My husband and I sat together patiently while my exposed belly was being reviewed by my doctor via ultrasound.
I was 32 weeks pregnant, had been on bed rest for almost three weeks, but the doctor said things were looking up. This was the one appointment when I forgot to remind her that we didn’t want to know the sex of the baby. This was also one of the only appointments to which my husband was able to make it.
“Everything is looking good, she looks great,” said my doctor.
I gasped. “You didn’t just tell me the sex of the baby did you?”
She closed her eyes in regret. “You didn’t want to know, did you?”
I assured her that I did not.
I glanced over at my husband who had tears streaming down his face. He was thrilled.
Don’t get me wrong, I was too. I admit that I had my doubts about the accuracy of the ultrasound machine and waited to celebrate until that little one actually entered the world.
These days I am thinking that my husband’s tears were not tears of joy, but tears of fear.
Three and a half years after that ultrasound, our house is overrun with estrogen. I knew that I would be in charge of the puberty talks, the boy talks, and any other “mom-only” talks once we had two girls. Dads just don’t have those conversations with little girls. Granted, we are still some time away from those conversations, but my husband and I are getting a small dose of what PMS will be like in our house in a few years.
My girls are emotional wrecks. They get set off at the easiest thing. You don’t like what we are having for dinner? Cry. You don’t want to clean up and get ready for bed? Cry. You don’t want to wash your hair tonight? Cry.
If we keep them up one minute past their bedtime, they turn into these crazy little monsters who run all over the house. Cute monsters, but crazy nonetheless.
Don’t mistake all the crying for what you think it is. My kids are not crybabies . . . they are pre-PMSing. They cry over girl stuff. I explained this to a mom friend of mine the other day whose daughter just turned 3. Women cry at everything, right? When it’s that time of month, forget it! We will cry if the wrong team wins the Super Bowl (i.e. not the San Francisco 49ers), we will cry when the guy in the drive-thru at In-N-Out gets our order wrong, we will cry if there is no ice cream in the freezer.
Just because my little people haven’t experienced puberty yet doesn’t mean they don’t have the same emotions as their older counterparts. They have estrogen. They get emotional. They get mad. They can be downright nasty to anyone who crosses their path at the wrong time of day. Sometimes they cross each others’ paths at the wrong time at the same time. I can’t believe I haven’t broken up a chick fight yet.
There’s not enough room in our house for all this estrogen lately, so I have decided to let mine go for a while. It’s not fair for my husband to have to deal with three emotional women. I am going to play it cool and not ask him if he thinks I am fat, I won’t ask him to run to the store to buy a gallon of chocolate ice cream and I won’t snap at him when he tries to make a joke that doesn’t sit well with me.
I guess in a way, I am going to be a dude for a while. It won’t be easy because I really don’t know how to be a dude. We’ll see how long it lasts because I am pretty sure there is a chocolate ice cream craving right around the corner.
Angela Borchert is a freelance writer who lives in Vacaville. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.