Friday, October 22, 2010

Boy or Girl…wanna bet?

In the days leading up to my wife Lauren’s 18 week sonogram I was determined to win our bet on the gender of our baby.

Unfortunately, in coin flip situations like this I usually guess wrong at an alarming rate. In fact, at different times in my life I’ve threatened to go with the “George Costanza approach” and just do the exact opposite of what I think I should do. It worked great for George, why couldn’t it work for me?

One of my hobbies is playing poker. I love poker because, while luck is always a factor, the smartest and most adept hold the edge. Those skilled at poker are able to size up a situation, analyze all the available information, calculate the odds and make the correct decision almost every time. The problem is that pesky luck. Poker is a game of making good decisions and that might mean that 4 out of every 5 times you make that exact decision you are going to win the money, but that other one time, well that’s your bad luck.

Poker players hate to acknowledge the existence of luck and in fact never use the term, but instead opt for the more palatable term “variance.” When you make the perfect decision, but the miracle cards falls for your opponent and you lose, you say, “oh well that’s just variance”. You keep your sanity by knowing that if you keep making good decisions over the long haul you will be a big winner.

I like to treat real life decisions as if they were poker decisions; I use all available information and try to make the best decision I can. I figure over the long haul I will win more than I lose.

When it came time to make my pick in our boy or girl wager I did what any good poker player would do: I took a good look at all the available information. First, I knew the baby’s heart rate from our first sonogram was on the high side. Old wives’ tales will have you believe this is a clear indication of girl. Also, Lauren was lucky to not experience horrible morning sickness or other early pregnancy symptoms, again my sources tell me this points to a girl. And finally, my magic bullet, I had a dream. A very vivid dream where I was holding my beautiful daughter’s hand and taking a walk with her…right in to a casino (I made up the casino part).
So as Lauren and I headed to the Perot Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas for the sonogram I locked in my bet of “girl” feeling quite confident, but I forgot one important thing – the Costanza rule!

What an amazing moment it was to see my baby. For the most part I’ve had a pretty laid back attitude about my pending fatherhood, but to see the baby moving around waving its arms was a very surreal experience for me. Out of nowhere I was actually getting a little choked up. When it came time to “find out” the doctor was actually laughing as apparently there was no doubt about the sex. If you’re not good with subtly, that means its “maleness” was really big.

Now that I know the sex, everything seems more real. I am so excited that in just a few short months I am going to have a little son to hang out with and teach how to put his mommy “on tilt” (another poker term). I am so happy that I don’t even feel bad about losing the bet. Although if you ask me, I made the right decision with “girl” - the “boy” result was just variance. Not one to admit defeat, I told my wife if we had 9 more kids I’d bet her any amount of money at least 6 of them would be girls!

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