As soon as we announced that we were having a baby all of our friends and family would ask me what I wanted the baby’s sex to be. I would answer honestly that all I wanted was to that we receive a healthy baby, sporting all ten toes and fingers, and that hopefully it gets it’s looks from its mother. Wishing for the baby to be one of the other wasn’t a big deal to me, I never found myself to be partial a boy or a girl; I just wanted Stacy to have a beautiful pregnancy and I would let fate decide what it would sport between its legs. Only later would I discover that subconsciously I had been favoring a side.
I decided to throw a party and join together what is always the tornado of our two families together for a gender reveal party. I had seen pictures and read stories about people hosting this type of party and thought that it would be a fun event for our family. Also, a big part of this would be avoiding any kind of angst from either side of the family as to which set of grandparents would be informed of the baby’s sex first. Nobody can get mad if we all discover it together. I had a feeling there may have been some frustration when we first announced that we were pregnant, as one set learned before the other, so we were going to avoid this at all costs.
The Thursday before the party, Stacy and I went to her doctor and the ultrasound was performed. We got to see the baby on one of the nicest ultrasound machines I have seen to date, and we also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat. This is something that is really special and hits me in a weird way. I’m normally pretty unemotional, but you let me hear the sound of the baby’s heartbeat and there will be tears. The small, manly, solely for the purpose of beard lubrication type, but tears nonetheless. It’s something out of the an episode of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” where Dennis is explaining to Mac how he’s feeling feelings again. Here’s a link for those of you who aren’t familiar. I swear it’s all of the hormones flying around my house.
At the end of the ultrasound session the tech handed me two envelopes, one that contained a note for me to take to our baker, and the second held a picture of the ultrasound pointing out it the baby’s gender. I knew that I was the only one out of the two of us who could be trusted with the ever important job of delivering the top secret note to the baker as Stacy would most certainly have opened the both envelopes as quickly as she hit the road asphalt ending of the parking lot, and I would have received a “Hey baby. . . I kinda did something bad. . .” telephone call. By the way, our baker rides a Harley to work and we had a conversation about how badly she wishes she would delivery cakes on said Harley. Yes, our baker at Cakes Etc. kicks your baker’s ass.
On Saturday our families would join together at our house. Stacy’s would show up first and I would make sure to delay the bringing out of the food until 2:00 pm in order to avoid by brother-in-law eating all of the pinwheel sandwiches before the other guests arrived. It’s a precaution I’ve learned that you have to take because that man can put down some food. Holiday’s with Jeff are my favorite because I get to watch the with wonder and awe as he can literally eat massive amounts of food from sun up to sun down, never requiring a nap, ne’re a mention of being so stuffed he cannot move. Jeff simply carries on as if it’s his Christmas duty to clear that plate of cookies. And Jeff isn’t a big guy, tall yes, but he does not sport a big belly nor the health problems that you would expect of someone who can eat like that. I should probably say that he’s really really good looking and smooth with the ladies if by chance he actually reads this blog.
I was very strict with holding that no one was allowed to see the cake until the moment that we were going to cut it, and you can imagine how extremely hard this was to do with two nagging soon-to-be Mother-in-Laws who both were both trying to see if they could spot a thin part of the cake’s icing allowing them to get a glance of pink or blue before anyone else. I had busted my butt in setting all of this up and we were all going to learn at the exact same time dammit. Small talk was made and a fruit and veggie try devoured and it was finally time to bring out the cake. I brought the box out onto the table and opened it finally giving everyone a full view. It was a very pretty and simple cake, almost too pretty to eat, covered in white icing, sporting pink and blue fondant circles adorning the phrase “He or She, What Will It Be?.” This was the question that seemed to bring a hint of anxiety into my body. I made sure to move my two nephews to the opposite side of the table where the rest of the family was in order to avoid little fingers spoiling big discoveries. Nothing against my nephews, but you can’t trust a kid around a cake, they are programmed to shove their hands in it and cover their faces. It’s in the manual somewhere.
Stacy and I joined hands behind the table facing the crowd of family members who all wore anxious faces. I turned to her and asked if she was ready, she signaled “yes” with a nod on her head and leaned in to give me a quick peck on the cheek. I suddenly became extremely nervous. My hand joined her’s on the handle of our off brand cook knife and it started to shake and sweat while I put my other hand around her side. Why was I getting so worried? I hadn’t been concerned with what the baby’s gender would be until now. We raised both of our hands up together and quickly sliced the first cut into the unsuspecting cake. Nothing. We pulled the knife out of the cake and to our surprise there not one single blue or pink crumb indicating the gender and allowing us to commence celebrating. “Cut a big piece!” my Aunt Judi yelled out. Stacy quickly took the command and slammed both of our hands down issuing the second blow to the cake. Once again I could not see anything other than the white icing of the cake. Stacy then let out an excited “OH YAY!” followed by, “IT”S A GIRL!!!!” Excitement set in on me as I quickly hugged and kissed Stacy, a few more of those beard lubricating tears showed up, and I repeated Stacy’s excited declaration and followed it with “oh shit. . . boyfriends,” in my head. My dad looked right at me at this moment and I swear he was reading my mind and through The Force communicated “Yep, that’s only one of the many worries you’re going to have.” “A little girl? Matt, you don’t know anything about little girls!” rang through my head. Right then I realized that subconsciously I had decided that we were having a little boy based solely on the fact that I know things that little boys like as I used to be one. I was scared and elated at the same time.
Now don’t take this as I am not excited that we are having a girl, because I don’t think I can truly explain my level of excitement. I was so excited to sit at home and later that night told Stacy that we had to go to Target that night and buy some little girl clothes because we had been waiting for FOREVER to know what gender we could buy for. I gathered up all CDs of female lead rock ‘n’ roll bands, I’ve even went and made the decision that we will paint our 1976 Dodge van pink or purple if my daughter actually wants to drive around in the thing one day.
The thing that scares me is the objectification of women in our society today. It’s the stuff that I had a stance on before, but now with the new knowledge that I’ll be bringing a little girl into this world, it frustrates me more. Ever since Stacy yelled out “It’s a girl,” I’ve had a different view on the world. While standing in the checkout line with my four packs of mesquite turkey and a bag of mushrooms I found myself to be more concerned with how scantily clad the woman on the front of Cosmo was. I repeat to myself more and more the fact that these women are someone’s daughter. Don’t get Stacy or I started on the Hardee’s commercials. I was talking with my boss about this and he only solidified the worry by responding with, “Oh you just wait, the beach will no longer be fun for you.”
Not to be a total downer, but we live in a pretty crappy society today, one where narcissism runs rampant and people are looked at more for the clothes they wear on their backs than the goodness they have in their hearts. Women work their butts off in a world where they are payed 30% less than men who do the same damn job they do! It also frustrates me that every piece of baby clothing that features puppy dog designs is blue. Can I get some gender neutral puppy designs y’all? Is that too much to ask? Are you saying that only boys love puppies because that is a lie! Just ask my wife.
God I hope I’m not an overprotective parent. But I know that this little girl is going to be made up of a combination DNA of her mother and father, two very hardheaded people who don’t take a lot of crap from others. I know she’ll be smart and independent just like her mom, and on top of that she’ll have an amazing heart. I’m excited to bring this little girl into the world, I feel like it’s something that I was meant to do. I had someone tell me “I’m being such a woman” about this whole pregnancy the other day. If that’s your view of it then yes, yes I am. I have not been this excited about something since the day that I said yes to Stacy on a Autumn covered mountain in Huntsville. More excited that I was before any show Fistful of Beard (my old band for my new followers) ever played in the four years we were together. I’m more excited that the one time Matt Skiba looked at me right in the eye and nodded in appreciation for the way I was partying in the pit once in Atlanta. Scared, but excited. I’ll deal with the boyfriends when we get to that part in life, right now I’m going to get used to liking pink.