” So are you ready for a girl? ” a woman asked me recently, whilst laying out a picnic for her two impeccably behaved children. They sat on the mat, crossed legged waiting patiently – I couldn’t detect a muddy knee or a baked bean stain between then. She was a friend of a friend, who I had met before. A very friendly lady who was good at making conversation. She herself had an older boy and then a younger girl. We were all at a village event fete type thing at the local playing fields.
I glanced across at my son, who at that moment was mid fist fight with his two year old cousin, also a boy. They were in a dispute over a Peppa Pig ball. His hair was matted with sweat, he had a crazed look in his eyes and the toxic juice from the orange ice lolly had found its way down his knee caps.
Am I ready for a girl? I pondered…
What does that mean?
Nearly four years in, I’m a pretty seasoned parent. I’ve dealt with and survived my fair share of shit fits and shit storms. I know how to change a nappy and make up a bottle. I know not to obsessively Google rashes, I know that most things are indeed a ‘phase’ and will not last forever. I know that sometimes babies and children are just arse-holes and all you can do is grin and bear it.
But I am not ready. I never am.
I’ve enjoyed this boy and for the most part he has been fairly easy. I wouldn’t have minded another, he certainly didn’t put me off. I was as indifferent to the gender of the second child, as I was the first. The boy has always slept well, he has always eaten well. He generally takes life in his stride and he’s always been good fun. He’s kind and loving and thoughtful.
But is that because he is a boy? Or is that because he is just him? Or is it because of the way he is being parented?
I have no fucking idea.
So will our girl be completely different, because that’s what everyone seems to be suggesting? I’ve been told that girls are easier because they are more focused and calmer. That they listen better, that they are generally better behaved and play nicer.
Then I’ve been told that girls are harder, because they are fussier and whine more. That they are bossier, chattier and more difficult.
I’m a bit bored of being told what a girl will be like to be honest.
The thing is, if it has anything to do with parenting – nothing about that is going to change. This girl will be treated in the same way as the boy. The way things are done, are the way things are done – that’s just how it is. It wont change because we’re dealing with two different genders.
If, as it turns out she’s a maniac like her brother, then they can go off and be lunatics together. You wanna climb a tree kid? Go climb a tree, call us if you get stuck, we’ll be over a in a bit. She wont be told she can’t or she shouldn’t because she is a girl.
And if it ends up that she is more reserved and quieter, then that’s fine too but we don’t do much fussing in this house. Little girls aren’t “Princesses” to be faffed over and wrapped in cotton wool. Little girls become women, women who are equal to men.
” So are you ready for a girl? ”
I have no idea. I guess we’ll find out.