Have a girl people told me when my late husband and I expressed our desire to start a family. Little girls are so sweet people said. Raising girls is so much easier Nana's friends said nodding their gray heads in wisdom. I have come to the conclusion that the people who say such things have either forgotten what is like raising small children or have never had children.
The Bumper is indeed a sweet, loving, sympathetic child, but easy? No. She is also quite independent, strong willed and loud. She loves to be out of doors, she loves running, jumping, climbing and swinging. At her school playground she can often be found playing with the boys because they like the same things she does. She learned how to jump from a swing when she was three years old. The Bumper still can't pump on a swing, but she sure can jump out of one! I am convinced I am not going to get out of her childhood without at least one trip to the emergency room for a broken something.
Right now her favorite activity is gardening with her Nana. Both Nana and I encourage this because we want her to know where her food comes from and gives her a positive outlet for her energy. The Bumper likes it because she gets to make "dirt angles" and to swim in the mud after she waters the plants.
A while back a Mennonite friend of mine gave me some of her little girl's outgrown and nearly worn out dresses. She was concerned because I was still dressing the Bumper in trousers and she was three, but after watching the Bumper play she understood-- the Bumper is hard on clothes and frilly dresses will not stand up to her level of activity. I was a bit confused, but she said "Trust me, you'll need these." Sure enough she was right. All of a sudden this year the Bumper is in love with dresses. She wants to wear them almost all of the time, but she also wants to do all of the running, climbing and mud swimming she did before. The dresses have saved both our tempers and the washing machine. They are one step up from the rag pile, and meant to be played in the way the Bumper plays. She can twirl like a princess and still climb trees.
Easy? Nope! A contradiction? Yes. I wouldn't have it any other way.