My sister is having a baby, and y’all, I am tickled pink! Or is it blue? Either way, I am one ecstatic “aunt-in-waiting!”


Hopefully, it won’t be long before we learn whether or not we need to start buying dresses with bows and lace or blue jean overalls.   But there is one thing we already know for certain.: This baby will either be a girl or a boy.

By the way, just for the record, I am voting for a boy. My sister Brooke already has two girls. Her poor husband is the only male in the family.  I am positive what Chris needs is a little more male bonding. Besides, my parents have more girl grandchildren than boy grandchildren. It would be nice if my sister could help even things out just a bit.

Honestly, I don’t know what makes me think I can forecast the gender of my sister’s baby.  I have an 0 for 3 record on predicting the gender of my own children!  That’s right. I didn’t guess a single one correctly, and everyone knows there is a  50/50 shot of getting it right.

Now my father, on the other hand, has a reputation for guessing baby genders correctly. I don’t know his trick, but I personally think he is at least a predictable as the famed Chinese Gender Predictor. In fact, just the other day, I was telling my sister that if the Chinese Gender Predictor and my father ever are in agreement upon the gender of an unborn baby, the expectant mother needs nothing else to confirm it.

(By the way, my sister took the Chinese Gender Predictor test and it says she is expecting a boy!  No word as of yet on what gender my dad is predicting, but I’m still picking boy.)


When I was growing up, I wanted to have three or four daughters. I planned it all out.  Their names would all start with the same letter, and I would dress them in matching dresses. They were going to play piano and sing and paint beautiful pictures. And because our home would have no boys, there would be no wrestling or ball playing or loud burping (or worse).

I am so glad God saw fit not to answer that prayer!

Instead, He blessed me with children of both genders and I am a better person because of it. (Now, hey … don’t go poking your bottom lip out if God only gave you children of one gender. I’m sure there is a good reason for that too. I’m just enjoying my own blessing. I’m sure your blessing is cool too.)

Anyway … I really do love having both boys and girls. I honestly don’t have a favorite gender. And yet, I have to say if I were forced to pick only one gender, I’d go with a boy for no other reason than it makes purchasing underwear so much easier.

That’s right. Buying underwear for boys is infinitely easier than buying undergarments for girls. And as the mother of three girls, I ought to know! In fact, just last month we had The Great Underwear Fiasco at my house, the likes of which the world has never known.

The problem with having five children consecutive ages is that everyone grows out of everything at approximately the same time. So in the month of July, all five of our children suddenly outgrew every pair of underwear in the house. Not one child had underwear that fit correctly.

In case you haven’t been shopping lately, let me inform you that underwear is not cheap. Underwear times five is really not cheap. In fact, I was concerned that buying such a large amount of underwear at one time would break my budget.  I stood in my kitchen, looking at the empty refrigerator and bare cabinets, debating with myself if it would be more beneficial to buy food for the hungry horde or underwear so that they weren’t running the streets in the buff.

I went with the underwear. Later on, I would question my decision, though I am certain the neighbors are grateful for my choice.

Underwear for boys is easy. You go to a single aisle. The underwear is sized in a very easy to understand system as it matches up with pants sizes. The choices are simple as well. You can buy briefs, boxers or boxer briefs. Once the style is chosen, all that’s left  to decide  is if you want white or colored underwear. Easy-peasy. I successfully found underwear for all the guys in my family in less than five minutes. Not a problem.

But this was not the case for girls’ underwear.

To begin with, the underwear was located over an area of five aisles. For the first ten minutes, I wandered around in that section aimlessly, trying to figure out where I should even start.

Perhaps the biggest difference between men’s and women’s underwear is that in the ladies’ department, sizes of underwear do not match up with sizes for other items of clothing. For example, my underwear size is MUCH smaller than my pants size. I am not sure if this is supposed to make me feel better about myself or what, but I actually find it to be something of an annoying hassle. But it is especially problematic when the teen and tween girls you are buying for don’t truly wear women’s-sized clothing but no longer fit into girl-sized underwear. You can see how difficult this can make shopping for underwear.

By the time I figured out what sizes I was looking for, I had a raging headache. But I wasn’t done yet. I still had to figure out what style of underwear to buy for each girl. I’ve already discussed how men have just three basic styles. This is not so for ladies. Over in that section, the styles are limitless!

I don’t know how long I stood there staring at all the options. Should I choose hipsters, low-rise, or boy briefs? (I didn’t even consider bikinis or thongs as options for my girls).  Should the fabric be microfiber or some silky blend?  With lace or without? Seamless? Tummy control? (No, I am the only female in my family who needs that.) What colors and designs should I choose?  The options were overwhelming!

“Whatever happened to just plain cotton briefs?” I moaned to a fellow shopper.

Around and around the area I went, searching desperately through the piles of underwear, looking for something, anything that would fit and still be decent enough for a 11, 13, and 15 year old girls to wear.

I finally pulled over a store employee. “Help me!” I said frantically. “I just want to buy some underwear for my girls that doesn’t make them look as if they are going on their honeymoon!”

An hour and a half later, I emerged with three packages in hand. Once I got home, I presented the underwear to my children. My two boys muttered a half-hearted thanks and tossed the new packs of underwear on their beds. I haven’t heard another word about it since. All I can assume is that the underwear fits and they are wearing it … and if they aren’t, then I probably don’t want to know.

The girls, however, were not pleased with my choices. I chose the wrong colors, got low-rise instead of hipsters, and picked fabric that was uncomfortable. Not one single female in the house was happy with their new underwear.

Because I am in general a people pleasing sort of person and because I love my daughters, I voluntarily went back to exchange the unopened packages of underwear for more suitable options. But even my second round of underwear shopping for girls had less than desirable results.

The gnashing of teeth and rolling of eyes was nearly as terrible as that of the monsters in Where The Wild Things Are!  There were tears, complaints and even sighs of disgust. It was at this point I sat my girls down for a “come to Jesus” meeting over the new undergarments. “Wear it or don’t wear it! I do not care. But there will be  NO MORE COMPLAINING.”

That was a month ago. Just yesterday morning, I overheard one of the girls stating to her sister, “I need new bras. These old ones don’t fit quite right anymore.”


Perhaps you have heard … Facebook now gives users more than two choices of genders to choose from when creating a profile. I’ve read varying reports of the actual number of choices, everything from 50 up to 71 different genders.

I thought that was crazy, but then I read about various groups (including the AMA) pushing for gender to be deemed “imaginary.”

photo from Elle Magazine
photo from Elle Magazine

Gender imaginary? Hardly! In fact, gender is one of the first things we know about our children. It’s clearly evident from the moment the baby emerges from the womb. Penis or vagina? Boy or girl?

No. Gender is real. Gender is essential. Gender is a gift.

Genesis 1:27 reveals that God gave humans and creatures gender.

He created them male and female.

And I am glad there are only two … I don’t think I could manage shopping for underwear with any more genders than that!

11 thoughts on “Gender Bender

    1. 🙂 Thank you, Jon! More than that, thanks for working hard so that I had the funds to go underwear shopping for our children … just know that next time you are coming with me! Ha!

    1. Thank you! But truthfully, this is one of those ideas that the Lord put on my heart to write about. I never would have dreamed gender could become a controversial subject to discuss!

  1. Too funny… this reminds me of going Christmas shopping with my mother who had over 50 grandchildren and though she couldn’t afford much there had to be something under the tree from ‘Nana’… so off we would go and check out with usually 40 pair of girls’ underwear and usually socks for the boys… But at least back then there weren’t so many styles and types to choose from…. Diane

  2. Boys are certainly much easier to buy all sorts of clothes for, I was quite relieved when my daughter was old enough to be given the money to buy for herself and have to suffer the consequence of discomfort if she got it wrong.

    My Mother was always determined that she was going to have four boys, she fell one short with three of us, now that she is 93 and has alzheimer’s we have decided that it would be unfair to try to explain that she actually has two boys and a daughter.

    1. Your statement about your mom made me laugh at little (at your description of it being “unfair”) and feel sad at the same time. My grandmother had alzheimer’s, and I can relate to having to choose what things need to be corrected and what you can just let them believe in their altered state of consciousness. Praying for you and your brothers and mother as you walk through caring for your mom.

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