I see this in particular with Greta. She is surrounded by her brother and two boy cousins who are 3, 5 and 7. She can more than hold her own, but she misses her girlfriends.
After one particularly long day, where it seemed the majority of the day was spent with her two cousins and brother trying to give her a wedgie, she crawled up into my lap and said, "I miss Mary and Abigail" (two of her closest girl friends). I was out at a meeting the other night and when I got back she threw herself into my arms and said, "Mom, I missed you so much. There's nothing but boys around here."
I have more time than usual just to observe her, and I am in awe of her gracefulness and agility. She can run like the wind - a distinct advantage when she is spending much of her time fleeing a boy carrying a stick, or a gross bug, or chanting taunts at her. She laughs it off, most of the time, and when she has had enough she finds me and we snuggle up for a bit.
"What is it about boys, Mom," she asks. "They are so loud and they just don't stop moving."
"Yes, that is true," I reply.
"All they talk about is bugs and butts and Transformers and Star Wars." she continues. "And I even like bugs, but I like other stuff, too."
"Yes, that is true, too." I say.
"And they love to pull my hair and pin me down and tickle me," she says. "Sometimes I really hate it."
"Do you want to know a little secret?" I tell her. Her eyes get wide. "Sometimes boys do these things because they really like you, and they don't know how to tell you that."
"That just doesn't make sense."
"The best thing you can do is ignore them," I say, "if they are making you mad. Their favorite thing is to get your attention and if you don't give it to them it will make 'em crazy."
She grins from ear to ear.
"Okay, I'll try that," she says. "But on the next vacation? Can Abigail and Mary come too?"