying for a girl. They just looked at me with the sort of horrified face you reserve for terrible health news or an unexpectedly high electricity bill. Or laughed slightly hysterically and backed away as if my madness was infectious.

Back to Ginger Fat Boy. So called because when he was barely out of me, being dangled unceremoniously over my rapidly deflating belly on the operating table, one of the attending midwives announced with a slight tone of disgust:"Oh -he's a ginger!"

He does have some strawberry blonde tones in his hair but sadly the older he gets the less you can see it.  It's most obvious when his hair is wet and when it's just been cut.

Another time I'll tell you more about some of the other nicknames in our family - Monkey Boy,  Papaya Stinkerbell Onion, Moo-Moo.... But for now - Happy Birthday Ginger Fat Boy.

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