Why don't people think that little girls are just as gross as their brothers are? Wishful thinking, maybe, or confirmation bias; I'm not sure, but you'll see plenty of lists of things that only parents of sons will say, and much of it is focused on bodily functions, bad behavior, and big messes. My perspective of having boy-girl twins provides me a constant, in-house control group of gendered baby behavior, and it has led me to compile my own list of things that parents of boys are likely to say, which happens to be identical to my list of things that parents of girls are likely to say.
1. The diaper genie is not a Popsicle.
When does the "put everything in the mouth" stage end? Please tell me the time frame is measured in months and not years.
2. Mashed potatoes are for eating, not for styling your hair.
I like to think I'm a good cook. Both my son and my daughter apparently prefer to think that my talents lie more in my ability to provide them with copious amounts of material to apply to their hair, ears, and nose.
3. Don't eat the grass, it's going to make you gassy.
Some battles aren't worth fighting, but if I have a chance to prevent angry, grass-farting babies, I will.
4. Is this shirt actually orange or are those just stains?
I don't understand how a seventeen-pound person can spend five minutes outside and wind up covered in dirt and green splotches, or how a single meal can turn a white onesie into an orange one. Maybe the time I spent working in a lab that used radioactivity has finally caught up to me by endowing my children with the world's least helpful superpower.
5. Get your hands out of your diaper.
The twins are going through a phase I like to call "exploration", because that sounds cuter than "creating modern art in a very unsanitary medium."
6. You are going to be able to burp the alphabet before you can say it.
I think my son actually edges out his sister on this one, but really, both of these kids can burp with the power of a thousand fiery, baby-food-scented suns. If I put them in front of a miniature wind turbine I think I could probably generate enough electricity to power our house.
7. Where did you learn to fart like that?
Haha, just kidding! I've never asked my kids this, because I know exactly where they learned this: from me.
8. The dog's bone is not a teething toy.
These children want for nothing, and yet my son is currently crawling toward the dog's Kong toy, and I'm 98% sure my daughter is stealthily eying up a nearby Nylabone. I know germ exposure is important, but if they could at least refrain from putting things in their mouth that have previously been in the mouth of a creature that licks its own butt, I would sleep a little better at night.
9. Stop touching poop.
Okay, this one is only a second-hand story from a mom I know with two little girls. One day her toddler asked her if she ever looked at her own poop in the toilet. Well, sure, that can be a good way to see if you're eating healthily, I guess. "Okay, good. And Mom, do you ever ... touch your poop?" Hearing this question out of your sweet little girl's mouth is a good indication that you may want to Lysol everything in the house that can be reached by a three-year-old.
10. STOP EATING POOP.
Back on the home front, I will never be over the day I walked around the corner into the living room to find my daughter enjoying the dog's concept of a Hot Brown sandwich. In retrospect, letting them chew on a dog bone is starting to look kind of reasonable. And you know what? I started this list with the thesis that both boys and girls are kind of gross, but on this end of things, I'm starting to think that my daughter has edged her brother out. Well done, sweetie. Let's go celebrate with a handful of grass as a palate cleanser.
(Photo: Todd Castor/Shutterstock)