I grew up in a house filled with girls. With me, my two sisters, and my mother to contend with, my father had no chance. He was perpetually surrounded by hair products, dolls, and florals. Oh…he tried to change things up. He bought us softball gloves and played catch with us. We were ordered to “go long” so we could catch “the bomb,” as he launched Denver-Bronco-colored orange and blue Nerf footballs at us. We never really had much interest in sports, but played along because we knew a good spiral-throwing arm might come in handy someday to impress a boy. My dad was the odd man out. His only consolation (if you could call it that) was a brown miniature poodle, which we girls had given the masculine moniker “Coco.” At least with the dog there was another male around, albeit a neutered one.
Now that I am married and the mother of two sons, I am the odd one out. In my house, I am constantly competing against testosterone and penises. This afternoon, my sons were chasing each other around the house with wooden, western-style toy rifles, shooting at each other.
“I just shot Joe’s nose off!” Luke exclaimed from his position against the wall downstairs.
“I can’t believe he got me! I had the higher ground,” Joe complained.
Hubby suggested we get more bullets for their Nerf guns so they could shoot each other “for real.” Eeesh. I was headed to Target anyway, so I picked some up for them. The minute I got home, the guns were loaded up and the battle began. As I walked around putting laundry away, I had to dodge boys and foam bullets. Luckily, I’m fairly stealthy and avoided being caught in the crossfire. Life in this house can be dangerous.
I tried to capture a photo of the boys during their battle so I could share it with a blog I was tentatively entitling Nerf Wars, but in every single shot I took one of the boys had one hand on his gun and the other hand on his penis. Are you kidding me? I had to delete every photo I took. I was trying to get a shot of the actual gunfight. Instead, my iPhone only held shots of hands on crotches. A man’s fixation with his penis starts at birth and never abates.
“What is this? The Great Weenie War?” I yelled over their sound effects.
They stopped and looked at me. Then they both cracked up. I had inadvertently coined the newest, most fun phrase in our house. For the next half hour, they ran around shooting at each other while yelling “Weenie War!” I just rolled my eyes, went to my bedroom for solace, and quietly closed the door. What else could I do? If this house is under siege during the Great Weenie War, I’m clearly outgunned. I looked at the only other female in this house, our border collie Ruby, hunkered down on her dog bed trying to ignore the fighting. For the first time, I truly understood how my father felt while I was growing up and I appreciated his bond with our male family pet. Ruby and I sat there staring at each other as the sounds of imaginary gunfire erupted again in the hallway. I swear she rolled her eyes too. When you’re outnumbered in battle, all you can do is take cover and hope you don’t have to hoist the white flag.
Someday the hormone balance in our home will return. The boys will leave home (hopefully to go to college) and things will level out again. Honestly, though, I don’t mind being being the only female in this house. Sure, I have to put up with farting contests and super heroes and a constant barrage of imaginary gunfire. But, when it’s all said and done, every penis-packing person here knows I carry the biggest gun. And, that’s all that matters.