“Sorry to tell you this, ma’am, but you’ve got a raging case of boys!”

WARNING: For those of you who picture me as the “ideal mom” with perfectly trained children and a house so immaculate that it makes Molly Maid jealous, STOP READING NOW. Put down the mouse and SLOWLY WALK AWAY from the computer. Pick up the latest copy of Martha Stewart Living and superimpose my head onto her body, especially if it’s in a photo where she’s making her own candles or arranging a stunning bouquet of flowers freshly picked from her own garden.

For those of you who prefer to know the REAL ME, continue reading at your own risk . . .

You may have been suspecting it for months…possibly years. But now, for the first time, the true signs are revealed:

How To Tell If You Have Boys Living in Your House.

1. Your house has been overrun by soldiers, knights, Star Wars characters, turtles with weapons, or basically anything that fights. You know for sure that you’ve got boys if the majority of these characters are missing limbs or are otherwise deformed.

(Notice the vacuum in the background? That’s just for show. We like to leave it out so people think that we’re really serious about cleaning. “It’s so much a part of our life, we can’t bear to shut it in the closet!”)

2. Your mantel is tastefully decorated with an angel, antique books, and … a nut cup.

(Enough said.)

3. You find a toilet paper holder underneath your kitchen table.

(I’m sure it was being used as some sort of weapon when it found its way under the chair. Since I’m “keeping it real” I’ll even tell you that it was under there for at least 3 days until I finally picked it up.)

4. Sunflower seed shells mysteriously appear on your kitchen floor.

“But Dad spits out his seeds on the ground!”


5. You find a name carved into your kitchen table.

(If you can’t tell, it says “Jake.” I actually caught Boy #2 doing this with a fork at dinnertime. Not because he was mad or anything. Just because. And not because HIS name is Jake, either. Jake is our favorite 14-year-old baby-sitter. I guess he’s got a permanent place at the table!)

6. At least one of your kitchen chairs has been glued again . . . and again . . . and again . . .

(If you do find that you’re living among boys, know that you will NOT want to get new furniture of any kind until the last one has left the nest. A lesson we’ve learned the hard way.)

7. Your dog’s brand-new L.L. Bean personalized dog bed has been “decorated” with black permanent marker.

(I used to cry when things like this happened. Now I barely give it a shrug.)

8. Your cupboard goes from full to looking like this approximately 30 minutes after you’ve returned from the grocery store.

(Notice that they’ve left the raisins, the English walnuts, and the bottle of salad toppings. How generous of them!)

9. An icon for World of Warcraft somehow shows up on the desktop of your computer.

(This is also a sign that will be featured in upcoming post: How To Tell If You Have Geeks Living in Your House…)

10. No matter how hard or how often you scrub, your bathroom reeks of urine. And even if you try to light a candle, it then just smells like baked apple pie and urine.

Well, there you have it. If you read the signs and couldn’t relate to any of them, chances are you are boy-free in your house.

BUT—if you found yourself identifying with the photos or descriptions, I hate to tell you this . . . but you’ve got boys.

It’s best to face the facts now and learn to live with them.

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