Boys are made of slime and snails and puppy-dog tails while girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Right?
As a mom of two little boys, I was delighted to find out my third child would be a girl: a delicate little rose to balance out the testosterone. I filled her room with lace, flowers, and ALL the pink. I waited impatiently for my dainty daughter to come into this world, so I could live happily ever after.
Then my beautiful fairy tale came crashing down in an avalanche of bodily fluids.
It turns out baby girls are grosser than baby boys!
Do not believe the myth. Do not go blindly into the pink haze thinking you will be greeted at the other end by a little lady. No, you’re in for quite a shock. Here are four ways that girls are grosser than boys:
The first poop
I was appalled trying to wipe the sticky black tar off my first son’s freakishly swollen testicles. It took me about 20 minutes to feel satisfied that he was clean enough to be rediapered. I thought nothing could be more disgusting than gently scrubbing a tiny scrotum with cotton balls, until I had a little girl. Cleaning that first meconium poop was like trying to wipe rotten molasses out from between your toes…while wearing ski gloves. The sticky black goo seeped into every tiny crease and crevice she had, all of which were too small to for my wipe-covered finger to navigate easily. By the way, who knew how many flaps we have going on down there? I would like to apologize to every man I ever teased for losing his way.
The dreaded diaper-changing-pee
When I found out I was having a boy, my friends regaled me with stories about babies peeing on their mom’s, face, hair, and even in her mouth. I was on guard from the very first diaper change, my cat-like reflexes peaked, ready to dive for cover at a moment’s notice. I even bought little cotton cones to put over my son’s penis while I was changing him to catch any projectile urine. They were called “pee pee tee pees” and did absolutely nothing except offend Native Americans. The truth is I never received more than a sprinkle or two from either of my sons. My daughter, on the other hand, was responsible for numerous flash floods. Unlike the boys who would emit a small, steady, and clearly visible stream of pee that could be redirected or avoided, my daughter would simply release the dam, quietly, stealthily, and instantly. Tsunamis give you more warning than my daughter’s bladder.
As a woman who has been successfully wiping her own lady parts for the better part of thirty years, I’m amazed how often I forget to wipe my daughter front to back. After two boys and thousands of diaper changes where I could just lift their legs, stick the wipe under their butts and collect as much as I could on the way up, I can’t get the hang of the downward wipe. It’s like a surgical procedure: spread this, clamp that, double check you haven’t left a sponge anywhere. Boys are so much more straightforward: get in and out as quickly as possible. More like combat field surgery.
Both my boys burped a lot. I became a baby-thumping guru, contorting them into all sorts of elaborate positions in order to dislodge the offending gas bubble. It worked every time, except on my daughter. I could tell she had gas pains, but no matter how vigorously I whacked her, swung her, vibrated her, or hung her upside down by her ankles, I couldn’t get her to burp. Finally I asked the pediatrician who suggested I lay her on her back and pedal her legs. Seconds later she let out a thunderous fart and was instantly happier. It turns out some babies expel gas by belching and some by farting. So after feeds instead of burping our sweet little princess, we’d flip her on her back and “fart” her. Here’s hoping she grows out of that…
My little girl is now three months old and I’d like to call out whoever invented that silly rhyme as a big, fat liar. My daughter is adorable, affectionate, sweet, and gentle. However, she can also shriek like a banshee, projectile vomit like something from a horror movie, and clear a room with her not-so-silent but deadly farts.
When I had only boys I was envious of the women I saw getting mother-daughter pedicures and having tea parties, but sugar and spice or slime and snails, they’re all just babies. Babies are gross whether they’re wearing stained overalls and sneakers or ruffles and bows.
My girl might always be able to belch the alphabet and produce fart sounds from no fewer than six parts of her body, but maybe, just maybe, she can do it while we go shoe shopping…