I live in a male-dominated house, so a few things are all but guaranteed:
- In at least one bathroom, the toilet seat is up and there is still pee in the bowl (Yes, I know this is gross. Despite having taught the boys during potty training to put the seat down, they seem to ignore this policy — especially in their own bathrooms)
- SportsCenter is on ALL THE TIME
- Only Mom can find things in, near or around the house
It is this latter point that has me baffled. So much so that I think having a penis might actually make you blind … Okay, I know this isn’t actually true, but it’s the only explanation with which I can come up.
In the Tarr home, when something is misplaced (like the book that was “put away,” read: left somewhere), “hiding” underneath something else (such as the field trip permission slip that’s tucked under the current issue of Sports Illustrated), or even in its usual resting place (e.g., the peanut butter jar that is always in the same spot on the same shelf in the pantry), the males of the house are undoubtedly mystified about how to locate it.
“Where is the (fill in the blank)?”
“Did you move the (fill in the blank)?”
“I can’t find the (fill in the blank).”
When asked if they even looked for said item, the response is always “Yes,” when really what they mean is, “It’s not in my direct line of vision so I can’t see it.” Argh!
Why is this? Does having more testosterone cloud your vision? Does having a penis make you blind? Is the power of sight only in the X chromosomes, making it twice as strong in women? Or maybe it’s not a gender issue, but just another Mom Superpower, like our ability to clean a dirty face with nothing more than a firm thumb and a little spit.
Maybe the problem lies in a misunderstanding about the word “search.” According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, search is defined as a “verb: to carefully look for someone or something.” Hmm. To carefully look …
See, to my boys, searching involves simply standing in place and scanning the room for the “lost” item. No looking under things or inside things. No moving things around or even moving themselves around to look for it. If it’s not in plain sight, it’s “missing.” The funny thing is, whenever I announce that he who cannot find the “lost” item must pay me a finder’s fee if I locate it first, miraculous things happen. Pillows get moved, drawers get opened, magazines get lifted, and the XY chromosome family members even move about house, looking in other rooms until whatever was previously reported as lost is found. Amazing!
I’d like to think this is just a childhood phase that they will outgrow. My boys are just 8 and about to be 11, so I know I should cut them some slack. But when I think about it, I see that my husband is often guilty of the same offense — albeit to a lesser degree. He claims that when he cannot find something it is because I move things around all the time. Touchè! I do like to organize, purge and reorganize (remember, I’m very Type A). So on some level, he is right and I guess I should take some of the blame.
But honestly, with a little effort, a monkey can follow my organizational logic — especially if that monkey is a female … or a mom.