The True Cost of Rearing Daughters

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People occasionally make comments to my husband and me regarding the fact that we have two daughters and no sons. The most common comment to my husband is, “So, are you going to try for a boy?” To which he always replies, “No. I’m good with my two girls.” (FYI, this is because little girls are generally calmer and less inclined toward destruction than little boys.) The second most frequent comment we get is, “Just wait until they get to middle school. You’ll have more drama than you ever thought possible.” To which I respond, “I honestly can’t imagine much more sass and drama than we already have in our house. By the time they reach puberty, I think we’ll be immune to it.” However, there is one other comment we sometimes hear that is troubling. That comment is, “Two girls…that’s going to be expensive later on.” This comment is always in reference to the cost of future weddings…which is why we are already planting the idea of small weddings or eloping in our daughters’ minds. (If you were one of the hundreds in attendance at my wedding, you will know that I’m just kidding about small weddings…I sure do love a big event.) This comment is troubling to me, not because I’m worried about being able to retire at a reasonable age, but because no one warned me how much little girls can cost right now.

I believe the true cost in rearing daughters can be summed up in two words: toilet paper. I could be wrong, but I really don’t think mothers of boys have the same difficulty keeping their homes stocked with toilet paper. My girls are 2- and 4-years-old, and they go through toilet paper like no one’s business. How could two tiny people use so much??? I have analyzed the problem and observed my daughters, and I have decided that there are several contributing factors. They have to wipe every time they go (unlike boys), and they are often liberal in their use of paper. I’m a bit germaphobic, so I don’t get too upset about this one. They also tend to use toilet paper when they can’t reach paper towels. They haven’t quite grasped the idea that toilet paper gets really yucky when drenched with liquid. They also use toilet paper as tissues, which is also fine with me because as much as I’m complaining about toilet paper, it sure is cheaper than tissues. They have both come down with colds this week, so I can forget about conserving toilet paper for the next two weeks. I am sure that we will come to some sort of compromise regarding their over-use of toilet paper, but I still don’t see the issue going away entirely. Maybe I’ll try guilt… “Do you know how many trees died to give you that roll of toilet paper?? Sheryl Crowe only uses ONE square per wipe. Maybe you should try that.” If that fails, I’m going to start buying stock in Charmin.

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