Old Wives

November 25th, 2012


I wish I was living in the time and place of old wives. They would circle around me and cluck their tongues and dangle rings and needles and look at me from different angles and assess the situation I’m in. They would tell me if this little being doing flips in my uterus is a flipping boy or a flipping girl. I wouldn’t need an anatomy scan for this- I would trust my old wives. But alas, I don’t live in this time or place, and tomorrow is my anatomy scan.

At the eleventh hour, this anticipatory night before, I’ll call around for some old wives. It’s Thanksgiving weekend, a time when people are wearing thin on “I’ll ask my mom,” but they’ll do it anyway. Even if the old wives can’t circle around me, I’ll heed their predictions.

Italian and Irish Old Wives (from Erikka and Molly Z)

Perform the threaded needle test. Take an ordinary sewing needle and thread it with about a foot of thread. Hold the end of the thread and let the needle dangle about six inches from the expecting mother’s stomach. If the needle goes in a circle: girl. If the needle moves in a back and forth motion: boy.

According to the Italian old wives, It’s a girl.

Irish variation: Instead of using a needle and thread, put a gold band, the woman’s wedding ring, on the end of the thread. If the ring swings in a circle: girl. If it swings back and forth: boy.

According to the Irish old wives, It’s a girl.

Listen to this fascinating story of an Italian “Nonna” who accurately predicts the sex of 23 of her descendants, even from beyond the grave.

Puerto Rican Old Wives (from Lilly)

If you’re still looking pretty, you’re having a boy. If you’re not having a pretty pregnancy, the little girl is stealing your beauty!

According to the Puerto Rican old wives, It’s a boy.

Filipina Old Wives (from Ginny)

If the line on your abdomen is only below the navel, it’s a girl, but if the line crosses above the navel, it’s a boy.

I don’t have a line (yet). Inconclusive.

Lebanese Old Wives (from Rami)

If the woman comes first when having sex (at conception), it’s a girl. If the man comes first, it’s a boy.

I love you, Lebanon. You are the same country that prescribes a no sex diet during the entire duration of pregnancy. And yet your predictor is the most bawdy of them all. Too bad I was born in a Puritan state and can’t discuss this matter. We Pilgrims never conceive and tell- Inconclusive.

Hungarian Old Wives (from Zoltan)

If it’s a boy: in early pregnancy no morning sickness, carry in front, very dark nipples on you, craving sour tastes, and meat. If your feet get cold, hands are dry, and father of the baby is gaining with you and if you have a runny nose. If it’s a girl: left breast bigger, gain weight around your hips, craving sweets and fruits, facial skin is dry, dislike bread crust, more round belly, carrying baby higher, some parts of your hair turn reddish.

Wow, Hungarian wives, I never thought I’d say this, but that is almost too much information. I really need you here in the flesh to assess me. How dry is dry? How dark is dark? In your opinion, does Justin look fat? My hips, not sure? Round, high? But bread crust, really? I don’t dislike it. Overall, based on your many, many predictors, according to you, It’s a boy?


Thank you, worldly friends, for putting me in touch with old wives around the globe. Tomorrow around this time I will return to post the flags of the countries whose old wives accurately predicted the sex of our baby.





3 comments to “Old Wives”

  1. Just a correction on the Lebanese front: You are not advised to not have sex for the entire pregnancy; just toward the end (smthg like a few months).

    A few more wives tales you might want to test before going under the sono. Throw a pair of scissors: If they land open, girl. If they stay closed, boy. Get it?

    Justin! When Katie is not looking/unaware, pour some salt on her head. If she feels it, boy; if not, girl. This could be done in the wee morning hours so that she is not in deep REM sleep. Or perhaps while she’s making coffee at the counter, you can pass her the sugar as you discreetly pour salt on her head.

    Finally, if your belly is roundish, girl; pointy-ish, boy.

    Also, in these parts, they agree with the Puerto Ricans about beauty, but with you who could tell?

    New wives tale: VIBE. I feel it’s gonna be a BOY. 🙂

  2. I’d like to see a video of field tests please

  3. oh boy.

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