What have the following got in common: A crashed aircraft, a 73 square-mile wildfire and the death of a grandmother after an improvised explosive device detonated and she was hit in the head by shrapnel? News junkies will have spotted the connection straight away. These are all examples of gender reveal stunts that have gone very wrong.
I’ve watched the gradual rise of the gender reveal announcement on social media with a mix of fascination, horror and concern. I really don’t get it. I just don’t understand why it’s become a ‘thing’ to announce the gender of your baby to the world.
More to the point, why would anyone want to detonate a home-made pipe bomb designed to send coloured powder into the air, accidentally killing one of the unborn child’s relatives in the process? Or fire a gun at an explosive charge designed to release blue powder in (obviously parched) grassland, thereby causing a huge and very damaging wildfire?
The most recent example of gender reveal craziness involves a crop-dusting plane that crashed after dumping 350 gallons of pink water to announce the fact some unfortunate, unborn girl has parents with friends stupid enough to think this was a good idea. Why, I ask you, do people organise these stunts?
It strikes me the social media tail is wagging the feckless dog. Some parents are doing this stuff simply to get thumbs up and likes on social media. The focus isn’t on the child, it’s on them, the parents.
I’m afraid I wince when I see even more anodyne examples. Merely the popping of a balloon revealing pink or blue dust is enough to make me question the parents’ priorities. It seems very contrived and just a tad self indulgent.
Getting serious for a moment, why should the gender of a child be a cause for celebration? The fact you are expectant parents should surely be reason enough to celebrate.
Celebrating the gender of a child also sends out a very odd message. Imagine a couple already has a young girl and she sees her relatives and parents’ friends throwing a big party for her unborn brother. A little insensitive and potentially damaging to her confidence? I think so.
It wasn’t that long ago many mums and dads chose to keep the gender of their unborn child secret. In fact, my mother refused to reveal the sex when she was expecting one of my brothers. This was because she knew someone who was given the wrong gender when the scan took place. Imagine that happening if you’ve already held a gender reveal party?
You know what, if I cast my mind back to when Mrs Adams was pregnant with our kids, I just don’t think I could have been bothered with a gender reveal party. I wanted to get the house ready for the kids’ birth and figure out how I was going to look after the new arrival. Encouraging friends to make pipe bombs or start wildfires in the babies’ honour was the last thing on my mind.
Aside from anything else, I was quite keen to ensure I didn’t get in trouble with the law on the run up to my kids being born. Dealing with the police or Air Accident Investigation Board trying to piece together exactly why and how a gender reveal stunt had gone badly wrong was not part of the plan. This isn’t the sort of thing you should be dealing with in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, regardless of whether you are the mother or the father.
If a couple is expecting a child, I feel happy for them, I really, honestly, genuinely do. I don’t, however, feel I should be forced to celebrate the child’s gender. It just feels wrong. I’ll happily celebrate when the baby has arrived, mum has recovered and dad adjusted to dealing with an expanded family. Until that point I’m sorry, but I really have no interest in whether you are having a boy or a girl.