When Grandmas Attack: 10 things to say to complaints over unknown baby gender

08Jul08
Only suckers know the gender in advance

You can always go with the name Chris.

My wife and I are in the overwhelming minority in that we chose not to find out about the gender of our baby before birth. Apparently this makes us Amish.

I’ll admit I’m sometimes kind of old school – I’m more of a Sean Connery Bond guy than a Roger Moore, and certainly not that blond ugly dude. But I digress.

To me, this is a chance for an experience shared across the generations. My dad didn’t know, his dad didn’t know, and so on, for hundreds of generations – why should I be the one to break tradition?

There are also too few total surprises left in life anymore. At least too few good ones.

And finally, my secret reason – it allows me to root for my preferred outcome all the way up until the end. (I will not reveal my preferred outcome in case my offspring read this later.)

For the first kid especially, there’s really no good reason to find out, other than to fuel the economy. No medical reason, no need to find out to determine whether you should keep the clothes from your first kid – none at all. Some say that it allows you to begin bonding with your child and think in terms of she/he instead of an it. Others say it helps you get to a name quicker. If anything, it makes me nervous to count my chickens, personally.

The main benefit to knowing is that people buy you more stuff sooner (and probably more junk overall), since it’s more fun to buy mini-sports jerseys or pink dresses than yellow onesies. But I am completely confident in my family’s ability to spring to action and respond with an unsurpassed shopping fervor that delivers everything we need to our doorstep in a few days. It’s called the Internet, people.

There is only one truly defensible reason to find out the gender for your first child – because not knowing will drive your parents absolutely crazy. (I realize for others this will be a good reason NOT to find out.)

They want to buy/knit/sculpt pink or blue things SO badly, that they’re willing to say ridiculous things to you to convince you. One family member said she’d pay us if we let her call and ask our obstetrician, and noted she’d make sure we didn’t find out if that was still what we wanted.

So I’ve created this list of ten responses to use on parents and others who complain or act shocked that you won’t find out the gender until birth. Feel free to use the ideas or to print out and fend off grandparents with a rolled up copy.

10. “No speaka the English.”

9. “This is your punishment for not investing my college money in Apple or letting me spend my late teens following the Grateful Dead.”

8. “We will be announcing the gender the second Tuesday of next week.”

7. “That information is available only to our Silver Sponsors, those who have donated over $100,000 toward our child’s education.”

6. “It’s a boyrl.”

5. “We don’t care if it’s a boy or girl. We only care that it’s healthy – and doesn’t resemble you.”

4. “How about this – I’ll tell you the gender now if you tell me now who’s getting the house when you kick it.”

3. “I promise you’ll be the seventh to know.”

2. “Back off or we’ll send you the meconium diapers.”

1. “Why the sudden interest in gender? You never seemed to care about MY gender when you sent me to day camp in white girly-looking sandals.”

Ahem. I hate those photographs.

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2 Responses to “When Grandmas Attack: 10 things to say to complaints over unknown baby gender”

  1. 1 jhoetzl

    Excellent list! We were always asked “Is it a boy or a girl?” Our response – Yes…let them think about it for a while…

    We did the same although I honestly had no preference – she is healthy and came out screaming – that is all I asked for.

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