The Difference Between Men and Women

Let me paint the bedtime scene for you.

We have already wrestled the four children who require strict bedtime-routine supervision up the stairs.  This has involved no fewer than six trips for we parents.  Honestly, it would take fewer trips if we simply carried them all.  But, instead, numbskulls that we are, we herd them like so many recalcitrant sheep, as they bleat and baaaaahhhh, and we shoo and cajole.

They’re here at the top of the stairs.

Whew!

One step down.  One hundred thousand to go.

Because this is the time of night when they run.  All in different directions.  Different, non-linear directions.  Different, non-linear directions with sudden, unpredictable route changes.  Random alterations of direction which usually result in the collision of a child’s iron skull with my jaw.  I know not how it happens, only that it does.

And Greg decides, at this exact moment, when at least two of those children are no longer wearing pants, that he must refill our soap dispensers.

That our soap dispensers’ emptiness has reached a critical level.

That if he does not refill those soap dispensers Right Now, the core will melt down.  A funnel cloud will descend.  Acid rain will fall.

I do not understand my husband.

Now, please understand that our soap dispensers have been empty for 47 days.  This is not a problem.  I simply hit them harder every night, hoping that the expulsion of air will waft some general, soaplike fumes onto my children’s hands.  It has worked swimmingly, and I don’t see a reason to change it.

I have one child climbing up my leg.  He’s made it to my waistband and is hanging from it like a frightened kitten, all claws and desperation.  Which means one-half of one mommy butt-cheek is rendered nekked to the hallway where my 11-year-old son, the prolific puker, is making gagging noises at so much of my exposed flesh.

I have another child raising the roof on my breasts and chanting rythmically with every push, “Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.”

I know you get the idea.  But, honestly.

“Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.  Mom.”

“Mom.”

(Sorry.)

My children are duplicating themselves at this point.  There are no longer four upstairs with me.  There are 48.  I swear there’s a sea of children, none of whom are fully clothed.

Greg is gone.

Disappeared into Soap Dispenser Refill Land.

There’s screaming.  (Not mine.  Yay!)

Her:  “IAN SHUT THE DOOR ON MY FACE!”

Me:  “Your face looks fine.”

Her:  “BUT HE SHUT THE DOOR ON MY FACE!”

Me:  “I think you’re going to live.”

Her:  “BUT HE SHUT THE DOOR ON MY FACE!”

Me, catching Ian by the arm and disrupting his blitzkrieg down the stairs: “Ian, no shutting doors on faces.”

Her:  “SEE, IAN? HA!”

Me:  “GREG?  WHERE ARE YOU?”

Greg, from the bowels of the house:  “I’M REFILLING SOAP DISPENSERS!”

Me:  “Really, Greg?  REALLY?  Please tell me.  WHY are you refilling the soap dispensers?”

Greg:  “Because they were empty.”

Because they were empty.

Because they were EMPTY.

And there you have it.

Irrefutable evidence.

Men are different than women.

There’s no understanding it.  There’s no explaining it.  It just is.

The End.

Except that I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the soap dispenser situation is completely and totally different from when the living room furniture must be rearranged.  Right Now.  Even though it’s midnight.  And even though it takes two of us and a furniture dolly.  And even though it means that the bedroom furniture doesn’t look quite right anymore, either.

And… oh, whatever.  Go to bed.  I’ll do it myself.

It’s different because it is.  It just is.

(OK, fine.  Maybe I understand my husband a tiny bit.)

……….

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
7 comments
  1. […] a comment (perhaps about marriage or living with special powers or pita bread) on this blog post by 11:00am (Pacific Time) on […]

  2. hi there, i am a mom of one (and another on the way for next year if all goes well…!) in the outskirts of philadelphia. i recently discovered your blog and have spent more time than i care to say reading back through the archives and laughing myself to tears!!!! 🙂 love your blog and will check back regularly for updates.

    1. Hi, Ashley! And welcome to our wild, wild world. So glad to have you along for the ride.

  3. Oh yes, are we different.
    I clean the house perfectly fine (well, that’s subjective, I know) without my husband around. But here is how he cleans…….”Cathie, where do you want me to put this? What do you want me to do with this? Where do we keep this?”
    REALLY!

    1. Cathie – I read your comment aloud to Greg. I got 1 sentence into your dialogue, and Greg goes, “I know! I know!” Teehee. 😉

  4. Haha! I totally understand! I don’t have 5 kids, just 3…but I am not kidding you, he has a proficiency for disappearing at the crucial moment like I’ve never seen! The other day I was elbow deep in vegetables. Dinner doesn’t cook itself, and I have one that NEEDS a very strict bedtime to function, so delaying wasn’t an option. The littlest one had a poopy diaper (which hubby wouldn’t change anyway, because the little guy wears cloth diapers and it was just part of the deal that mommy would be doing the changing). Suddenly the toilet was overflowing and thing 1 needed help with her math homework. All at the same time. And where was hubby? He’s SUPPOSED to be sitting on the couch, playing video games or watching tv. That’s what he ALWAYS does while I make dinner. But this time? Gone. Not in the house.

    Me: Does anyone know where Daddy is?

    Thing 1: Yeah, he’s out mulching.

    For real?!? RIGHT now? Because why wouldn’t you mulch at that very moment? The mulch has been sitting on the driveway for FOUR weeks, and it has to be done while I’m trying to make dinner and the kids are running crazy around the house? So I asked him why he was mulching while I was trying to make dinner.

    Me: Why are you mulching RIGHT NOW? Dinner is almost ready.

    Him: I HAVE to. I need to be done before it gets dark! AND I’m going to need to take a shower before dinner.

    So, yeah…we ate dinner without him.

    But the furniture? I totally get you on that. Dinner could have waited if I’d needed to rearrange the furniture. THAT would have been an emergency!

    1. Bahahahaha!

      Yes.

      Clearly, you get it. Especially the part about furniture emergencies. I shall put you on the list of midnight people to call when I MUST change it around Right Now. 😉

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