Thursday, September 29, 2016
My Account  | Login
Nashua-BoireFieldAirport;52.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nbkn.png;2016-09-29 04:32:43
Sunday, September 18, 2016

Listening to music in a house full of teenage girls

By DAMIEN FISHER

Staff Writer

Looking at myself in the mirror the other morning, I spotted it. There it was, in my beard stubble. No, not a gray hair – I’ve got plenty of those. No, it was glitter. Not for the first time, either.

Scanning the rest of my face and head before I resigned myself to going to work looking like a disco ball, I could see more glitter. Heck, I might as well have been an extra in a Liberace Christmas special. You can’t get glitter off, I have found. You just have to kind of wait it out – and hope no one else puts their glitter glue into the washing machine before the current sparkly outbreak clears up. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

Looking at myself in the mirror the other morning, I spotted it. There it was, in my beard stubble. No, not a gray hair – I’ve got plenty of those. No, it was glitter. Not for the first time, either.

Scanning the rest of my face and head before I resigned myself to going to work looking like a disco ball, I could see more glitter. Heck, I might as well have been an extra in a Liberace Christmas special. You can’t get glitter off, I have found. You just have to kind of wait it out – and hope no one else puts their glitter glue into the washing machine before the current sparkly outbreak clears up.

As the father of eight daughters, this is my life. And I am OK with it. More than OK, really – most of the time.

And before I go any further, let’s get the questions out of the way: Yes, my wife and I have eight daughters, two sons, one slobbery Mastiff, a couple of parakeets, hamsters, a regrettable pet mouse, and one fish named Taylor Fish. No, we don’t subscribe to cable.

(True story: Some malook once saw my then-pregnant wife leading four little kids into the doctor’s office and remarked, “I guess someone doesn’t have a TV.” My wife turned on this oaf and replied, “If you think watching TV is better than having sex, you’re doing something wrong.”)

It’s a blast having 10 children, and not just because that fact seems to make some people itchy. Some folks, when they find out how many children we have, get nervous and a little upset, as though that kind of thing were catching.

And I get it – I really do. You find out someone has that many kids, you start worrying about their sanity. Granted, our life is more than a little chaotic. It’s what sociologists call a “vibrant community.” Oddly enough, that’s also how a biologist might describe whatever it is growing in the bottom of the bath toy tub.

Our girls range in age from “You can’t wear that out of the house” to “Oh, my gosh! Someonegetthebabyoffthetablebeforeshejumps! Again!” The oldest is 18 years, and the youngest is 18 months. Right now, we’ve got three teenaged girls in the house, and more headed that way. Yes, I do own a shotgun – why do you ask?

The boys are in the middle, now entering their teen years. If anything, growing up with so many sisters ought to at least get them to consider a vocation in the priesthood.

Our house trends toward pink, ponies and pretty, pretty dresses, with a vengeance. There are some

interesting variations, given how strong these girls are, though. For example, the toy dinosaurs have gone from wreaking havoc on civilization when the boys played to conducting irregular marriages now that the girls have adopted the toys.

Yup, T-Rex married Stegosaurus, and they promptly adopted a bunch of puppies to raise into crime fighters. (This is some kind of heresy, right? I’m not gonna snitch to my bishop or anything, but still.)

No action figure is safe when the little girls get started. Batman ends up baking cookies with Barbie. Han Solo runs the puppy orphanage. Don’t make me tell you what they did to poor old Spider-Man.

This is what girls do, and it’s OK. Really, it’s fine. It’s fine that my work shirts come out of the wash covered in sparkles. It’s fine that we have so many dresses in the house that “dress slides” – when a stacked pile of clothes becomes an avalanche of frills covering a passerby – are now a regular hazard in our home. It’s fine that the dog is wearing that flower headband on his head. It’s fine. It’s all fine.

You might think this adds up to a hostile environment for males. No wonder my two sons are always hitting each other! No wonder the dog is always making those smells! No wonder the boys are always making those smells!

But in reality, they smell on their own merits, as it were. In fact, they would smell worse if not for all of the girls. Big sisters are not afraid to tell you when you need to put on some deodorant.

Having all those girls makes our lives so much better. For one thing, listening to music is way more fun in a house full of girls than a house full of boys. Girls, by and large, don’t go in for death metal or any other unlistenable form of “music.” Instead, we get lots of pop, and lots of upbeat music. And, best of all, no one wants to listen to The Doors. That’s such an improvement over my own adolescence.

Ready for a confession? I love Taylor Swift. Sure, I may protest when they find it on the radio during the school drive in the morning, but when the girls leave, I keep playing it and sing along. Shut up – I didn’t name the fish. It was one of the girls. I swear.

Damien Fisher is a reporter with The Telegraph and the father of 10 children.