The thing about boys + girls

Barbies make the world go ’round

I’ve admitted before that I used to be terrified about having a son. Absolutely terrified.

Growing up in a household with only girls, my limited experience with little boys was that they were of the grubby, loud, rambunctious, and destructive variety.

But in the nearly-three years that I’ve been the mama of a little boy, I have realized how very, very wrong I was. Even before having a daughter, I realized I was wrong. But now that I do have a daughter, too, let’s just say that I’m reminded daily how my misconceived notions were totally off-base.

This much I know to be true (in my house, at least):

C (and her doll) having side-by-side kicking and screaming tantrums (which only happen, oh, every three minutes)

Girls are actually way louder than boys. I would have NEVER suspected this, because my mom always talked about how my sister and I were super-quiet little angels (well, for the most part). It’s possible that that’s true for some little girls, but not for mine. C just turned one a week ago, and OH MY LORDY I have never been around a louder child. I used to be afraid of having a boy who was running around the house making top-volume truck noises. Now? I have a near-constant headache listening to this little lady’s shrieks. D is the quiet one!

Girls will pee on you more than boys. This one really surprised me. D only ever peed while we were changing him ONCE in his life (right after we brought him home from the hospital), and he maybe peed on the floor twice as a baby, crawling around in the nudie-pants. But C? That girl has peed on us during multiple diaper changes, and every single time she’s allowed to roam free. Last week, she toddler up to the corner of the couch, lifted her chubby leg, and peed on it like a dog — and let’s just say, it came out from all, uh, angles. Little Sis and I almost died laughing.

D loves his dolls. “Mommy” is the one in the skirt. “Auntie Lely” is the one without pants (sorry about that, Little Sis)

Boys like to play with dolls and dress up. I thought I’d be in for a decade of nothing but Hot Wheels and Transformers, but I was wrong. D does love to play with cars, trucks, and trains, but he also loves to dress up. He has two sets of “dress-up dolls” (these boys from Melissa & Doug). And it warms my heart to watch D play with the dollhouse or my beloved Barbie collection. He walks them around, makes them talk to each other, arranges them in scenes — the works. Is there anything cuter than watching a two-year-old boy tuck in a tiny doll, and then hover the “Daddy doll” (Ken) over the cradle and singing “Hush Little Baby”? No. No, there is not.

C tearing into the contents of a cabinet in the hutch

Girls love cars, dirt, and destruction, too. Growing up without brothers, we didn’t own “boy toys” like cars or trucks — unless you count the white Barbie Corvette? But C has the benefit of an older brother, so she has all kinds of neat things to play with (that she probably wouldn’t have if she had an older sister). She loves to play with his car ramp, and Darling Husband’s old model cars. She loves the train table. She sits in our “rock box” and gets muddy as heck. We used to always joke about how D was “into everything!” when he was a one-year-old, and figured it was because was a busy boy. But now? C is exactly the same way.


As D and C get older, it’s so interesting so see how they change and become more and less like each other. Darling Husband and I always seem to be commenting on how something C does is different than D did at the same age — namely, uh, LOUDER.

I guess my point is that I know a lot of friends who have been freaked out to have a baby boy, thinking they were going to be difficult or loud or rambunctious, and — knowing what I know now — I would laugh and tell them that they may be surprised. Boys are not the little monsters they are often made out to be, and girls are not the subdued little girls they are often made out to be.

For friends who find out they’re expecting a baby girl, I would smile, tell them that they may be surprised … and hand them a pair of earplugs!


So what do you think?

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