Sarah has sleepover guests on a regular basis. Once, she had 16 guests. It was exhausting, but easy. I understand girls. Now that she and her friends are teenagers, I know exactly what they are thinking and plotting. Going head to head with her is frustrating, but I know that it’s a dance we must dance for the next decade. I hope I live to see the other side. This week, Sarah and Amy are staying with their cousins in Indiana. I am left in a house filled with boys. Just to make things extra fun, Tommy and Noah have had their friends over to celebrate the absence of the sisters. It’s been just me and six boys. This is not my idea of fun.
I know what my husband and sons like and dislike. I can tell how they are feeling and I love them with all of my heart. That said, I must confess that I don’t understand how their minds work. What’s worse is that I don’t want to understand them. When an infant male insists on keeping his hand on the gearshift, I just diaper over the hand. I don’t need to know what he is thinking. When a toddling male wakes from his nap with a reaction that you expect from an adult male, he refuses a new diaper until he has finished admiring himself. I just tell him to let me know when he’s done. Small boys are constantly injuring themselves in the groin area. No, I will not kiss it. I was asked to do so after a toilet seat injury. Girls don’t injure themselves on toilet seats. Last night, I was doing my evening walk-through-the-house-putting-things-away routine and I walked in on a 12-year-old boy interacting with a beanbag. He was treating the beanbag the way a male dog treats your supervisor’s leg when you are trying to convince the boss that you are management material. I stood silently, trying to decide the appropriate response. The words “good form” went through my head, but my brain controls incinerated the words before they could escape my lips. The boy noticed that everyone else in the room was staring at the doorway. He froze, turned toward me and then buried his head in the beanbag in embarrassed laughter. I walked away to the sound of every boy in the room laughing hysterically. Why would I want to know what that boy was thinking? I think I should spend the rest of the week hiding in the basement.