Unless you’re a Nepalese Sherpa hauling packages up and down steep mountainsides with your donkey, you can’t miss it. Everywhere, on every channel, on every news website, and on the front page of every newspaper in the country, two words: The Wall.
One side is shouting hysterically, “Build The Wall!” The other side is shouting just as hysterically, “Don’t do it!”
If I could, I gather the whole yellin’ mass, give ’em a snack, and put ’em all down for naps. Like, say, for two months. Then I’d chuck ’em in a rubber Romper Room and make ’em stay in there, making faces at each other, until they’ve sorted stuff out. One mother I know has tried it.
This could, I believe, actually work.
Anyway. The whole wall dispute got me thinking. As the mother of four boys, you can just bet that I’ve had any number of occasions to build a wall.
“He gets hungry just eating.” That’s what my dad said about my brother when he was roaring into adolescence with both feet on the gas and both hands in the fridge. (Once, he returned from a grade-school trip to McDonald’s and reported the shock and awe with which the cashier had greeted his fifth cheeseburger purchase. Plus fries. Plus a shake, etc., and all of this in the same trip.)
“I was a ravenous wolf at lunch today, Mom.” That’s what one of the boys told me one day, he being the one who ordered a grappling hook for Christmas and then spent hours trying to climb to the top of the maple tree. If I couldn’t find him or his siblings, all I had to do was follow the crumbs. And there he’d be, hunkered down with a snack.
After numerous and sustained pantry assaults, I recall complaining about it to a family friend. Who, unlike us, had never had a passel of pantry pirates that pillaged and pilfered prolifically. “You could get a Doberman Pinscher,” he said. I sighed, imagining the possible pooping of a Pinscher in the kitchen, and trundled off to Google retinal scanners instead.
Yes, I sure could’ve used a wall around that pantry and the fridge. Which, over Christmas, was back to flopping open and then shut again like a politician changing his mind. “Build that wall!”
I know good and well what would’ve happened. If Mr. Schrock had given in to pleas for more security around the larder, his children would have organized into their own ragtag caravan. They would’ve rushed the border with forks upraised, shouting in Reaganesque fashion, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall!”
They’re nothing if not clever, and I know good and well who “Gorbachev” would’ve been. It rhymes with bomb.
If there’s one consolation about being the only Carrier of the Ovaries in my male-dominated household, it is this, that I don’t have anyone begging to borrow my shoes or bags. What a relief. There’s no need for a wall around my closet to protect the *BOP or my cheetah shoes or my lovely, leather bags. Simply using my keys with the cute flip-flop attached to the key chain caused hives and itching, so my borders are secure right there.
I don’t have anyone looking to filch my lipstick or body sprays, and no one’s threatening my coffee supply. I could, though, use an alarm for the Oreo pack and the nacho-cheese Doritos they love, some kind of a motion sensor that triggers sirens or lights or, hey, what sounds like a Pinscher somewhere, barking.
It wouldn’t poop in my pantry, but it could discourage the pillagers in my village. At least until I get that retinal scanner up and working.
*BOP – Bright Orange Purse