Wednesday, August 26, 2009

That Y Chromosome

I just love it when I hear parents of young children say something like, "Oh, we're only going to let Johnny play with gender-neutral toys. We want him to grow up to be a peace-loving, nurturing father." Uh-huh. Good luck with that.

And I'm going to put an apron on my dog so she'll be the next Julia Child. Lord knows, we need someone around here who will cook.

The fact is, boys and girls are just different. And I don't mean in the obvious, he-needs-PeePee TeePees-and-she-doesn't way.
For instance, let's say you give a boy and a girl a plastic straw and a gum wrapper and put them each in an completely empty room for thirty minutes.

When you open the door to the girl's room, you will find that she has spent the half-hour imagining an elaborate story about having been an princess imprisoned in a tower. She will have used the straw and the gum wrapper as props - a magic wand and a precious gem, respectively. She will be eager to have you transcribe the narrative so she can send it to Grandma.

When you open the door to the boy's room, you will first notice, scattered about the room, an assortment of hardware - nails, screws, bolts - that were not in the room earlier. The boy will have no recollection of their appearance. The straw will have become a gun. The gum wrapper will be firmly lodged in the boy's right nostril. His underwear and one sock will have mysteriously disappeared. There will be one muddy footprint on the ceiling, a tuft of cat hair near the electrical outlet, and the boy's other sock will be hanging from the light fixture. The room will smell vaguely of old cheese and motor oil. He will be ravenously hungry. He will not be able to tell you a single thing he did in the last 30 minutes.

And it doesn't change as they get older.

Recently, there was a large assortment of teenage personages at my house. I don't even know if any of them were mine. I'm losing track. Because of increasingly frequent teen invasions, lately I've taken to hiding in the pantry, trying to protect the last of the Ritz crackers and Can O' Squirt Cheese.

Anyway. The girls in the crowd decided it was time for a group makeover. Specifically, facial peels. They even offered an assortment of pink grapefruit, cucumber, and chocolate scented facial products, to be applied thickly and then peeled away ten minutes later. The boys were too besotted with the girls to say no. (I love blogging. Where else can you use a word like "besotted?") Either that, or the food-like smell of the stuff lured them into assent.

Well. I'm here to tell you, teenage boys do not need illegal substances, energy drinks, coffee, or Mountain Dew to jack them up. A smear of a cucumber facial peel will turn them into human pinballs. Sports teams, take note.

At precisely 9:59:59 minutes post-application, the boys were making for the bathroom to remove their beauty products. When they emerged, they didn't look any more attractive to me, but apparently they were feeling a little testosterone deprived, because I heard one of them say, "We need to do something manly. Let's go blow something up."

There was a thundering stampede out the back door as they went to go find some fireworks. From my sentry point in the pantry, I heard some loud explosions, a cow bawling, and possibly the whispered mention of boxer shorts and a fire extinguisher.

A few minutes later, the girls were calmly removing their own facial products. The boys burst back into the house, with one proclaiming triumphantly, "Yeah! Now I smell like roasted cucumber!" I found an empty Little Debbie Oatmeal Cookie box and pulled it over my head. I didn't want to hear the rest.

So, yeah, good luck with that gender-neutral plan. Let me know how that works out for you. We can discuss it in my pantry. I'll save a seat for you near the shelf where the fruit cocktail and party peanuts used to be.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Overheard in my minivan

Danger Boy to Sasquatch:

"Hey! We have a bunch of those packing peanuts at home. Let's put them in our pants and kick each other!"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Mad Hatter

Danger Boy has always had a fascination with putting odd things on his head. And, no, I don't think he's got a future as a milliner. I don't know anyone - other than people who live in Hollywood or under the local freeway overpass, I mean - who would sport

the funnel look

or the margarine tub look
or the wet washcloth lookor the turkey killing cone look
or, most recently, the bunch-of-balloons look.You can't blame his parents. We dressed him normally as a baby.
Okay... maybe not.