Parenting

Raising Girls vs Raising Boys: The Toddler Years and What I've Learned

When I was first pregnant, I pondered, would it be better to have a boy or a girl. When asked, we all know the correct answer is, “As long as he/she is healthy, it doesn’t matter.” In a way that’s true but come on, who are we kidding, we all secretly wish for one or the other.

I was lucky, my child was healthy and I got what I hoped for the first time around. I bought every pink and brown baby accessory I could find. Lacy dresses, frilly socks and head bands with large flowers were all waiting for her when she arrived. 

Bryleigh was an easy baby and for the most part all the baby girls in my family have been easy babies. They cried only when they wanted to eat or needed attending too. They sat and played on their own. They didn’t yell or scream. They kept their toys nice and were stereotypical girls. 

Then, I got pregnant again…

Most people in this predicament would have wished for a boy but times were hard and I was practical, another girl would be perfect. Not only could we reuse Bryleigh’s old stuff but she could have a sister and I always wanted a sister. As they say, God laughs at plans, I got not 1 but 2 boys and I had no idea what I was going to be in for.

Once they shock cleared, if it ever did, and they were home, I set to work in the daily care of twins. The differences were staggering. These boys wanted their Momma all the time. There was no putting them down to eat or even bathe. They wanted to be held and cuddled all day. They cried all the time for no reason, no colic, no gas, just cause. I remember Quinn having a conniption at six months old for no other reason than he didn’t particularly like his shirt that day. It wasn’t too tight, I doubt it itched, I just don’t think he liked it. Looking back, I don’t blame him, it was hideous.

The Ugly Shirt
The Ugly Shirt

The first year with boys vs a girl was drastically different and exhausting.

Fast forward to the crawling stage. My daughter liked to explore but she was more of a follower. She liked the idea that she could go where ever you went. She didn’t have to wait patiently for you to come back into the room anymore and she loved that freedom. The twins liked their freedom a little too much. They waited, they planned, they divided and conquered. They got into everything their little hands could get to and often. They didn’t understand or care to understand the word, NO! Their M.O. was if Colin couldn’t get it now, Quinn would try later. Their favorite game was steal my sister’s toy and try to eat it as quickly as possible before mom comes and gets it. I was constantly running and I owe my lost baby weight to them entirely.

Now that they are older, I see the differences manifesting themselves even more so. The boys love to wrestle and throw anything they can get their hands on at each other. Their play is never subdued or quiet. The only thing I can get the boys to sit and do for any length of time is build blocks but once built, it’s time for the Hulk to come smash them. Which often resorts to the Hulk throwing them. My daughter likes to sit and play with her ponies, color pictures, and write letters to her friends. Her play is often quiet, unless the boys are involved and most of the time you can forget she’s in the room. 

My Grandmother used to say, “girls were easy when they’re young and trouble when they’re older and that boys were the reverse.” I find today, that her words ring true. As my daughter is “growing up”, I can see the makings of her temper and her mouthiness starting to take hold. With every retort and comment, I am reminded of my Grandmother’s words. Her wisdom also gives me hope, that the dog days of raising toddler boys are coming to a close. As I trade in the the toddler boy days for the calmer kid years they have ahead of them, I am reminded that my daughter will be on the road to becoming a preteen by then and my dreams of household calm will be short lived.

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2 thoughts on “Raising Girls vs Raising Boys: The Toddler Years and What I've Learned

  1. I LOVE THIS! I have a boy (older) and girl and have constantly said that my daughter pushes the entire household to the limit. She is in charge and I believe a future prosecuting attorney.
    Yes, there is a BIG difference in the characteristics of the sexes and, I am wondering how am I really going to deal… LOL
    Congrats on your SITS Day SIStah!
    Be well!

    Like

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