As Mommy Doin’ Work and I try like hell to get pregnant with baby #2 (no luck yet), it makes me count my blessings about life with my daughter and reflect on how our baby completely changed my perspective regarding little girls. Let me explain.
First, I’ll rewind a few years back. When MDW showed me the positive pregnancy test for our first baby in 2009, I blurted out, “Awesome! I just hope it’s a boy!”
I figured that if I had a son I could teach him how to play basketball, throw a punch, and play in the dirt. With a girl, I’d be stuck playing dress up and other “girly shit.”
After a few weeks of “I want a boy so badly” talk, our world came crashing down. If you’ve been following my blog closely, you’ll remember that our first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I documented the whole story here, and it was pretty devastating for us. After months of grieving, I realized that the only thing I ever wanted was to be a dad – not just a dad to a little boy. I cursed myself for being so stupid and immature, and I prayed for redemption – which I fortunately achieved.
As the story goes, we got pregnant for a second time with little DDW in 2010, and there was no “I hope it’s a boy” nonsense. As a matter of fact, tears of joy streamed down my face when the doctor told us that we were having a little girl. Since January 2011, my baby has introduced me to a brand of love that I never knew existed. Additionally, I truly believe that having a girl has transformed me into a better and stronger man than I would’ve been without her. Here are some reasons why:
REVELATION #1: I realize that everything I could do with a boy I can do with my daughter (i.e. play basketball, teach her how to throw a punch, and play in the dirt). Yes, I know that’s a big fat “duh” for many of you, but I’m a recovering knucklehead with minimal relapses, so please humor me. And yes, I’m going to teach her more than those three things – but I promise you that I will teach her those three things.
REVELATION #2: Even though I was a fraternity boy in college, I cringed when men called women “bitches” or any other derogatory term. The only difference between then and now is that I never used to call out other men on it when they said these things in front of me. Now I have zero tolerance for it. For example, I’ll never forget a conversation I had with an ex-friend about eight months ago:
Ex-Friend: “Hey, did you check out that bitch’s ass? I’d bang the shit out of her!”
Me: “Dude, how old are you? Do you really have to talk like that? How would you feel if someone said that about your little sister?”
Ex-Friend: “Oh, I’d kill him…but she’s not my sister.”
Me: “Are you listening to yourself right now? She’s someone’s sister or daughter. Grow up.”
Ex-Friend: “When did you become a Women’s Rights activist?”
Me: “If by being a ‘Women’s Rights activist’ you mean ‘not being a dick,’ then yes – I’m a ‘Women’s Rights activist.’ And when did you become such a dick to not realize when you’re being a dick? Keep those thoughts to yourself, please.”
Me: “It’s cool, just don’t…”
Ex-Friend: “I would bang the shit out of her, though.”
Like I said earlier, we don’t talk anymore. With friends like that, who needs enemies?
REVELATION #3: I realize that I’m much more selective about the types of people I bring around my daughter. For example, there was an acquaintance of mine who spent a lot of her free time reading and completing complicated puzzles. Prior to little DDW arriving, we hardly talked; but after our daughter was born, we got to know each other much better – and discovered that she’s an awesome influence on my baby girl. Conversely, the ex-friend in the previous revelation who thought a fun Tuesday night consisted of playing a game of Edwards Fortyhands is no longer allowed within 100 yards of my kid.
REVELATION #4: I realize that having a daughter makes me smarter. I mentioned this before, but I had no idea what jeggings were prior to having a daughter. Now I buy them up for her as if the apocalypse is coming. I also learned about colors that I never knew existed, like Arylide Yellow, Amaranth, and Fuzzy Wuzzy. By the way, have any of you walked into a crowded store and asked the male clerk, “Hi, I’ve been looking for jeggings in Fuzzy Wuzzy EVERYWHERE! Do you have some here?” only to have him back away from you slowly as if you had a detonator to a nuclear bomb in your pocket? It’s just part of being a dad to a little girl. Or maybe it only happens to my crazy ass…who the hell knows? Well, I guess I know. Whatever, let’s move on.
REVELATION #5: I realize that being “girly” is just a myth. What does that mean, anyway? Would my kid be less girly if she dressed up as a construction worker for Halloween instead of Dora the Explorer? Would she be less girly if she wanted to play baseball with the boys instead of taking ballet classes? I’ve learned that being a girl can be whatever the hell a girl wants it to be, and I will never limit her. Additionally, I want to expose little DDW to other women who are crushing it in male-dominated fields so she’ll understand that she can excel in these fields too someday.
REVELATION #6: I realize that I’m built for raising a daughter in today’s society. And let’s be real – girls have to deal with a lot more shit than boys do. Pressure to be liked by others, pressure to have sex, body image, teen pregnancy, rape, etc. I’m sure I missed some, but I’m getting depressed listing them out. No matter if it’s always infusing my daughter with confidence or infusing my Louisville Slugger into the skulls of boys who think it’s cool to disrespect her – I’m up to handle any challenge. Editor’s Note: I’m kidding about the baseball bat thing…I guess.
Are there some things that suck about raising a girl? Absolutely. For example, I’ve come to the uncomfortable realization that I know more about what my toddler daughter’s vagina looks like than my wife’s. But overall, raising little DDW has been nothing short of awesome.
In closing, if we are lucky enough to have another baby, I would be tickled pink if it was a girl (shit, did I just type “tickled pink” out loud?). If God chooses that another baby isn’t in our future, I’m at peace with that as well. One thing I absolutely know for sure is that my daughter hits me with haymakers of love everyday, and I’m so happy that she’s here. Yes, I’m sure I’d be just as happy if I had a boy instead of a girl – but there’s something special about the bond between a dad and his daughter that cannot be explained.
Now if you’ll excuse me, Old Navy is having a half-price sale on jeggings.