I have a confession to make: I'm a girl mom. Completely, 100 percent, not a shred of boy-mom in me. If I were to have a boy, I'm not sure I would know what to do with him since he probably wouldn't be interested in a getting a pedicure with me.
I am jarred into the reality of my single-sex parenting skills whenever we have a boy at our house for a playdate. They do things that I would never have anticipated, like climbing things, sliding down the stairs on garbage bags, jumping from one piece of furniture to another. It's like I'm visiting a foreign country where I don't speak the language. I'm never sure how to handle these situations, especially when my girls fall right into line behind them.
I have no boy toys; instead we have lots of girl stuff -- dress-up clothing, art supplies, Barbies, no trucks, no video games, no guns. But the thing about boys is that they can make anything into a gun or sword -- a stick, their fingers, anything.
I really have to hand it to boy-moms. The stamina, energy and patience you exhibit every day is amazing to me. One playdate exhausts me enough to realize that you are truly special people. I clearly don't have what it takes. God must have been paying attention when he decided to give me girls.
"No way, not a boy for Amanda. She can't handle it. She doesn't have the right stuff. Let's give her girls, hopefully she can handle the whining," God must have said.
I really learned more about the other gender when I read a friend's new book about raising boys. "House of Testosterone: One Man's Survival in a Household of Males" by Sharon O'Donnell (Jefferson Press, 2007) provides great insight into what the parenting journey is like when you are a lone female in a house full of men, albeit some of them little men. From smelly shoes to toilet lids left up to a calendar filled with sporting events, it's another world when you're a boy-mom.
I can paint tiny nails bright pink like it's nobody's business. I am great at throwing a princess costume together for a party at the last minute, but I don't know how to play soccer, and I'm not really sure what a Power Ranger is. I guess all mothers have our strengths and weaknesses.
Amanda lives in North Carolina with her husband and two daughters.