When I first spoke to my mom following the delivery of our fourth, our only girl, I remarked, “Mom, she’s taking to nursing right away; I can’t believe it!” My mom, mother of two daughters, replied, “Oh honey, that’s a girl thing. Enjoy it!”
Never before had I truly recognized gender differences until having my own children. Three XY children in, I thought I had children figured out or at least generalized into some pattern of growth and development. Then came along our little lady and wow, has she blown my parental expectations out of the water!
Not that I don’t love my boys in all of their scrappy, scroungy, loud, aggressive wonder. They are full of life and energy and bursting with creativity these days. It is a joy to be their mother. They help me sleep well at night!
But there are different aspects of parenting a daughter that I never expected. Here are a few of my recent favorites:
1) She’s a sweetheart. Most queries and glances in her direction are returned with a smile. She’s my doll face and makes happy people wherever we go.
2) She’s an organizer. I use this term loosely because often these days it means she’s rearranged a cabinet of mine or carried some item and stored it in an odd location. In the midst, though, I see her wheels turning and can tell she’s attempting to create something new and improved.
3) She nods a lot as if she’s got it all figured out. I don’t know if this is a girl thing, per se, but it’s cute and we all get a kick out of it. She seems very on top of things.
4) She’s aware, especially of her clothing. Donning new long-sleeved PJ’s at the start of fall, she examined every square inch of her arms and legs before deciding these new clothes were acceptable. She was 14 months. I don’t think my boys stopped for a minute to consider details at this age!
5) She enjoys sitting. This is monumental. I’ll leave it at that.
6) She’s a caretaker. Whenever there’s a stuffed animal or baby doll lying around, she immediately scoops it up and carries it around. I especially love watching her love her pink elephant “Na Na”. She takes such care to have it with her at all times. She also offers Na Na to me in the morning for a early hug and snuggle.
7) She adores her daddy. Granted, this seems to be a gender-universal quality around our home, but to watch a little girl light up in the presence of her hero dad is about as good as it gets for a mama.
For our boy-laden readers out there, rejoice, for you have a vibrant home! If God so happens to have blessed you with a pink, welcome your girl with open arms, for the satisfaction she brings is truly the sweetest. Praise God for puppy dog tails and a little sugar and spice!