As much as we’d love to have a girl, just to give her a silly yet, in my opinion, cool name, I think we’re both leaning towards wanting a boy. We claim to not care either way (not that having a preference matters), but I think he has those feelings of wanting to be the father he never had, as a son. (His biological father is gay and took off when he was two – his father is surprisingly excited about the prospect of being a grandfather. He’s a sap. I’ve long since said I LOVE the idea of my kid having a gay grandparent. Seriously. And as for Hank’s step-father – well, that’s another story. Nothing terrible by any means, just not “the father he wants to be.”) He also wants to carry on the name, since it would otherwise stop with him, and his mom/step-father only have one grandchild and it’s a granddaughter. It would be nice to be the first grandson.
Then there’s the fear factor. The idea of raising a girl is terrifying, especially considering what troublemakers he & I both were most of our lives.
My mom announced to me, during our second phone call about it, that she had a feeling it was going to be a boy. I don’t know where she gets this feeling or how reliable it is – though my mother has been known for freakishly spot-on instincts.
I was flipping through a baby book last night, and the word “circumcision” flashed before my eyes. When Hank got home, I said, “Would you want your son circumcised?” (Hank is circumcised, but I’d put the idea in his head about it being unnecessary.)
We aren’t sure. He spent hours researching the topic online, and of course, most of the arguments for go on and on about hygiene. I’d never really given much thought to it, but after living in Europe for 3 years, my opinion has been changed. Or rather, formed.
Every article we read about “hygiene” was rebuffed by my experience. I’d not heard of any issues/problems about dirty penises (peni?) sweeping through Europe. And I dated someone, a European, who wasn’t circumcised. I think it takes all of an extra 10 seconds to, ahem, clean the area, and not once did I get any infections or some such from having dated him. Really, the only people who circumcise are Jews and Americans. (There was an interesting statistic I read that said the rate has fallen dramatically in CA and FL, because of immigrants.) So how dangerous can it be to NOT circumcise if over half the world doesn’t?
My issue wasn’t something else entirely. I’d never before (that I know of) encountered an uncircumcised penis before. I was confused and it took him a good few weeks to tell me that what I was doing was all wrong, and another couple weeks for me to adjust. (We’re talking starting from the very beginning, not half or full mast here.)
Women seem to be strongly divided on the issue – in one camp, there’s the women who rally around the uncut, who prefer it – seem to love it, even. In the other camp, there’s the women who think it’s ugly, weird, unhygienic and don’t want to go near it.
At first glance, however, it seems the women who are FOR au naturel are the more experienced, more open-minded, more sexual types of women, whereas the women I’ve heard argue for altering it say things like “gross” and “icky,” which leads me to believe these women are more uptight and are maybe not as experienced or comfortable with themselves/sex? (This is a very general observation, there’s plenty of you who are not the latter personality but might be all for circumcision.) As for me? I’m honestly ok with either or at this point.
And honestly, the most pressing reason, for me, to go with circumcision is because growing up is awkward enough without being embarrassed in the locker room or having girls make fun of you for your penis. Right? It really seems to me that the only reason to do it is aesthetics, and is that a good reason to cut something off of your son’s penis? Though self esteem might be enough reason to. Then there’s the fact that circumcision has it’s roots in religion.
Then of course, we read about how by not circumcising, everything is kept moist, which fosters bacteria and leads to a higher rate of std’s… but doesn’t that go back to the hygiene thing? And then there’s countries in Europe where circumcision isn’t the norm, but their std rates are lower than ours. Plus, it just seems odd to me that we would make a practice out of cutting off a part of the body that is normal, that everyone (well, men) are born with.
Hank, also, worries about not being able to, ya know, help him with it or give manly advice, because it’s not what he has.
Any thoughts? I do lean towards not doing it, but I’m completely open to hearing out all sides. My primary concern is that I wouldn’t want to doom my son to a life of ridicule and cause him to be even more self conscious than a teenage boy would normally be.