I had two lovely boys, and then a lovely girl came along. "You wait," the mothers of girls said ominously. "Girls are a totally different ball-game..."
So I waited, and nothing seemed terribly different. A baby, basically, with the usual sort of baby demands. Then a toddler. Then a pre-schooler. And then wham! There, suddenly, was the difference they had been talking about.
My sons went to Montessori – the same Montessori as my daughter in one case – and came home with tales of what they learned, usually animal-related, and paintings they had done.
My daughter, now four, comes home with a minute blow-by-blow account of who was nice and who was mean to her. Which other little girls let her play with them, and which didn't. Who let her sit next to them and who didn't. This kind of analysis goes on and on.
Her detailed examination of the social scene in her Montessori rivals Jane Austin for the level of awareness and sophistication she brings to it. And finally I understand what other mothers of girls mean when they say sadly 'children can be so mean to each other...'
here is a piece I have written on the topic for eumom.ie: