So if you have ever been to London you may recall the blarring reminder you get when the train or subway doors open: MIND THE GAP! MIND THE GAP! Please, MIND THE GAP! This is a friendly reminder to well, mind the gap between the train or subway and the station platform. I remember getting a kick out of it when I lived in London.
Anywhoo, I was reminded of the gap the other day when I was yelling at my kids to CLOSE THE GATE! CLOSE THE GATE! Please, CLOSE THE GATE! The gate I write of is the baby gate and consequently the only one I have in the house. I have had this gate for as many years as I can remember. It is a gate that goes from the upstairs to the downstairs. For a visual let me set the stage for you: we live in a bi-level home. The older four children have their bedrooms on the lower level of the home while the master bedroom and two other bedrooms for the four younger ones are upstairs. As you can imagine, the twinkies (almost age 3 both boys) and the 3rd amigo (the 18 mth old also a boy) think the downstairs is the coolest place to be. There is “big boy” stuff down there like legos, books galore, and well, basically a lot of stuff that they can get into trouble with being the devious tribe they are.
The moment an older child goes downstairs and leaves the gate open one of the 3 amigos immediately stop and look at me as if to say, “Wanna race?!” and that’s it, at that very moment all 3, in unison, stop, drop (their toys), and go. They could each be in different rooms in the upstairs but the moment they hear the gate unclick and not get reclicked – well, that’s it. Then my big arse of a body chases them. Sometimes one of them makes it down and into one of the kids rooms but if I am lucky I can manage to get all three of them back up before they all enter the room of their dreams. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes we do play down there together but for the most part the items there are not to be played with by little ones.
But let’s get back to the root of the problem: what is it about the male brain that 1. does not naturally remember something as simple as closing the gate or 2. does not hear me when I scream CLOSE THE GATE?! Like the recording in London, WHY must I repeat myself a million times for it to register? Of special note is that I reference only the male brain and that is because my two daughters ages 4 and 5 would never think of NOT closing the gate.
I remember growing up and being surrounded by my Dad, my brothers and even my brothers’ male friends, and well, they all did it too. My Mother swears it’s selective hearing but I dunno. I have thought long and hard about it and I seriously think they were made this way. The reason I think they were made this way is because I have well SEVEN males living in this house and from the wee lil one to the grown up one I see the same pattern. It is mind boggling. I tell my husband the same thing every morning after his shower: please pull back the shower curtain to its original position (GREAT now I’m sounding like an airline stewardess) and open the window ALL THE WAY. How hard is it to remember that? And yet, most days the curtain is pulled back and IF the window is open it is 1/3rd of the way. Or, my eldest son, a very simple concept, go potty before bed. That one seems like a natural one to me but I’m a female. Ok, I may very well have undiagnosed OCD but still…
Now, as a friendly reminder we know they, the male species are smart; in fact they are very smart. As an example, even the youngest of their species proved this with the clicking/non reclicking (if that is a word) of the gate… But all joking aside, if I am right, if the male species was in fact made this way why they were made this way is beyond me. Is this a lesson in patience for all of women out there? Are we just meant to be a repetitive gender? I seriously don’t know. If you find out please let me know. Until then whether you are minding the gap or closing the gate, be sure to mind their gap.
Also, be sure to check out and enjoy this video that came out today which is titled Male Pattern Blindess. I love it. It’s another blog in and of itself.