You have to wonder, if we really could make our bodies choose the sex of our children, like this article in Thursday’s Washington Post, Mammals pick offspring’s sex to maximize number of grandchildren, study shows – The Washington Post, seems to suggest, would there be any little boys at all?
This thought occurred to me while I was sitting in the waiting room at the pediatrician’s with my two girls the other day, observing a little boy who had found a Lincoln Log in the toy bin and was running around the room using it as a weapon against the other patients (and their parents), until he noticed the fish tank, abandoned the Lincoln Log, and decided he needed to know what a squished fish feels like running through his fat little fingers. Fortunately for the fish, he lacked the manual dexterity to accomplish his task before his mother remembered, oh yeah, she has a child, and pulled him away.
So if our bodies somehow could choose the sex of our babies at that moment of conception like the researchers at the San Diego Zoo seem to think lionesses do, would any of us ever opt to have little boys? Admittedly, I ask the question from a biased perspective, as I am the mother of two perfect, adorable, well mannered girls upon whose shoulders civilization rests because boys are out there murdering tropical fish instead of absorbing the culture, usually by watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs over and over (and over) again, that needs to be transmitted to the next generation.
My exasperation with little boys was exacerbated by a recent incident at a playground where a little boy named Brantley (I know his name because his mother kept screaming it) was enjoying himself by pushing other boys into the dirt, and wrestling, and punching them. Oddly enough, the other boys seemed to enjoy this, as well. My youngest, intrigued by the amount of dirt the group of boys was kicking up, took several cautious steps their way before I swooped in.
Me: (laughing nervously) Not sure if your little guy is aware there are little ones wandering around the playground that might suffer collateral damage with all that roughhousing.
Brantley’s Mother: Oh my God, what did he do now? He’s always doing something! Brantley! Did you hurt the little girl?
Me: No, no. It’s ok–
Brantley’s Mother: (ignoring me and charging across the playground toward the group of boys) Brantley, say you’re sorry. Say it, Brantley! Brantley!!!!!
So I have to believe the San Diego Zoo researchers may be on to something, because is it any wonder that my body would try its best to prevent any more Brantleys from coming into this world?
My Uterus: ok, now remember, we’re not letting any of those boy sperm near the egg. Everybody just
focus! Keep your eyes on the prize! Only girl sperm get through today!
Boy Sperm: Is there an egg around here somewhere? I need to impregnate it.
My Uterus: Hmmmm. An egg? You’re looking for an egg?
Boy Sperm: Yes, I’m here to make a baby.
My Uterus: I don’t think I’ve seen any eggs here today. Maybe you could come back next week?
Boy Sperm: Well, that might be a bit of a problem. I only live about three to five days in here. I really need to find that egg ASAP.
My Uterus: Sorry, can’t help you.
Girl Sperm: Where’s that egg? Let me at it!
My Uterus: Right this way!
Intellectually, I know that at some point, boys stop behaving like jerks, usually around the age they realize they’ll never get laid if they keep lighting their farts on fire. Or maybe girls, like my little one at the playground, realize that venturing into that huge cloud of dirt might be worthwhile after all, even if you do get hurt.