Tuesday, March 25, 2008

About wanting a boy and having a girl!

I have been forever wanting to write about the fact that I never really wanted Ruhi when I conceived her. I wanted to record it so that I would forever and ever be compelled to rub my nose against the ground for being so wrong in my stubborn desires when life had already created a plot and a screenplay for me as usual. 

I finally got down to it for Roop's brilliant initiative unwantedgirlchild

Here goes...

I got married very late and with almost a decade of a difference between my husband's age and mine, he was very eager to start a family immediately.

I of course couldn't care less and wanted to enjoy every bit of my new found freedom that one simple act of walking out of my father's house had brought into my life. Right from chopping off my hair to late nights to traveling the world to wearing whatever or nothing at all, I was loving it all. And then suddenly one fine Sunday afternoon in the year 2001, I discovered the party was over and that I was pregnant.

I felt none of the celebrated euphoria of discovering impending motherhood. Instead I was confused, panic stricken and unhappy. Specially when from size 8 I started graduating upwards to monstrous proportions. The only thing that brightened up my days was the thought of a little boy with whom I would play football in the park, go chasing crows and squirrels and do all those wicked things that little boys do. I just could not imagine bringing up a baby girl. Pink and pretty things, dolls and preening was just not my kind of thing.

In my final months of pregnancy, the doc pointed to a dark bundle on my ultrasound and said that was the baby scratching its bum. I was elated ! Its got to be a boy who goes scratching his privates and I pictured a rowdy crop of hair and a tiny pug nose as they pushed down the spinal injection before I was ready to be cut open. When I woke up my husband was peering over my face with an expression of such delight that I have no words to explain till date. He had a plump, pink baby in his arms and he whispered 'Its a girl". I felt a pall descend and I felt anger, frustration, disbelief. I had lived each day of the last few months with that pug nosed boy who looks like mowgli. It took me days to come to terms with the fact that it was a daughter I was going to bring up.

My husband was shocked by my reaction. He understood it as a 'typical' reaction where most women in India desire to bear sons. He was ashamed that I unabashedly admitted to all and sundry that I was disappointed to have a daughter. Six years down the line I am madly in love with my daughter and my world revolves around her. Three years ago when my son was born I  I already knew it was a boy ( my doctor told me happily but discretely in my fifth month of pregnancy and its very easy to know as I found out).

I had a small hope in my heart that it would be a second girl. My daughter has brought such love, kindness, honesty and goodness in my life that I cannot imagine a life without her. I used to fantasize of having two girls in our house and how full my life would of company as we discover the pleasures of their growing up into womanhood.

In retrospect, I often think about my initial reaction before Ruhi was born and I wonder why I did not want a girl. Was it just because I hated cute pink stuff and girly wiles ? Or was it because I had grown up frustrated by my ill luck of having been born a girl ? Because I could never do the stuff my brothers did ? Because of the "Don'ts" I lived with for my being born a girl ? No late nights, no outstation trips, no competitive exams, no MPhil if its another city or hostel, no short skirts, no open hair, no boys, no make up, no hockey, no cricket.......I could fill up the entire universe with them.

Because when I dreamt of a happy childhood I could only imagine little boys. 

Perhaps that is why I struggle and strive to give my daughter the best any girl can receive in terms of opportunity and exposure. Another story though that she loves Pink Frilly dresses and make up ! But I know it for sure that she loves being a girl unlike her mother who always forever wanted to be born a boy!


~~ N ! T ! N ~~ said...

Very interesting read...

Poppins said...

I can't believe this !! I had the same thoughts before having Poppin as well ! OMG. I kept hoping for a boy knowing how archaic my thoughts were.

Even though I have had a relatively easy childhood with no restrictions because I was a girl, I still felt that life was harder was women (I still do). So I selfishly wanted a boy.

Besides, with girls comes teenage years and dating and skimpy clothes, boys in my mind were going to be easier to raise!

Now I'm pregnant with the second and I'm hoping it will be a girl, I have had so much fun with mine. Am so so glad to see this post of yours.

Rinchen said...

Dear Gurpreet,

I want to hug you for being so brave enough to bare your soul this way. Its not about making mistakes, I feel: its about acknowledging them and not repeating them again.

You know, I've been married for four years now and we both had made a concious decision not to have kids immediately. Of late, it looks as though we might change our decision for the better - for which I very hope it'll be a girl (as and when of course)

Your little girl, Ruhi is blessed to have someone as loving as you. I envy you totally.

menopausal_ballerina said...

-hug- <----thats for the honesty and letting us know about those thoughts.

-hug- <----thats cos im bekaar

the mad momma said...

oh.. i felt the exact opposite way. i wanted a girl so bad that i hated the brat on sight. i am so glad you're open abt it. i wrote abt it on my blog too.. most others would refuse to admit it.
eventually i think we end up getting what God thinks is right for us...

love and squalor said...

hey,this brought back memories. well, it's kinda strange. my dad used to write for The Indian Express some twenty years ago and my mom religiously collected all the clippings into this large diary. A 15-year old me finds this diary durin a spring cleaning session and discovers that his biggest piece was about how they both were kinda disappointed on having a girl, i.e. me. that article ended with the million different ways I've made their day, everyday for six months.
trust me, moments like that can really mess up a teenager that took pride in being an asshole. so, save this and let Ruhi have an eye-opener a decade later!

Anonymous said...

I too wanted a girl but got a boy.Dealt with the unexpected initially tolerated later and enjoying it now.I am proud of u for talking about it.

Dana said...

Thanks for your story!Really enjoyed it...will be back for more

bombaygirl said...

I was positive that Nikhil was going to be a girl. I was POSITIVE! I wanted a girl so bad. When he was born, I had the same reaction as you, but that he was a boy. When the nurses would come in to change him or help me nurse, I would refer to him as "her" or "she". At one point, one of the nurses said, "You know you have a boy right?"