“So, how many children do you have?” asked the hairdresser, a nice enough woman named Lyn. We had only just met, it having been nearly two years since I’d needed more than a trim. I’d already explained my recent trip through chemo and the resulting unfamiliarity with my new wavy hair, asking her to make it look “cute,” that being the most I could hope for. So now apparently it was time for the small talk.
“Two,” I said, “two wonderful little boys.”
“Both boys?” she asked.
“No girls? she tsked tsked.
“You need a girl,” she pronounced. “Family isn’t complete without a little girl.” “Yes, you should have a girl.”
“No.” I said.
“No, I like my boys.”
And finally, when she wouldn’t stop, “No, I can’t. I can’t have any more children — the cancer, remember?”
But she kept going. “Oh, but you need a little girl.”
So I finally said, “No. They took out my breasts and my ovaries. I can’t have any more children.”
And she cut my hair in silence, not responding to my attempts at small talk about the weather and her time at the salon.
I know, she felt uncomfortable. I did too! But it is what it is. I have a cute new haircut, I don’t plan on seeing her again, and I’m satisfied with my life. Thrilled with my family life.
I am the mother of two boys.
Shaking my head, I walked out of the salon half an hour later and headed off to see my osteopath. He adjusted my back, adjusted my neck, and adjusted my back again. It’s not going to stay adjusted, he said. I can prescribe exercises, and see you regularly, but it won’t stay adjusted until your back gets stronger.
The back ribs don’t want to stay in place, he said. Too much trauma. Too miuch time with unequal weight on your chest, he supposed. I’d buy that. I was up to an “F” after all. On one side, at least.
“What can I do about the pain?” I asked. I didn’t want pain meds. Didn’t want injections. But I didn’t necessarily want to be in this overwhelming pain anymore either.
“Do the exercises,” he said, “and your back will get stronger. Come back and see me, and I’ll put the rib back in. In the meantime, walk, rest, and you can try to lie down on your back with a tennis ball — or a racquetball, something small like that, but not as hard —
I can handle that. I definitely know where to find balls like that.
I am the mother of two boys.
And so, after a quick stop for a pint of ice cream and some peanuts in the shell as a treat for my babies, I came home, told the family, and then tried to get past it.
Laughing, running, dancing on the new kitchen floor, we raced away, hand in hand, capes draped around our shoulders like superheros.
And, quickly, I forgot my disappointments and began again to count my blessings.
I am the mother of two boys.
I am also the mother of two boys. Nothing could be better! Other people are funny that way. Telling you what you need. When it’s clearly inappropriate!
Wow — great post. BUT, there is something wrong with that hairdresser telling you what to do with your life and telling you that your life is incomplete without a girl.
I have two good friends who both have SIX BOYS!! (an instant ticket into heaven, if you ask me!) Their lives are NOT incomplete! And I don’t think they are going to be trying for any more girls! 😉
I always dreamed of a large family, but I am not going to have any more kids. That’s the way it is. I have three kids, and they are three blessings!!
So I work hard not to say that I “just” have three.
I am the mother of three beautiful children!
You can do this. Day by day, minute by minute if you need to. I am the mother of three girls, and the thought of two boys throws my back out. You are amazing!
Pictures of new haircut!!! 🙂 It looked great in the Xmas cards! Can’t wait to see what you’ve had done now. I had a hard time imagining you with short hair but I really like it – it suits you.
I hear your pain on the back stuff! I”m of a size that chiropractic care is a regular on my to do list. Yoga really helps a lot there – though I’m hoping they still have you working with a PT?
Seriously WHAT are people thinking on the whole You really need a …. front?
My own MOTHER said to me just before Xmas (mind you this is after three 2nd term miscarriages, the third of which almost killed me), “Well, you can always adopt a girl when P is a little older… ”
HUH? Who said I even wanted another girl? I’d actually wanted another boy if we had a 3rd at all!
I love though that you actually told her WHY you wouldn’t be having any more instead of keeping quiet. Perhaps she’ll think about what comes out of her mouth next time!
Two fabulous boys! Aren’t you lucky!
There is no cure for stupid. At least the dumba$$ didn’t say it in front of your little guys. As one of 3 girls we always got to hear the -Shame there was no boy crap-ugh— I had a son then lost twin girls then had a daughter.. the stupid things folks can say would fill a book. Went on to have two more boys.now the dumba$$es say we should have had more girls….am always tempted to say we are even if you count the dead ones. Would serve them right.You have a beautiful healthy day with your beautiful healthy boys!
Strangely ti works both ways! I’ve been told to “try for a boy for your husband’s sake”! Hello? Let’s see, I was on bed rest for both kids at 33 weeks, I went into severe PPD for both, APD for the second, and have been told not to get pregnant again. Yeah, screw random people telling you how to have a family!
You are one lucky superwoman with two boys! Enjoy them, love them, ignore the stupid ones.
I love this post. I don’t understand people who say “you need a girl/boy.” That doesn’t make sense to me, and to go on like that when you JUST SAID you can’t have any more children. That is wild, and rude. But anyway, with the grace that we know and love you for, you’ve turned it around into a way to emphasize the good– the fact that you have two lovely and vivacious boys. Amazing, that.
I am the mother of three boys.
And I loved this post. Go you!
Good lord, what an idiot. I think the stupid things people can say would fill many, many books. (I get it sometimes too, I also have two boys and could not be more done!)
Good grief! Can’t anyone leave well alone?
Your world of two boys sounds pretty much perfect. And I’m glad you think so too.
I tell people, “I have one of each.” I don’t think people HAVE to have one of each. We’re blessed with what we’re blessed with, and that’s that.
If nothing else maybe she will be more careful with her future client conversations. As a mother of one boy myself, Im sure your life if more than complete.
I don’t comment often but I just had to agree with everyone…what in the world was she thinking?!
I can’t stand people that think they know what’s best for everyone! Why does someone with all boys need a girl (or with all girls need a boy), geeze! the nerve!
You are blessed! I think your family sounds perfect the way it is.
And why is she the arbitrator of what makes the “perfect” family? Geez…
Exactly! I can handle it … but it made my heart break for my friends with infertility, or secondary infertility unexplained … how rude!
I have two kids, almost six years apart. The fact that they happen to differ in gender is among the LEAST of their differences. My boy happens to be the sweet one. Their personality and style differences are interesting and far outweigh the differences in their gender.
My children will never have a sibling of the same sex, which is a very special relationship. Your two boys, because of their closeness in age as well as gender, are likely to be best friends for life.
Good for you for telling it like it is, Susan!
People should watch what they say. As the older of two girls in my family, I’ve had countless women advise my mum on how she should have a boy, how girls are no good. The world is a strange place.
I like your straightforward attitude. You rock!
Maybe you could try rowing. It’s excellent for the back. Start slow.
I get that girl thing all the time. It’s totally presumptuous. And I hate chatting with stylists. You have a couple very cool little boys, I have to say.
I’m in the same club- mom of two boys. And we are just fine!
I cannot believe how insensitive some people are. I mean, even if you have had no trouble conceiving surely you must appreciate that there are some people out there that do? To just go on and on, well, it just astounds me to read about it.
I am the mother of one little boy. I have secondary infertility. My gynae cannot explain it. I would dearly love to be the mother of two boys. Or to have a girl. But, like you, I accept that I am damn lucky to be a mother of one gorgeous little boy. It’s only when people are as stupid and rude as she was that I grieve for the second child that I lost, and for the third that I’ll probably never have.
I’m glad you spoke up. Good on you! Shame that you were forced into that position though.
After five years of infertility and failed treatments I had a surprise boy. He’s nine and a half months old.I found out today that I’m having another boy. Another rather unexpected surprise. When I shared the news with my family they were devastated – “oh, but at least you can try for a girl next time.”
I was the oldest of four girls. My dad kept “trying” for a boy until he finally gave up. Why don’t people just love the families that they have – regardless of how they are made?