It has been a whole new ball game for me having a little girl. With my first three pregnancies, I instinctively knew that they were boys. It made things easier in some ways. Although they are all completely unique and individual in so many ways, they wore the same sorts of clothes, did the same sorts of things and were cuddly and stroppy in equal measures. My two middle boys were born within eighteen months of each other, which was and still is quite useful in the whole recycling of clothes, toys, books and any other things that can be handed down.
My third pregnancy was tough, I was utterly exhausted most of the time and then my gorgeous little boy was a very difficult baby, so I swore that I didn't want to have anymore. Having three boys, I got really fed up with people asking me if I was going to try for a girl. I wanted children, I hadn't specifically wanted boys, I just wanted healthy, happy children. My husband and I started to think about another and I quickly fell pregnant. Again, a barrage of "I bet you want a girl this time?" type questions which I got rather sick of in the end!
Due to the fact that I was a 'geriatric mum' (I was 39 at the time!) when I fell pregnant the last time, I had to had an amniocentesis. The only very small fragment of positivity that could be gleaned from that horrible experience, was the fact that they were able to tell me the sex. I nearly dropped the phone in shock, when the nurse told me I was having a little girl. I was so expecting her to say boy that I was totally unprepared.
It wasn't that I didn't want a girl. I just assumed that I was one of those people who didn't have girls. So I did ask her twice if she was sure and did she have the correct results. She must have thought that I was a mad woman. I was in a state of shock. But after a few weeks and lots of looking at lots of pink things in the shops, I soon came round to the idea.
Lots of my friends have girls and were on hand to give me advice from the length of time it takes to potty train them from their mood swings, eating habits and independence. I tried not to buy into this as to me she was a child; unique, individual just like her brothers were. Yes, I would dress her differently and some of her toys would be different, but surely it wouldn't be that different having a girl?
Two years later and we have just celebrated her second birthday. The two years have flown by, which has lead me to reflect on how or if indeed whether life has been different having a girl. She is certainly a little madam at the moment. We are entering that period in a toddlers life where she thinks she has a choice and I am trying to convince her that she doesn't. It is a battle of wills, that is sure. If she had her way at the moment, she would be existing on chocolate, ice-cream and biscuits and would be wearing the same set of clothes, with her Minnie Mouse Wellies on and would not take them off, ever!
Is this new though? No, not really. My now seven year old went through the 'terrible twos' and my goodness did I have some stand-offs with him. At the time, he was coming to terms with the arrival of his baby brother and I struggled to take him out anywhere as I found the whole experience of crying baby and stroppy toddler too exhausting. So the tantrums are not exclusive to little girls and although my daughter is very good at them, she isn't a patch on her older brother.
She does have a definite addiction to the colour pink. Clothes, toys everything is a variation of pink. Is that because she's a girl? Probably. Is it due to the fact that she has been surrounded by pink since she was a baby? More likely. Our first daughter after the boys, the first granddaughter on both sides. We all love buying pink girlie outfits and pink girlie toys. You can't help it after all the boyish stuff. It's just so pretty! So it is more likely that she loves pink as that is what she's used to.
In some ways, she is like her brothers. She loves being out and about. There is no feminine finesse about this little girl. She charges around like a rampaging rhino most of the time. She loves climbing, jumping and playing football. My husband has talked about her doing 'ballet'. I just laughed at him. Firstly, why do little girls have to do ballet? Is it a necessity if you are a girl under four feet tall? Sadly, my daughter is a little bit like her mother and grace is not something that becomes us. It is more likely that she will do football and swimming as her brothers have done before her, unless she has a burning desire to do ballet when she is old enough to decide for herself, the only tutus in this house will be in the dressing up box.
The only difference that I have seen with A that could possibly be described as a definite feminine attribute is her total obsession with clothes. Already. Aged two. I can take that little girl into a clothes shop and she has an arm full of hangers straight away. All sparkly tops and frilly skirts. It's hilarious. Compared to the boys, who only now aged six and seven like to choose what they wear, she is a bit of a 'diva'. She chooses what she wears. If you get something out that she doesn't like, she refuses to get dressed and runs around the house half naked until you find something that is acceptable. Even vests have to have Minnie Mouse or Peppa Pig emblazoned on the front. We are given quite a few items of clothing from friends who have girls and unfortunately we have a number of coats. I say unfortunately, as although it is great, we now have a daily debate over which coat she is going to wear. I'm sure you know only too well that point in the morning just before you are due to leave on the school run, you will be late if you don't get everyone out in the next two minutes, everyone is ready, apart from little madam who is having a paddy as she doesn't want to wear the chosen coat.
I have to say that it has been lovely having a little girl in the family. But not specifically because she is a little girl. She is a beautiful, intelligent, independent, stubborn, funny, imaginative little person. She has brought with her a new dimension to our family and has made it complete. She is our daughter and like her brothers, she is an individual and I wouldn't have it any other way.