News of Baby’s Sex Produces Some Family Drama

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This is the photo that triggered Elena to exult and Jonathan to cry.

I was fairly certain that Baby No. 4 was going to be a boy. That’s what my wife’s maternal instinct told her and that’s what my paternal self wanted as we went yesterday to get the final, determining ultrasound.

When our ultrasound technician Eileen told us that we were having a girl, I was almost in disbelief.

“What? Are you absolutely sure?”, I asked her.

“Yes, she’s got her legs wide open. You can see the three lines perfectly.”

“Well, what if something starts to grow in those three lines?”

“Nothing is going to grow there. Those three lines mean mean she’s definitely a girl. She’s opening her legs wide open in the ultrasound as if to tell you, ‘Ready or not, here I come!'”

“Well, have you been wrong before?”

“I’ve been doing this for six years and I haven’t been wrong yet – that I know of.”

As I completed my friendly exchange with the technician, my wife Angela was cracking up. She was chuckling not only because she wanted a girl and because I could no longer dream of trying to name her potential boy “Presley” but also because she knew how much I wanted – NEEDED really – another boy to “balance” the massive estrogen thing we have in the house. My poor 11-year-old son Jonathan and I will soon be severely outnumbered in this house: FOUR to two!

As the girl news started to sink in, I began to appreciate the funny and positive side of having three daughters. Privately I’ve ALWAYS laughed at dads who had that many girls but now I’m going to be one of them. The silver lining: every one of those fathers is fiercely loved by their daughters. Maybe it’s because they had to put up with so much to help get them through life.

One controversy the girl helps my wife and I avoid is the battle for a baby boy name. I very much wanted to call my son “Presley.” Since it’s going to be a girl we probably won’t have any conflict but that’s the subject of a future post because we have a long and interesting history about naming kids in my family.

Perhaps the most interesting reaction to the baby’s sex news came from my older kids, Jonathan and Elena, 7.

Elena is the one who when she first learned that her little sister Briani was born was initially told in the waiting room that Briani was a boy. We captured the prank on video at the time as she was devastated. Jonathan has always made fun of Elena for her reaction that day.

This time the tables turned on my son. When Elena saw the news in the photo accompanying this part of the post, she began whooping it up with “Yes! Yes! Yes!” over the phone.

Jonathan’s reaction stunned me.

“Papito, what do you think about the news?”


“Papi, are you there?”

Continued silence.

“Hello! Jonathan?”

His mom Mari got on the phone.

“Manny, he’s very emotional right now. He really wanted a baby brother. Maybe you should explain to him that you felt the same about wanting a boy.”

When Jonathan got back on the phone I could barely hear him at first. Then suddenly he started to quietly rant his concerns:

“Now this means Elena is just going to hog up the baby, just like she does Briani.”

“When we go on road trips, Elena is going to get to sit next to them and I’m going to be left alone.”

“Angela is just going to care about shopping with them and won’t want me to go along because she’ll say that I’m a boy.”

Jonathan kept venting about the news until I reminded him about the one cool perk in all this: he’s THE big brother and the ONE and ONLY brother stands out more than the “Three Sisters.” I think that made him look at things a bit different. Now all we have to do is guard him from thinking he’s the BIG BOSSY brother which would seem to be the natural tendency for an Only Brother.

The biggest silver lining is that Jonathan’s already a great big brother. Having three younger sisters has to be one of the best ways to train up a future husband. By trial of fire, Jonathan is going to KNOW how to be a perfect gentleman.

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