Wednesday, December 7, 2016

IWSG: Mrs. Temple's Guide To Having Daughters Will Curl Your Hair



It's hard to believe that this is the last Insecure Writer's Support Group post for 2016. Thanks to Alex J. Cavanaugh for getting us through another year with warmth and wisdom. 

I was hoping to write a classic holiday story, but ended up with a re-post about the mother of a classic child star. Of course, the real star in the story is my mom who isn't the least bit insecure.


                            Mrs. Temple's Guide To Having Daughters Will Curl Your Hair

                                                                  
Shirley Temple; photo courtesy of Michael Jackson World Network

As we were going through her long list of disappointments, my mom mentioned that I never gave her a granddaughter. Though she loves both of her grandsons dearly, she regrets I didn't also have a daughter.

When I tried to explain there was no guarantee my third child would've been a girl, she stopped me in my tracks. "Shirley Temple's mother wanted a little girl, and she knew exactly what to do to have one."

"What did Mrs.Temple do?"

"She went to a doctor who told her if she wanted an adorable little girl who could sing, dance, and be one of the biggest stars in the world, her husband would have to get his tonsils out."

"And did he?"

"Of course he did. Not only was Shirley Temple a huge child star, but she went on to become an ambassador."

I immediately searched the Internet, and found a 1988 excerpt from Shirley Temple Black's autobiography Child Star in People Magazine. The energetic sixty-year-old wrote how her father had a tonsillectomy to "improve his chances of siring a female," after his two older sons were born. Apparently, my mom sat in on a guest speaker highlighting Shirley Temple Black's life.

Later, I asked my husband if he would've had his tonsils removed if we were assured of having a daughter. He reminded me of when he originally went in to have a tonsillectomy in fifth grade. He ended up spending several days in the hospital, and went home without having the procedure. I asked him if his parents visited him at all during that time, why he didn't have the tonsillectomy, and if he even got to have ice-cream? He answered "yes" to the ice-cream question.

I told my mom she could look forward to having granddaughter-in-laws, and great granddaughters. Cheerfully she remarked, "I won't live long enough to have a conversation with my great granddaughters."

Then I started thinking about what my relationships would be like with my future daughters-in-law. I remembered how it took a long time for me to grow on my mother-in-law. Fortunately, she started to like me after she turned ninety.

Happy Holidays!

31 comments:

  1. Your stories are always so good, Julie. My MIL died at 87 and never reached the age of 90 to start liking me.

    My husband has his tonsils but somehow we were able to have three daughters.

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  2. Better late than never!
    I really don't think getting one's tonsils removed makes a difference.

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  3. Great post, LOL! Loved your clever title too.

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  4. Ooo...at least your mother-in-law started liking you once she hit 90. My mother-in-law's 92. I'm still waiting... :/

    All the best to you and your family this holiday season and into the New Year.

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  5. I have read this story before about the Temples and the tonsils. Odd. My mother-in-law started to be nice to me when she was in her seventies and her son and I got divorced.

    Love,
    Janie

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  6. Hi Julie - how incredible ... I'd never heard the story ... but your mother is just unbelievable. My mother-in-law thought I was wonderful .. unfortunately her son wasn't much ... mistake made! But lovely story ... she did like pink ... so everything was pink and she was happy - cheers Hilary

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  7. Your poor mom. It's amazing how many disappointments she has had to endure because of you. ;)
    Happy Holidays to you and your wonderful mom and all the rest of your clan, Julie!

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  8. I have 5 daughters. But my hubby had his tonsils. Hmmm...

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  9. Hi Arleen - I'm sure your mother-in-law was crazy about you, and she'd have been a fool not to for giving her three granddaughters while keeping her son's tonsils intact! Thanks Arleen!

    Alex - Just another old wives tale! Thanks for hosting another great IWSG!

    Debra - That's quite a compliment coming from such a clever writer! Thank you Debra!

    Victoria - Yes, but she forgot it about days later. After all she was 90! Thanks Victoria!

    Julie

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  10. Janie - So you lost a husband and gained a mother-in-law? She was either grateful to have her son all to herself, or she had a new found respect for you! Thanks Janie!

    Hi Hilary, Usually it's the other way around! Sorry he "wasn't much," but I'm glad his mom was smart enough to appreciate you! Thanks Hilary!

    Julie - Yes, but that's to be expected when you raise a horrible daughter! Glad you can laugh along with me! Thanks and Happy Holidays to you, Julie!

    Shelly - Raising five daughter must have been fun and frantic! I'm sure your daughters and your furpeeps kept you very busy! Thanks Shelly!

    Julie

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  11. So if someone wants twin boys, does the father get a second tonsil implanted?

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  12. Please note: I'll be going out of town soon, so if I don't get a chance to get back to you, I'll see you later in the month.

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  13. Jenny - What a wonderful idea! Yes, I think it's the least he can do. Thanks Jenny!

    Julie

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  14. That's quite a story. An actual tonsillectomy to improve one's chances of siring a female... I wonder what mine did to end up with a blue boy :)

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  15. I've never heard that about tonsils before. Hmm. Coincidence or fact? Has this been researched?

    Your mom is a hoot. Seriously. I say this from a distance, of course.

    As for mothers and daughters-in-law. I think those relationships can be tough. I'm not sure why it's easier for mothers and sons-in-law, but that seems to be the case. BUT, I do believe that this is also true: if you believe something will be hard, it is more likely to be hard. Same goes for easy. So, maybe daughters-in-law require more love and acceptance because they feel more judged by their husband's mother (even if that isn't the case). I do think that if you cast a net of love and acceptance people feel it.

    Merry Christmas, Julie!!!

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  16. What a funny story! I've never heard that about getting tonsils out before. I have two sons and no daughters too, but one son is engaged and the other has a girlfriend who I think will soon be his fiance. So, I am looking forward to having daughters-in-law in the near future.

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  17. Hello Julie! How have you been? I've never heard the thing about the tonsils before. That is too funny.

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  18. Great story. My hubby didn't need to have his tonsils out. :)

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  19. You always write with such wit :) I love it.

    I wish you a most wonderful Christmas :)

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  20. Blue - It probably involved ingesting several Blue Kamikazes! Thanks Blue!

    Robin - So true about "casting a net of love and acceptance." It's great to hear from you! Hope you're feeling well. Merry Christmas! Thanks Robin!

    Connie - Congrats on your son's engagement, and it sounds like you also get along well with your other son's girlfriend! It makes sense, as it's impossible not to like you! Merry Christmas! Thanks Connie!

    Cynthia - I've been great and I hope you're doing well too! I also got a kick out of her tonsils theory! Thanks Cynthia!

    Rhonda - No he didn't and he hit the jackpot twice! Well, three times if he counts marrying you! Thanks Rhonda!

    Keith - That's such a nice compliment coming from you! Thanks Keith and a very Merry Christmas to you!

    Julie

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  21. What a story. I had my tonsils out when I was about 6 years old, so it's good to know that my chances of having a girl are much higher... should I ever decide to do such a crazy thing. If you count my cohort, I think two of us walking this earth is insane enough. I can't imagine yet another, and in wee girl form, at that.

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  22. Well, my hubby had his tonsils out...twice (they grew back) and I only had sons so no guarantees. When our granddaughter was born, she was the first baby girl on my husband's side of the family in four generations. (She's only a little spoiled.) Merry Christmas, Julie.

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  23. Bryan, You'd be a great father and so would Brandon. You would impart your Ward Cleaver wisdom and your Phil Dunphy sense of fun. Happy Holidays! Thanks B & B!

    LD - That must have been pretty painful for your husband to have two tonsillectomies. Sorry he had to go through that. Congrats on having a granddaughter, and have fun spoiling her! Thanks LD and Merry Christmas to you!

    Julie

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  24. The most positive part of this story is that your hubs still got ice cream.

    Have a great Hanukah, Julie!

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    1. Robyn - That really made his hospital stay so worthwhile. Thanks for understanding the true meaning of the story! Happy Hanukkah and all the best in the New Year, Robyn!

      Julie

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  25. Lux - Thanks and Happy New Year to you!

    Blue - Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!

    Julie

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  26. Your mom has the answer to everything. She needs to be in power somewhere. Happy 2017!

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  27. I never heard the tonsil story either. A close friend desperately wanted a girl. They tried different positions, foods all kinds of crazy things and ended up with 4 boys. Her first grandchildren were twin girls and she now has 8-very spoiled and stylish granddaughters. Happy New Year!

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  28. Manfaat Daun Meniran Untuk Mengobati Penyakit Ayan

    Salah satu cara untuk mengobati penyakit ayan adalah dengan menggunakan daun meniran yang ternyata di samping dapat membantu menyembuhkan ayan juga bisa digunakan sebagai obat malaria.

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