I don't think we set out to have very specific gender roles in our home. It just so happened that as we kids got older the guys started getting out of the cooking, cleaning and baby-tending and the girls escaped the wood-chopping/hauling, fence-fixing, yard work, trash-taking and moving of heavy objects. (We all try to get out of chicken butchering too, but it never really works too well.) It just happened that way and normally I don't really think too much about it. But this morning the guys had a somewhat hilarious and quoteworthy conversation about whom the breakfast duties fell to.
For those of you who are unaware, I am the oldest of seven children and I'm often responsible for the three youngest children. Maggie is 3, Walter is almost 2, and Tommy is 6 weeks old. My sister, Christa, an I usually split this up so that one of us deals with "THE BABY" and the other deals with "the babies".
This morning I had THE BABY and Christa had the babies. We were up before the boys were and our hands were quite full with the children. (Even were my hands not full of screaming, puking baby I would probably have not been making breakfast as I don't really believe in it, as a general rule.)
Enter the boys, dressed in boxers and t-shirts and half asleep. They shuffle over to kitchen where they assume breakfast is being made for them. Upon discovering that this is not what's going down this morning they began to grumble and declare that we, as sisters, are an epic fail.
Enter Sam, already dressed for work. The sounds of the boys plaintive cries of "I'm starving!" and "You, madam, are an abomination!" fell on his ear and he began to wander in the direction of the kitchen. Grumbling always draws Sam, for some reason, and after investigation, he always does one of two things. He either joins in the grumbling or he proclaims that the grumblers are prestigious sissies. Today, much to my satisfaction, he did the latter.
"I can't believe you boys!" he said "You can't expect the womens to watch babies AND make breakfast!"
Sam then made a declaration that breakfast was not a duty relgated soley to the girls and that, my friends, made my day. If only because the boys looked like the world had just been turned upside down at this revelation of great import. It almost made up for being puked on by Tommy no less than 9 times during the course of the day. Almost.
Sometimes family life is just so nice.