Had you asked me before I had kids whether I wanted boys or girls, I would’ve probably shrugged and said I didn’t care that much but would prefer to have sons. I know this sets me apart from a lot of women; I have more than one female friend who has sons but would sell her soul for a daughter. But I was never the girliest girl: I know nothing about hairstyles; I can’t put on eyeliner to save my life; I have extremely questionable fashion sense. I don’t know what to do with daughters any more than I know what to do with myself. Mind you, I wouldn’t know what to do with sons either, but at least I’d have an excuse.

Now, of course, I have two daughters, and I can’t imagine it any other way. But every so often, my friends with boys say or write stuff that suggests that they don’t quite understand the reality of having daughters.

 

  1. Girls can be just as gross as boys, I promise. My girls burp and fart and laugh hysterically about it. They try to make me/each other smell and taste disgusting things and laugh hysterically about it. They spit chewed up food into my hands if they don’t like it. They leave random biscuits and cups of milk all over the house. No doubt there are some “little ladies” out there, just like I’m sure there are “little gentlemen,” but my two daughters are basically tiny blonde frat boys.

 

  1. Girls can be just as high-energy as boys, I promise. Again, I’m sure this can vary based on the child, but Ruby was kicked out of daycare for being “too active” when she was 11 months old, and Georgia would probably jump on the bed for at least six hours per day if we’d let her. Not long ago, my mom went to pick Ruby up in the carpool line with a sign on her dash that said, “Crawford.”

“Oh, you’re getting the four boys?” the woman minding the line asked, thinking of the other Crawford family.

“No,” my mom said, “just Ruby Crawford.”

“Ah, right,” the woman said. “The one with the energy of four boys.”

 

  1. Girls fight just as much as boys, I promise. Granted, these fights are not physical – Georgia occasionally swats at Ruby in frustration, but Ruby, to her great credit, has never once hit back. My understanding of brothers is that they basically spend their entire childhoods casually beating the snot out of each other, so yes, I will say that this is a difference. But there are days – typically long, rainy Sundays – when the bickering gets so unbearable that I would almost welcome them having a physical fight and getting it out of their systems. I think a swift bloody nose might be better than 35 solid minutes of “it’s mine,” “no, it’s mine,” “don’t sit so close to me,” “I SAID MOVE!” “NO, YOU MOVE!”

 

Raising kids is hard and funny and exhausting and gross, regardless of gender. And in any case, having more than one – watching them snuggle and negotiate and compromise and yes, even bicker – is the most amazing thing to be a part of, especially as an only child.

The other day, in the midst of some kind of ridiculous fight over whose French toast stick was bigger or who got to pick the TV show they were watching or whose name came first in the alphabet or who got to tell me when the blue light on the car’s dash went off so we could turn on the heater or something ridiculous that I can’t even remember now, I snapped, “Oh, my God, why are you bickering so much?”

Ruby just looked at me. “Because we’re sisters,” she said simply. “And also, because we’re best friends.”