Random Person: "So, do you know what you're having?"At this point I found myself - stuck. It seems uncivil to cavil at the sentiment. Yet I do want to know: why is the sex of the baby considered so important? Would you not congratulate me if I'd said "a girl"?
Me (brightly): "A baby, I hope!" (Trying humour to head off the inevitable. Seldom works.)
RP: "No, I mean a boy or a girl?"
Me: "It's a boy."
RP: "Oh, that's great, congratulations!"
I discussed this with one of the innumerable, interchangeable midwives who attended Susan during her 47 hours of labour. The best explanation she could come up with was: "He can be an All-Black."
Now, far be it from me to express anything but the deepest respect for New Zealand's most cherished national heroes. They're a fine body of men, and may they enjoy the very best of luck. But really, just now, I'm not thinking of pushing baby Atilla in the direction of any particular career. And if the biggest difference between sexes is that males have a one-in-200,000 shot at being an All-Black, and females don't - that doesn't seem like all that much, to me.
There are, of course, many reasons to take joy in Atilla. If the greatest hope of New Zealand youth is that they have a 0.0005% chance of one day being on a certain team, we're all in trouble.