Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Calling My Invisible Hermaphrodite on the Mermaid Phone


Over Labor Day weekend in Lake Placid Eldest Son discovered a Little Mermaid cell phone in the room where he was sleeping, the item the property of a little girl who stays there as well. A fierce tussle with Middle Son ensued over the phone and Eldest Son retained possession, much to the grief and ire of the smaller boy.

He started to place calls on the phone to Harry O, his invisible friend. Harry O is smaller than the head of a pin and invisible to most, but he does travel in his own miniature car seat when he goes with us on trips. He can also fly, and his plane's gas tank is larger than our house. Sometimes Harry O likes to hang out in light fixtures and ceiling fans.

Since he kept interchanging his pronouns when referring to Harry O, we asked him if he/she was a boy or a girl.

"Both."

"How can he be both?" said my friend.

"Well, he was born that way. So were all his friends. They are all boys and girls, both."

"So, they are all hermaphrodites?"

"Why, yes."

He picked up the Ariel phone and dialed with a self-important air.

"Harry O!" he barked into the little pastel-colored unit. "You are going in time out if you don't listen! I put you in a time out!"
He got off the phone with a small "harumph."

"Dat Harry O! She is 14 years old," he announced, and went off with the phone in his pocket.

3 comments:

Jack Silbert said...

Hey, it just so happens I had a very similar invisible friend when I was his age. And you know what? After 30+ years of intensive therapy, I feel like I am almost ready to begin thinking about slowly sorting it out.

chris said...

ah, as a les brave lass than sweet Eldest, i had TWO invisibles, one of each gender: Buzzy and Aurora. they lived under the dining room china closet and brought me much respite there.

so, i do have my gender issues sorted, but tend toward the split personality.

Anonymous said...

I applaud the parenting skills of both the party pony and husband of the writer. you are advancing intergender youth issues and fostering an environment of open communication about gender roles! congratulations on raising open minded children.