Boys do some odd things. With two sons of my own, I often ask myself (sometimes aloud), “Why would he do that?” The answer is often: “because… penis.”

#2 on left in 2014, #3 on right yesterday

#2 on left in 2014, #3 on right in 2016

I don’t know whether it’s the y-chromosome (aka: “Why?”-chromosome), the testosterone, or simply the male anatomy to blame. I’m just seeing a connection over here with my boring double-x chromosome.IMG_20140812_183418 (1)

Empty bucket? I would likely fill it with water or sand, not my head or hindquarters. I see my uncovered nether regions? I move on and/or clothe myself, I wouldn’t start shimmying about the room pelvis first, attempt feats of strength with my labia, or pull on my parts like Silly Putty. Boys though, they see these ordinary scenarios as opportunity for experimental enjoyment.


Why does he squirt himself in the face with the hose that has a nozzle set to “Jet”? Why does he lick the floor of the pediatrician’s office? Why is the word “poop” so utterly hilarious? Why is his own genitalia simultaneously¬†humorous and fascinating?

Because penis.

The “Why?”-Chromosome

Having boys has prompted me to ask “Why?” Numerous times daily. “Why would you eat that?” “Why are you stuck in there?” “Why would you sit in that?” “Why are you up there?” “Why did you put that in there?” “Why are you touching that?” “Why did you think THAT was a good idea?” But most often: “Why would you do that?” This has prompted me to theorize that the y-chromosome is a misnomer; it should, in fact, be labeled the “Why?”-chromosome.

Boys are just wired differently. They see the world through a lense of curiosity. “Touch me”, “Take me apart”, “Climb me”, “See if that fits in me”, “Make me into a weapon” cries the world. So they do.

Unfortunately, I carry no such chromosome. So I am outsider. Unfamiliar with their inner workings and thought processes. I am learning their ways but am most certainly not one of them.

For the “Why?”-chromosome holders, all matter — delicate and grotesque — must be manhandled. Surroundings are dismantled to be understood. Structures, both sound and teetering, are scaled. Holes of all kinds are plugged with the nearest object (or body part). Even the most mundane paraphernalia has a calling to hit, swat, slice, stab, or careen through the air. The world is an interactive, infinite cause-and-effect experiment.

#2 attempting to fit through a dog door

#2 attempting to fit through a dog door

If something is repulsive, that means it’s truly fascinating. If something is vacant or empty, it must be filled… no hole may remain uninhabited. If something is slimy, wet, messy, or germy, it demands a thorough hands-on inspection. Their curiosity knows no bounds.

Their mischief isn’t entirely intentional, it is more often the aftermath of curious minds and fearless hands. Though, sometimes trouble is just too tempting to decline.

To see the world through their untamed, intrigued eyes must be a wonder. Instead, I stand on the sidelines, Band-Aids in one hand, Baby wipes in the other trying not to gag.