One day, my 8 year old cousin was taking her regular evening shower when I realised I needed to use the bathroom.
(Now I’m sure you know too well that an urgent need to use the bathroom offers one of the more pressing proofs of Einstein’s theory of relativity: time slows so much you can actually count seconds in their fractions. It’s a state of heightened awareness that undermines your ability to wait “a little longer.” You will pardon me, therefore, if I can’t be certain just how long she’d been.)
Anyway, I tapped on the door. No answer. Another tap – louder – and then a series of taps. Still no answer. (By the way, have you noticed how some people seem to think being in the bathroom overrules the basic politeness of responding to someone knocking? Just how does that work?)
“Hey, you’ve been in there long enough!” I called out. “Aren’t you done?”
“I’m a female!”
What? Where on earth did she get the idea that taking too long in the bathroom was part of being female? I mean, I get that females generally spend more time in than males, but she obviously thought it was a necessary part of what being female was about.
Maybe it’s no big deal. But maybe not. Because with kids you can never be too sure which “no big deals” really do become definitive. Especially in matters of self-identity.
And you have to wonder, what else are the kids around you picking up about who they’re supposed to be?
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