The perfect pigeon pair
Do you need a boy and girl to have the perfect family?

(Image: Shutterstock)

When I first discovered I was pregnant (accidentally for the second time) I wasn’t that horrified. In fact, I was secretly thrilled. Here was my opportunity for me to give my fiancé the little girl he so desperately wanted. We already have a 5-year-old son who is all about dirt, bashing and smashing and other assorted boy savagery.  I was so looking forward to kitting a small person out in lots of pink, glitter, My Little Pony and Hello Kitty.

I was so convinced that my unborn baby was a girl, that I promised my fiancé that if it was a boy, he could name him. I was convinced I was having a girl and I had a girl name picked out. For the record: it was Georgia. She was going to be a lovely blonde-haired, blue-eyed female version of our first boy child. I’d have the mother-son bond with my first-born, and my fiancé could experience the unconditional and super-special bond that’s shared between father and daughter. He could have a daddy’s girl, as I already had my mommy’s boy.

But it wasn’t meant to be that way. Instead, when we were having the ultrasound, our gynae very clearly saw the ‘meat and two veg’ between his legs. We were having another boy. I wasn’t convinced. Despite having it pointed out to me at every ultrasound thereafter, I desperately hoped that this baby was a girl. I wanted the perfect pigeon pair. That’s what everyone wants, isn’t it? Although, looking back, I can’t for the life of me fathom why.

What is a pigeon pair?

Where does that expression even come from? “Pigeon pair”. It sounds absurd. It comes, apparently, from an old folk belief that pigeons sit on two eggs at a time, and that the hatchlings are a male and female apiece. With further online wordy exploration, it appears that the term applies strictly to a set of twins  - one male and one female, but in recent years it has been loosened to apply to male and female siblings. While pregnant, we bumped into friends of ours who were expecting around the same time as us. They gleefully informed us that they were expecting the second half of their perfect pigeon pair. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that it doesn’t count if the girl is born first, then the boy. The son is supposed to be born first, so he can protect his little sister, and so that she can date his older friends.

Now I’m a bit of a stickler for rules, and I don’t think you should claim to have a pigeon pair, unless they’re boy and girl twins. Admittedly I may have been a little bitter about the fact that the only pair I was getting, was another pair of testes.

Every other pregnant couple we came across was expecting the other half of their “pigeon pair”, as they liked to call it. Except us. I tried to console myself with the fact that in days gone by, I would have been considered a very fruitful, superior wife – having borne more than one son. But those were also probably the Dark Ages, and having had two c-sections, one of which was an emergency, I probably would have died in childbirth and that wouldn’t have been so wonderful, now would it?

But now that my second son is here, I don’t mind as much. I don’t mind that he’s not a girl and that I can’t call him Georgia. I know what to expect from a boy. I know what to expect when I open his nappy (it would have been totally weird to open the nappy and see a little va-jay-hoo). I know what boys are like – filthy, loud, savage and adoring of their mommies and I’m totally okay with only having to worry about these two penises. Instead of every other penis in the world, like I would have to do with a daughter. I don’t have to pretend to be interested in ballet, dancing, Bratz dolls, ponies and other girly things, either.

I already know everything there is to know about The Hulk, Ben 10 and things that boys like to do. I have all the boy things and can speak ‘boy’. I’m totally okay with being surrounded by males.

Although I may get a teensy bit jealous when I see a particularly adorable frilly pink dress or sweet Hello Kitty headband, I say that you can keep your perfect pigeon pair and I’ll keep my pair of boys.

They’re perfect and that’s all that counts.

Did you want a pigeon pair? Or are you happy with your brood of girls or boys?

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