Sons and Daughters

So many people asked me when I was expecting Li’l Fatty whether I was hoping for a girl.
When he came along, it didn’t feel like I’d disappointed people but like they thought I must be disappointed.
I suspected I was having a boy for most of my pregnancy – I won’t claim psychic ability, just a li’l pair of Maltesers floating in the middle of our 20 week scan.
When I saw it, I wasn’t disappointed at all.
I knew I adored my little Master Seven.
And boys just seemed so uncomplicated.
I’d heard many a friend wail about the increasing sassiness of her daughter.
“She just rolls her eyes at me now,” one would say of her five-year-old. “Such attitude.”
Or: “She refuses to cuddle me or say she loves me. Her brother is the complete opposite, such a mummy’s boy.”
Then there were the school mums.
“I’ve had to ask the principal to put Stella and Monica in separate classes next year,” one mum said of her daughter and her daughter’s best friend.
“They just fight all the time now. It’s affecting her sleep.”
These girls are in prep.
Master Seven and his mates are too busy playing footy to fight.
If they do, it’s over sooner than you can say ‘kick it to me’.
As for the attitude: Master Seven often stops me in my tracks to tell me how beautiful I am.
He loves me loudly, cuddles me constantly and still doesn’t understand why he can’t marry me.
He doesn’t seem to have discovered the opposite sex (unless you count Princess Peach).
And he won’t grow up dressing like Miley Cyrus (no longer a good thing) or starving himself down to Taylor Swift-size.
And sure, I’ll worry about both my teenage boys having sex, using Facebook and getting into friends’ cars but, I suspect, not as much as I’d worry about my teenage daughter.
I’m sorry, I don’t mean to knock girls.
I am a girl.
That’s how I know what complicated creatures we can be.
And raising one in the 21st century just seems challenging compared to boys.
But, in fairness to daughters worldwide, let’s balance this.
There’s an old saying: “A son is your son until he takes a wife. A daughter will stay yours for the rest of your life.”
And let’s face it mums-of-sons, we know it’s true.
Once your son accepts the fact he can’t marry mummy and finds solace in the bosom of an unrelated woman his own age, he’ll be quickly swallowed into her family.
In fact, if he finds room for anything or anyone else, it’ll be for a round of golf with his dad.
Your daughter, on the other hand, will find getting married is when she needs her mother most.
And it won’t end after the nuptials, because she’ll be having a baby soon enough and you’ll become her most valuable tool.
Forget secret diaries, nasty fob-you-off text messages and the all-too-familiar rolling of the eyes.
That was your teenage daughter.
Your adult daughter is a different story.
You’ll go from wanting to know anything about her life to knowing absolutely everything.
This new mummy will need her mummy.
Finally.
And forever.
Am I disappointed I have two boys?
Not at all.
Would I be disappointed if I had a girl?
No way.
Because by the time my boys jump ship, she’ll be almost ready to step up as first mate.

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