When the doctor announces that the little bundle you’re expecting is a girl, you automatically have visions of sugar, spice, and everything nice dancing around your delusional head. You believe your life will be consumed by all things frilly and pink, and you are 100% okay with this, even if you don’t admit it. During the nine months of anxiously awaiting her arrival, you conjure images of what you think life will be like raising a daughter: an even more lovely miniature version of yourself, of course.
Never once do you stop and think about what you were like as a young girl. Never do you ponder the words your mom frequently grumbled during your own adolescence “Someday I hope you have a daughter just like you!” Instead, you incorrectly assume it will be all sunshine and rainbows. You can blame the hormones coursing through your body for that. Then sometime around age two, you realize your mother had been putting some kind of voodoo curse on you each time she uttered those words. Apparently, you weren’t easy to raise and your mom is now sitting on the sidelines joyfully watching you struggle with your own little girl who is capable of going from angel to rage spewing monster in the blink of an eye.
After five years of mostly surviving, I can tell you these are some truths you’ll encounter while raising a young daughter.
When you discover you’re having a daughter, you picture yourself braiding her long shiny hair while you both giggle about whatever inside joke you’ve shared. The reality is, this creature will not sit still long enough for you to even brush her hair so she doesn’t look like a hobo. And as it turns out, you actually have no business trying to braid someone else’s hair every morning before you’ve had coffee while you try to pack lunches and remind everyone to put their shoes on. Not to mention, this shiny long hair is actually a danger in itself. During the last five years I have liberated my daughter’s hair from buttons, matchbox cars, goggles, a fan, and a variety of other seemingly innocent objects. Each time I curse this long hair and my daughter’s desire to grow it as long as Rapunzel’s.
There’s immediately a new sheriff in town. That’s right, at one time you thought you were in charge, but this little version of you actually runs the show now. And if looks could kill, you would be dead in your tracks. You have remained firm and steadfast in your resolve to raise a kind and obedient child but it doesn’t matter, your daughter came out of the womb ready to challenge your authority. Thankfully she’s sweet when she needs to be, and her teachers will tell you she’s a little angel. She’s basically like Jekyll and Hyde and she saves all her crazy for you. Deep breaths, mama, she can sense weakness.
The milestones are a little different with a daughter than those with a son. At one she’ll be walking, at two she’ll be talking – so much talking, and by age three she’ll be slamming her bedroom door on you because the Pop-Tart you served her wasn’t pink enough. While parenting a daughter, you will ride the tidal waves of emotion like you’re a first-time surfer who’s trapped in shark-infested waters clinging to their board for dear life. Somehow our mothers survived, so we will too. Just remember to frequently grumble through clenched teeth “Someday I hope you have a daughter just like you!”
You will think you birthed a hyena. The shrieks that a little girl can produce from such a tiny body will both terrify and impress you. From ages two to four my daughter could give Mariah Carey a run for her money. It was like a high pitched dog whistle sound, only instead of just canines being able to hear her, everything in the universe was aware that she was angry or mildly inconvenienced by her sock.
They’re little daredevils. Don’t be fooled by their innocent looking cherubic faces and their princess tea parties, they will straight up jump off the bed flying squirrel style and land on their brother in what can only be described as an epic pro wrestling move, like they’ve been training for the WWE their whole life. My daughter constantly dispels the myth that girls aren’t rambunctious and ready to play rough. It’s a wonder she hasn’t broken one of her limbs yet, although I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.
Seriously though, raising a daughter is the best, most head-spinning delight that will also scare you on a daily basis. I have no doubt that there is still much more in store for us. I’m a little nervous for the teen years, but like most things with kids, we’ll survive and it will go way too fast. So sit down, strap in, and hang on for the wild ride that comes with raising a daughter.