I can’t stand it when people tell me that girls are easier than boys. What? Are you joking? Not that I have any experience raising boys to compare it to, but they can’t be serious. “How can this be? Have you met my girls?” I want to ask them. Then I wonder, “What is wrong with my girls? Why aren’t they easy?” Because it has not been easy for me to parent girls, a feeling of certainty that I am doing something wrong usually closely follows those questions. It always goes back to that, doesn’t it?
So apparently, I’m special and my girls aren’t typical according to these people who have said this to me (usually they are parents of boys or parents who have one of each). It can be rough around here sometimes. I swear Rocky is on the verge of saying her first words and I am pretty sure it is going to be “GEORGIA!”
Even little Rocky is beginning to show that sparky personality that her older two sisters have. I have seen her get really mad when something gets taken away from her or she doesn’t get what she wants. She balls her hands into little fists and twists her body from side to side in a mini-tantrum. Now that she can walk and run (sort of fast) she rarely wants to be held as much as she used to. All three of them are fiercely independent.
At the risk of being judged or have people think, “Yep, that mother is doing something wrong” I will tell you that in this house we have seen our fair share of hitting, biting, kicking, slapping, hair pulling, toy throwing, yelling, screaming, and tantrum pitching. Georgia has a little bit of black eye right now from her sister. Honestly, I don’t know many people who haven’t dealt with one or more of these issues in their home, whether they parent boys or girls, so I really don’t kid myself into thinking that we shouldn’t ever experience it. Although, I often wish we didn’t and then I think about the “girls are so much easier than boys” comment.
In an effort to restore some order in our home and curb some of the challenges we have had, I sat down with my girls to come up with some house rules. We each took turns coming up with an idea and we added it to the list. I wrote the rules out on nice paper with different colored makers (which Olivia loved). At the end of the list we had some pretty great rules to live by. Here are just a few that we came up with:
- No hitting
- No yelling
- No biting
- No throwing things
- No hair pulling
- No bad words (bad words in our house are words like stupid, shut-up, and a few others)
- Respect each other (which they have no idea what that means)
At the end of it all, I sat back, and thought that our house rules were very similar to the rules and regulations of the World Wide Wrestling Federation, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Boxing combined. I had to laugh, because girls came up with this list. I think the only thing missing was, “No eye gouging”
Since we came up with our house rules, we have had some relapses. Just the other night, Georgia stood in the bathtub while I washed her and said, “Mommy, we don’t say stupid, or shut-up, or damnit…” (I have no idea where she heard that last one, because I never say that, I swear). She just listed off all of the words we don’t say. The girls don’t understand that saying that we don’t say a word is actually saying the word. It was hard to keep my laughter in because here was this adorable little girl listing off bad words. According to our house rules, they are allowed to say “silly goose” or “silly gilly gumball” instead of “stupid”. Which we get a big kick out of because hearing Georgia say “silly gilly gumball” is hilarious.
We may not be squared away with our house rules and clearly have ongoing work to do as a family. It might not be the quietest house on the block either. I have one girl who is a big princess and can throw big tantrums. I have another girl who likes to sword fight with the boys next door and who goes so fast at all times that she falls down a lot. She is tough though and picks herself up with an exuberant exclamation of “I’m okay!” And there is my littlest girl who is still developing her personality but is so sweet. She carries stuffed animals around in the crook of her chubby little neck and makes the most adorable cooing sounds. But don’t let that sweetness fool you, she has a devilish look in her eyes yet.
I may never know what it is like to parent a boy and I’m certain that it is wonderful and challenging in it’s own unique way, I’m sure there are parents of boys reading this thinking, “Lady, you have no idea”. But my girls are my girls, I love them despite the tiffs we’ve endured. They are vivacious, spunky, happy, spirited, and sweet. I thank my lucky stars each night that they are mine.