I’m tucking my three boys into bed. They are all naked, except for their underwear. It’s how they sleep. It’s how their father sleeps. The cool temperature of the house doesn’t seem to affect them at all. Not that it’s freezing or anything, but we sleep with the thermostat set at 67 or 68 degrees. I am in sweats, a sweatshirt and fuzzy socks. They are baby bear cubs (minus the fur) rolling all over their beds as I try to shove them into the warm cave of blankets. We do not seem of the same species.
I often feel that way, being the only girl in my house. I’m constantly the odd, uh, man out. I want the house warmer, they want it colder. I want to bake cupcakes; they just want to eat them. I want to read them stories, they want to build a house out of the books. Sigh.
The differences don’t end there. In fact, they’re just beginning, leading me to believe that in fact, we may very well live together but exist in different worlds. Case in point…
I’m the only one at the dinner table eating greens. They just look green if I make them eat any.
I am the only one who sees things. I actually did an experiment here. Not one of my boys or husband noticed the Monopoly game dead center on the floor of our hall for days. They walked past it, stepped on it and even tripped over it, actually kicking it across the floor, but no one ever thought to move it.
I am also the only one who can find things. It’s a string of, “Honey, where are the keys? Mom, where is my basketball shirt? Where is my lego guy? I can’t find the mayonnaise. Did you see my hat?” I mean come on people, “Table, drawer, under bed, fridge, on floor by shoes.” Duh.
I am the only one who can just roll up my sleeve and take a shot or give blood. They wrestle and beat each other to the ground, no problem. They can come home with scratches on their face, but no memory of how it actually got there. A tiny prick in the arm? Babbling, snot bubbling tears. Really?
I am the only one who can tell time. No husband, 9:30pm at night is not when we start a game. No son, 10pm is not when we remember we forgot homework. Nor is when we decide to be hungry. And kids, whether you are finished with what you’re doing or not in the morning, the bus for school does not care. 8:25am. Get your butts out there. No, you cannot have just one more minute. Just look at the clock.
There are also simple differences. They all favor vanilla. I am chocolate through and through. They love the ocean. I am land locked. They are all good at Math. I don’t even trust myself with a calculator. They beat each other up. I just beat myself up.
Is it gender inherited? Is it learned behavior? I tend to believe that they are who they are, just as I am who I am. Trust me, I tried to turn them to the dark side, of chocolate of course, but they couldn’t be swayed. I try to open their eyes, but they just can’t seem to see the same things I see, and not in the same way I see them.
It may just be that boys will be boys, and girls will be girls. Totally different, yet, most of the time, living together in harmony. So, while I may be destined to be the only person in my house who can find anything, at least I know that no one is going to be stealing my ice cream.