While we were in Vancouver, I was able to experience what it was like to be around girls for an extended period of time. What I mean is parenting girls. Many of my friends have girls and I have seen the good and the ugly that comes with raising daughters but this was my first time witnessing it for an extended period of time. I think it was a little unfair because the baby girl of this particular household was one of those exceptionally easy babies. She sat quietly when we chatted, she ate her food gently and then made a sweet cough sound when she wanted to be nursed. I can only think that she is saving some misbehaviour for when she can walk and talk but really, she was a dream. Over the years I have seen some of the differences between parenting girls and boys and well, this week, I am feeling the envy of girl-moms out there. I know, I know...there is good and bad to both, but can I just have my moment here? I also know that there are exceptions to the male-female deal. I know a few girls who have outmatched many a boy in busyness and zeal. However, I think most people would agree that there are some differences that cannot be ignored.
I love my boys. I actually love being a mom of all boys. I grew up with only brothers so it was natural for me to be in a household of males. I often joke that I would not even know what to do with a girl and would fear her attitude as a teenager (mean girls scare me). I enjoy the casualness of boys, their love of potty humour and their desire to be gun-wielding super heros. I would not trade my masculine threesome for anything...I just...wish I had some...estrogen here too.
Growing up, I resisted pink and all that was frilly (don't get me wrong, I liked dresses, just never wanted to overdo it). Now, the frillier the better. Walking through Gap Kids the other day, I oohed and aahed over the coral sundress with matching bloomers and cherry-covered bathing suit with red sunglasses. I want to buy it all.
A month ago, we stayed at a friends with two girls and a boy. Their 2 year old was playing with her sister's little dress up dolls (not even sure what they were, like Polly Pockets with rubbery designer clothes?) I just had to join her in the fun. We put a cute mini skirt with a great pair of knee high boots and a tank with coordinating cardigan. I have to admit, I don't get that excited playing Hot Wheels or dinosaurs. Yes, I could buy the boys a Barbie, but I can guarantee you she would be naked with one leg missing and disheveled hair from all the drops down the balcony and being smashed up by 4X4s.
All of my boys have had a blast in the exersaucer that was handed down from their cousin. They never stayed in it too long; chewed a little, pushed a button then....banged up and down until I couldn't handle the noise any longer. This week, I watched in awe as this little girl, enjoyed each play compartment for minutes on end; examining, holding, bending and tasting, all while she twisted gracefully in her seat. Then when she was bored of that, she rocked from one foot to the other while smiling proudly (and quietly) at her mom. I had never seen that before. She stayed in their for over 15 MINUTES!!!! HAPPILY!!! Unfortunately for her parents, she saw what was possible from Baby Goo and began bouncing around in it loudly too. Oops! It was a sight to see as we sat these two great babies together and watched the differences in how they took in the world.
After I cleaned the bathrooms the other day, I had a pity party about stinky boy pee and began dreading the day I would have to beg them to clean up their stinky rooms (I still remember the smell of my brother's rooms as teens). "I just want one person on my team, just one!" I lamented to Ryan. I want a girl who will eventually roll her eyes with me when they boys make fart sounds with their arm pits and who I won't have to worry about head butting me when when I go in for a kiss. I want to go dress shopping for grad and weddings and stay up late chatting about, I don't know, girl stuff. I want a crafting partner and a cooking partner. Don't get me wrong....my boys do those things and it is fun but... it is different. I don't even know how to explain it. I guess one example is, when I am trying to make my snowflake the most unique and beautiful, Munch will be just trying to make his bigger than Bubblegum's. It could be the ugliest un-snowflake ever but if its bigger...and he made it faster, it is the best snow-thing ever. See what I mean? One afternoon after doing crafts with the boys, I called my girlfriend and asked if I could borrow her daughters one day to do crafts with me.
When people see me with three boys, I almost always get the same comment. It's either, "Oh, I am so sorry." (to which I reply, "I'm not."), or they shake their head and say "so busy" or they say, "It gets easier". I am encouraged to know that most moms of boys find that although it is crazy in the first few years, boys tend to be a delight to parent after the age of seven. I admit, I didn't even like myself as a teenage girl so I don't know how I would handle one as a parent. I hang on to the fact that these may be my hardest working years right now and that one day I will see the fruit of my tears and sweat (sweat from chasing them through the mall as they run into each store yelling "aaah-haaa!").
So, what do I do with this pining for a girl in our home? Have another baby? An acquaintance of mine just had her fourth boy. Adopt? Maybe. Reach out to more girls in our neighbourhood? Perhaps. Or maybe I will just enjoy the swords and ramps and dead bug collection on my window sills. Maybe I will just remind my girl-moms what a delight their daughters are and laugh at crazy stories they share about being in a girlie world. I will definitely pray about whether being the mom of a girl is something God has for me. Until then I will love my testosterone infused home (did I mention that I have a male dog and a male tenant in our basement as well?). I will put on my lip gloss as my boys watch in awe and enjoy their obsession with my pretty toe nails (begging to have just one toe with paint on it, much to their dad's dismay) and revel in the fact I am the only one that is not allowed to be tackled in this house. Those frilly dresses and Barbies will make great gifts. I can always hope for future daughter's in-law. And, end rant.