Those who read this column regularly know I am a grandfather. My grandson, Remington, has been mentioned in this column a few times and most likely will again. He has been an endless resource of anecdotes and stories and, as he grows older, he will be the subject of accolades, congratulations and kudos. He has just started kindergarten this year, so I am sure this column will be filled with tales of Remington and his accomplishments, Remington and his antics, and Remington growing up. Well, so I thought. Don’t jump ahead and think I am going to stop writing about him. There will be plenty to say and plenty to share. However, it seems, the boy has gotten some competition. Competition that will be arriving sometime in February.
We don’t know at the time of this column if he will have a baby brother or sister. That will be seen in October. We do know that everything is progressing normally as they usually do and Remington will have either a brother or a sister. I don’t know if he has a preference, nor do I know if he really cares. He’s excited about being a big brother. I’m not sure he knows it comes with awesome responsibility. He is to be a role model, mentor and guide through everything he already knows. He has yet to figure out that it is his job to navigate his younger sibling through everything that is childhood. Once he figures out he can do all kinds of stuff and blame it on his brother or sister, well, that’s just a bonus.
Times have changed for mothers-to-be. Years ago, it was pretty cut and dry. The mother carried the baby for nine months and when she was ready, she and the father went to the hospital where the mother was whisked away and the father paced in the waiting room anxiously awaiting the birth of their child. The gender reveal was pretty simple. The doctor or nurse told you. These days, technology and science have allowed us to determine a baby’s gender well in advance. Mothers and fathers now have gender reveal parties where they gather all of their friends for the release of balloons, fireworks, or in the case of one couple, a skywriting biplane.
Before either of my daughters were born, their mothers were subjected to some of the more ridiculous traditions to determine a baby’s gender. There was one, where a pin was suspended from a piece of thread and dangled over the mother’s belly to see which way it turned. The pin turned, not the belly. Whichever way the pin orbited would signify the gender of the baby. There was even one using the exhaust of a car. The gender of the baby would be determined by the color of the dust blown out by the car.
Circumstances kept my daughter from doing all the fun stuff with her first pregnancy. When she told us about this one, we said she needed to do all the goofy stuff everyone is doing. She needs to have the big gender reveal party. I don’t know if she wants fireworks, but I might know a guy from South Carolina who could help out. I told her that she didn’t need to have a single baby shower, but she needed to have one in Virginia where she lives, West Virginia where a lot of her friends are, and here in North Carolina, so her stepmother has something to do.
I don’t know anything about baby showers. The last time I had to attend one, I was there only because I was the father. Men normally didn’t attend the shower, but as times have changed, it’s becoming more acceptable. Men may not be terribly interested in a baby shower, but they generally want cool things for the baby and will go where there is free food.
I don’t know if my daughter is going to go for any of the “old wives’ ways” of determining the gender. While fun, they aren’t terribly accurate. Last week, I asked readers to suggest some of the food combinations they enjoyed. This week, I’d like to hear some of the unusual ways you tried to determine the genders of your children. Let me know if some of them worked. Are there any tried and true ways?
I’m sure I’ll let you know if you were accurate in predicting my granddaughter.
Contributing columnist and Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.