When a girl is growing up, one of the most annoying things about her brothers is that they won’t stay out of her room.
They keep showing up at the worst possible moments. Maybe while playing make-believe with her dolls, or when she just settled into a cozy corner of her bed with a good book, or, heaven help us, when she is changing her clothes.
Her brothers’ presence requires her to stop whatever she is doing and persuade them to leave. Whatever she says to get them to leave has absolutely no effect, no matter how loudly she says it. They are compelled to finish whatever inane thought that had jumped into their head, and worse, make sure you hear it.
“Did you know…”
“GET OUT OF MY ROOM!”
“…that my maple and brown sugar oatmeal…”
“… is actually a weapon…”
“I’m warning you!”
“… against the deadly Yeerks? Hey! That hurt! Mom, she hit me!”
“He won’t get out of my room!”
“What? I was just telling you something.”
My daughter, being the only girl in the house is inundated with such displays of male-oriented immaturity. I am her only ally.
I sympathize with her situation, and dole out retribution if necessary, but I can’t make them grow up any faster. She has done everything she can to keep them out. She made signs for her door that say “KEEP OUT! That Means You!” Her brothers ignore them.
She armed herself with a squirt gun for some behavioral training. They stole her squirt gun.
“I’ve even put boy repellents all over my room, Mom!”
“Boy repellents?” I ask.
“Yeah, like fairies and flowers and rainbows and unicorns – stuff like that.”
“And that didn’t work?” I was amazed.
My son replied, “The force is strong with this one.”
“I’ll give you some force right between your eyes if you don’t stay out of my room!” my daughter threatened.
Thinking, no doubt, that this situation called for a more creative approach, my daughter whispered into my ear, “Mom what is he allergic to?”
“I thought he was allergic to unicorns. Clearly, that is not the case.”
As I was unloading the dishwasher later in the day, my son came to tell me his latest unbridled thought.
“Hey, Mom, if a mouse lived on an island with no vegetation, do you think he’d grow webbed feet so that he could swim and catch fish?”
“Not being acquainted with said mouse, I couldn’t say. How about giving me a hand with these dishes?”
“Um, I think I hear Dad calling me.”
Hmmm, I thought, as he hurried away. I think I just figured out what the boy is allergic to.