所属:情感空间 来源 阅读:8718 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]





Why I hoped for a boy


Here is my dirty little secret: as a journalist, I have spent nearly two decades writing about girls, thinking about girls, talking about how girls should be raised. Yet, when I finally got pregnant myself, I was terrified at the thought of having a daughter. While my friends, especially those who’d already had sons, braced themselves against disappointment should the delivery room doc announce, “It’s a boy,” I felt like the perpetual backseat driver who freezes when handed the wheel. I was supposed to be an expert on girls’ behavior. I had spouted off about it everywhere from The New York Times to the Los Angeles Times, from the TODAY show to FOX TV. I had been on NPR repeatedly. And that was the problem: What if, after all that, I was not up to the challenge myself ? What if I couldn’t raise the ideal daughter? With a boy, I figured, I would be off the hook.

这是我小小的秘密:作为作家,我已经花了将近20年 ——写女孩子们,思考女孩子们,讨论女孩子的抚养方式。然而,当我怀孕后,一想到将有一个女儿,就感到害怕。当产房的医生宣布:“是男孩。”我那些朋友们,特别是已经有了儿子的朋友们,会感到失望了。我就象一个永远看别人开车的乘客,突然有一天,要亲自开车了,只能发呆了。我被认为是熟稔女孩行为的专家。从《纽约时报》到《洛杉矶时报》,从《今日》到《福克斯电视台》各种节目中,我都大发宏论。我上过好几次NPR。问题在于:如果我不能赢得挑战,该怎么办?如果我不能养一个理想女孩,该怎么办?要是一个男孩,我就不那么纠结了。

And truly, I thought having a son was a done deal. A few years before my daughter was born, I had read about some British guy who’d discovered that two-thirds of couples in which the husband was five or more years older than the wife had a boy as their first child. Bingo. My husband, Steven, is nearly a decade older than I am. So clearly I was covered.


Then I saw the incontrovertible proof on the sonogram (or what they said was incontrovertible proof; to me, it looked indistinguishable from, say, a nose) and I suddenly realized I had wanted a girl — desperately, passionately — all along. I had just been afraid to admit it. But I still fretted over how I would raise her, what kind of role model I would be, whether I would take my own smugly written advice on the complexities surrounding girls’ beauty, body image, education, achievement. Would I embrace frilly dresses or ban Barbies? Push soccer cleats or tutus? Shopping for her layette, I grumbled over the relentless color coding of babies. Who cared whether the crib sheets were pink or glen plaid? During those months, I must have started a million sentences with “My daughter will never ...”


And then I became a mother.


Daisy was, of course, the most beautiful baby ever (if you don’t believe me, ask my husband). I was committed to raising her without a sense of limits: I wanted her to believe neither that some behavior or toy or profession was not for her sex nor that it was mandatory for her sex. I wanted her to be able to pick and choose the pieces of her identity freely—that was supposed to be the prerogative, the privilege, of her generation. For a while, it looked as if I were succeeding. On her first day of preschool, at age two, she wore her favorite outfit—her “engineers” (a pair of pin-striped overalls)—and proudly toted her Thomas the Tank Engine lunchbox. I complained to anyone who would listen about the shortsightedness of the Learning Curve company, which pictured only boys on its Thomas packaging and had made “Lady,” its shiny mauve girl engine, smaller than the rest. (The other females among Sodor’s rolling stock were passenger cars — passenger cars — named Annie, Clarabel, Henrietta, and, yes, Daisy. The nerve!) Really, though, my bitching was a form of bragging. My daughter had transcended typecasting.

黛西当然是世界上最美的婴儿(假如你不相信我,那就去问我丈夫)。我用满腔心思抚养她:我要让她相信,所谓女孩的一些不得体行为、不合适的玩具或者不理想的职业,都不存在;也不存在女孩一定要做的事情。我要她拥有选择自我认同的自由——这应该是她这一代人的权力。有段时间,看起来我达到目的了。她两岁的时候,上学前班的第一天,她穿上最喜欢的外套——她的“工装”(一条细条纹的背带裤)——然后神气活现地带上她的“大力坦克托马斯”饭盒!我向每个人抱怨:学弧公司真是太没眼光了,他们在托马斯的包装上只画上男孩;做的紫色闪亮的女孩版,要小很多。(象索达公司生产的玩具汽车,女孩版的只有小轿车——小轿车 ——名字叫安妮、克拉贝尔、海瑞塔,还有,对了,叫黛西。我晕!)。但是,真的,表面是抱怨,实际上,我是在吹牛。我的女儿超越了世俗偏见。

Secrets of successful 'Stay-At-Work Moms'


Oh, how the mighty fall. All it took was one boy who, while whizzing past her on the playground, yelled, “Girls don’t like trains!” and Thomas was shoved to the bottom of the toy chest. Within a month, Daisy threw a tantrum when I tried to wrestle her into pants. As if by osmosis she had learned the names and gown colors of every Disney Princess — I didn’t even know what a Disney Princess was. She gazed longingly into the tulle-draped windows of the local toy stores and for her third birthday begged for a “real princess dress” with matching plastic high heels. Meanwhile, one of her classmates, the one with two mommies, showed up to school every single day dressed in a Cinderella gown. With a bridal veil.


What was going on here? My fellow mothers, women who once swore they would never be dependent on a man, smiled indulgently at daughters who warbled “So This Is Love” or insisted on being addressed as Snow White. The supermarket checkout clerk invariably greeted Daisy with “Hi, Princess.” The waitress at our local breakfast joint, a hipster with a pierced tongue and a skull tattooed on her neck, called Daisy’s “funny-face pancakes” her “princess meal”; the nice lady at Longs Drugs offered us a free balloon, then said, “I bet I know your favorite color!” and handed Daisy a pink one rather than letting her choose for herself.

到底怎么回事?那些做了母亲的朋友们,都曾经发誓绝不依靠男人,但当她们的女儿柔和地惊叹“这真是太可爱了!”,或者要买一件白雪公主的衣服时,她们只会纵容地微笑。超市收银员千篇一律地对黛西说:“嗨,公主!”;一个早餐连锁店里的服务生,他打了舌环,脖子上纹着一个骷髅,管黛西吃的“笑脸煎饼”叫成她的 “公主餐”;郎氏药店的一位和气女人送了一个免费气球,她说:“我想我知道你最爱的颜色!”然后没让她选择,就给了她一个粉红的。

Then, shortly after Daisy’s third birthday, our high-priced pediatric dentist — the one whose practice was tricked out with comic books, DVDs, and arcade games — pointed to the exam chair and asked, “Would you like to sit in my special princess throne so I can sparkle your teeth?”


“Oh, for God’s sake,” I snapped. “Do you have a princess drill, too?”


She looked at me as if I were the wicked stepmother.


2011-12-16 13:54 编辑:kuaileyingyu