I wanted boys. If I was going to try and give birth to babies, I wanted the babies to be boys.
I was born into a family of four girls and one boy. Estrogen was the dominant hormone, and I found myself craving testosterone.
Please understand, I have nothing against girls. Honest. I like girls. In fact, some of my best friends are girls.
What I failed to see with my Y-chromosome tunnel vision was the maleness that is attached to the boy. What do I mean by maleness? Well, I mean passing gas and laughing, scratching bellies and other parts, crumbs on the counter, crumbs on the couch, stinky socks, and the worst – toilets. Shudder
Living in a home with 3 men, I am outnumbered. The super power of estrogen succumbs to the super power of testosterone. Or does it? Perhaps once a month my super power reigns, but I digress.
One night while in bed, I started a conversation with Rob. “I need your help.” I began. “I really need your help.”
“Rob. Are you awake?”
Snort. Cough. “Huh?”
“Rob, I need your help.”
“Toilets. Rob, I’m outnumbered. You guys – you, Joe and Charlie – are oblivious to the toilets. I get it. I do. However, this is not a frat house. I wanted boys. I had boys. Go boys! Now, can you boys help a girl out? Please encourage the boys to flush. Please. I don’t want them going to the houses of friends and not flushing. Do you? Please, Rob. Please. Help this singleton girl out.”
As Rob drifted back to sleep, I got out of bed. I pulled out some index cards and a Sharpie. On one card I wrote, “Close the lid.” On another card I wrote, “Flush the toilet.” And, on the third card I wrote, “Wash your hands.” I got some tape and stuck the notes above the toilet and light switch. I meant business.
When I woke up the next morning I heard, “Hey Joe! Hey Joe! Come see what Mommy put up in the bathroom!”
The laughter that followed left me with the impression my words would not be heeded. In an effort to let the guys know I was serious, I walked out to where they were and I said, “Joe and Charlie, these notes are here to remind you. I’m serious. Close the lid, flush the toilet and wash your hands. Do you understand?”
Really? I say to myself. Am I really having a conversation with my boys about flushing toilets and washing hands? Must these boys be taught to flush and wash? Is it a skill? Is it not instinctive?
Hark! What was that I just heard? A flushed toilet. And wait – what’s that? Why that’s the sound of water coming from the faucet. My boys! My boys! My boys are flushing toilets and washing hands!
Shh… listen. Hear that? The sounds coming from the bathroom is music to my ears.