Written by Sai: Aka, “One of the Guys”
When my kids are sick I never quite feel right. It’s as if I have a furry woodland creature gnawing away at my stomach lining, trying to claw it’s way in. Somehow I’m able to function with this creature inside of me, but it throws off my equilibrium and my balance. And I get occasional stabs of pain.
My daughter’s been sick the last four days. She’s got a fever. She’s tired, listless, and unhappy. So my wife and I set her up on the couch in our room, so she can sleep, watch TV, and be with us at night. We like to be able to keep an eye on her.
But since we still have to attend to our other responsibilities-like her brothers-we gave her a small bell to ring when she needs us. This same bell we’ve also given to her brothers when they’ve been sick, and it seemed to work well. The boys would use it only when they needed something serious-like they were getting cold, or they were hungry, or lonely. My daughter, well that’s another story.
It all started off innocently enough. She’d ring it for some of the same reasons as the boys. But then she realized the power of the bell, and that’s when things got out of control.
“Daddy, my blanket fell on the floor.” (The couch is six inches above the floor)
“Daddy can you change the channel.” (She’s holding the remote and knows how to use it.)
“Mommy, can you bring me the computer?” (It’s on the bed next to the couch. She’s feeling better and totally capable of walking over to bed.)
“Daddy, what’s your favorite color?”
“Mommy, I want a dog.”
And it went on and on. Every time we’d sit and relax, or get started on a project that damn bell would ring. In fact my wife and I started hearing that bell, even when she wasn’t ringing it.
“Was that the bell?” my wife would say to me.
“No I think it was one of the boys blowing his nose.”
“I think I hear the bell,” I would say.
“Nope, that’s the dish washer,” my wife would retort.
And so it went.
And I got to wondering. My boys have had the same bell in their possession, but they’ve only used it when it was absolutely necessary. Actually, we had to push them to use it, otherwise they would have sat in bed and suffered. My boys actually felt threatened by that damn bell.
But not my daughter. Oh no. My daughter felt empowered by the bell. .
So I’ve been pondering what this all means, and how it might relate to the innate qualities of men and women.
Are we truly all hardwired from birth to take on the qualities of gender, passed on by generations before us?
Or is this an isolated incident, unique to my family and my kids?
My boys are like tiny men; you know the kind-they refuse to ask for directions when they’re lost. And my daughter is completely comfortable with the power bestowed on her, wielding it at every opportunity. It’s a funny thought to me, but one that might have some merit to it.
Either way, I’d like to take that bell and send it where it belongs-to the depth of Hades. But I am glad she’s starting to feel better. And she’s hard to say no to.
Gotta run. I hear that freakin’ bell now. Am I’m not kidding!!!!
“I’m coming honey!!”
What do you think?