What's with pregnant couples who don't want to know what the sex of their baby is? "Oh, we'd like it to be a surprise."
Mrs. Linklater can only smile in astonishment at the reality check that's coming.
Surprise? You want a surprise? How about pushing a watermelon through a straw, or a sofa through the mail slot. There's a surprise for ya.
How about no sleep for the rest of your life? Let's talk about surprises at 2:00 AM, when you're trying to nurse with sore nipples that feel like they're being poke poke poked by a thousand tiny needles, attached to a suction cup that won't burp or go back to sleep. Repeat at 4:00 AM and 6:00 AM for eternity.
How about no sex either? Ha!! Any baby born less than two years later has been conceived at gunpoint. Wait until the words "Touch me and you die!" leave your lips for the first time.
How about poop that looks like curdled mustard? Or scrambled eggs? And smells like -- well, gag me.
These are the same folks who don't want to know the sex of their baby because they think it'll be such a nice surprise to find out whether it's a boy or a girl after 18 hours of pushing that bowling ball out of its carrier. Oh, look my darling husband, our sweetums has been born. Surprise me, my beloved. Is it a boy or a girl?
Like you could give a rip by then. Boy? Girl? Why didn't they give me an epidural sooner. Why didn't you tell me this would hurt so much. "Touch me and you die!"
On the other hand, while Mrs. Linklater didn't know the sex of her first child until she was in labor and the ob nurse listened to its heart and announced, "You've got a girl" -- her doctor announced that her second child was female when she was three months pregnant. He played her baby's heart sounds for all to hear and said, "It's a girl" because girls have strong steady beats and this one was sturdy enough for a part in Drumline.
Now, of course modern technology can not only give you the sex of your baby, you can see his little wee wee in 3-D too. And they still want it to be a surprise.
Not Mrs. Linklater. For the rest of her second pregnancy she liked talking to her baby girl by name. Her big sister liked talking to her too. She was a real little person growing inside.
Some of her friends were aghast. "But what if something happens and she dies?" They didn't think she should get too involved with her unborn child until it proved it could take the heartbreak of being born. Here again Mrs. Linklater can only wonder at their complete, oh, stupidity.
Do they think if they don't know the sex of the baby and they haven't given it a name that they will feel BETTER if the baby dies?
Au contraire, by the time her daughter was born, Mrs. Linklater had already forged a powerful bond with her newborn. So had her big sister. Her dad, not so much. He was old school. Don't bother him until they can talk.
As for surprises? You want surprises? They've got something that'll knock your socks off every day.