How strikingly different boys and girls are. Sure, there are the obvious physical differences, but since I am not a little boy obsessed with certain body parts, I won't draw attention to those! I am quite aware that, as the keeper of three boys, I have had to adapt my once genteel approach to get things done. I no longer preface sentences with “would you mind doing...?” or “could I trouble you for...?” as I find that “shoes!” “eat!” and “get down now!” get a much better response. Gone are my suits and high heels (they only hamper my ability to chase runaways) and my last blow dry was courtesy of number two boy, and a leaf blower. I rather suspect that, had I had three girls, hanging on to my dignity might have been somewhat easier. Life may have been more expensive and somewhat more pink and sparkly, but at least there would be homemade cupcakes for tea, my hair would be expertly braided every morning, and we wouldn't have to discuss bottoms at every meal. Or farts. Granted, I'd have to develop a tolerance for Harry Styles, emotional blackmail and squealing, but even those things would offer some relief to my current situation, which is rather noisy and smelly, and involves far too many extractions from public toilets and trips to the Emergency Department. Boys and girls require different things of us, require them at different times, and require different approaches to the same things. And while this might lead to significant challenges, genuine moral dilemmas and total exhaustion, it is absolutely necessary for the cultivation of strong, confident and loved and loving human beings.