Why I wish I also had a daughter
A mum of boys and her little confessionary tale...
I am mother to two beautiful boys and I need to state this right at the start: I love them with all my heart and simply cannot imagine a life without them. But, I wish I had a daughter too.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I was positive he was a girl. I even foolishly bought a tiny dress. At the 20 week scan, the doctor pointed out a little penis and congratulated us on our son. The pink dress was packed away (but I did dress my boy in it when he was a month old and took a picture!) and our first little boy came into our lives with laughter and love.
When I became pregnant for the second time, I again assumed I was having a girl. One would think that I would have been wiser with age and all that jazz, but sadly, no. So I took out the little dress again and bought a pair of the tiniest white shoes with bows on them for added measure. I even chose a name.
At the 20 week scan we were shown another little penis. Needless to say, the dress and the shoes were packed away again, and I'm not sure they'll ever be pulled out again.
My spiky-haired littlest boy burst into our lives and now, our life is full with these two little munchkins and their antics.
But, I wish I had a daughter too.
For gender balance
I am surrounded by males.
Yes, they are lovable and cute and they are mine and I love them and their little boy ways deeply and fiercely. But I am heavily outnumbered in the gender department (not counting our two female dogs) and would love to have another female around to dilute the testosterone, just a bit.
The other day, my sons were stretched out on my bed, limbs akimbo, stark naked and reading books.
I rest my case.
For pretty things
My girly heart yearns for cute dresses, pretty hair ties and clips, sparkly shoes and jewellery to dress a little girl in, at least occasionally. My boys just won't let me dress them in those cute, matchy-matchy shirts with hearts on them.
Instead, I am restricted to the boring clothing that is often manufactured for boys, covered with heroic yet unattractive superheroes or silly slogans like "wham, bam, you're dead!"
Of course, I could have had a daughter who rejected all things girly and I would have been just fine with that too. But at least I could have dressed her in that tiny dress and miniscule white shoes for a taste of the feminine, before she became to old to protest.
I try, I really do. But it's like little boys are hard-wired to be messy by nature. After school each day I can track where they are in the house merely by following the trail of socks, shoes and clothes they shed with merry abandon.
Their playroom looks like a cyclone hit it at the end of the day (of course, I get them to clean up) and their favourite thing to do at the moment is honing their scissor skills by cutting up pieces of paper and dropping the shreds everywhere.
I am constantly sanitising the toilet and bathroom floor – because boys (and some men) seem incapable of aiming straight. I'm sure there are messy little girls around too. But at least they don't leave the toilet seat up, right?
I wish I had a daughter to nurture, guide and set an example to my boys
Now don't get me wrong, I do nurture and guide my little boys with the hope that someday, they'll become kind, responsible, caring and capable adults. I constantly talk to them about respecting others and try to inculcate as much gender difference blindness in them as possible.
But if I had a girl, I would make sure she would be a real-life example to my boys of how girls are as capable, as strong, as clever, as boys. They would learn first-hand how to respect and cherish the little girl in their life and someday as adults, mirror these values in their relationships with the women in their lives – colleagues, classmates, soulmates, daughters.
I wish I also had a daughter to teach her whispered lessons of love that only another female will understand, to see that special intuition that women seem to have blossom in her.
To see her rule the world as all girls should.
Maybe it's time to pull out the tiny dress again?