That Darn Y Chromosome
So, let me just say upfront that this will be one of those “what is it with men?” posts. So, if you are one of those women who thinks your husband is perfect (or just scared to admit that he’s not), then don’t bother reading. We must also get it straight, right up front, that I love my husband to the max (sorry, I just watched “Valley Girl”). And I thank the Good Lord for him every day. I am not one of those man-hating, bra-burning crazy women, but I do love a good little bitch-fest/pity party when it comes to the shortcomings of our better halves. And I refuse to feel bad about it, because I know there’s a lot of smack-talk about us ladies that occurs in sports bars, on golf courses and up in deer blinds. Well, maybe not in deer blinds, since I think they have to be quiet, so they don’t scare the deer away. Who the hell knows? But you know what I mean. Anyway, we ladies can say what we want because 1) we have to go through childbirth, and 2) our husbands would rather us get it off our chests with other people than yell it at them.
At the top of my gripe list today is parenting/childcare skills, or lack thereof. It is shocking to me that after a year of having a baby in the house, I still have to give my husband more instructions than I give a teenage babysitter on how to take care of the baby. Me: Please feed baby his dinner. There is a jar of baby food in the fridge. Husband: What? Where in the fridge? Me: Right there in front on the shelf. Right in front of your face. Husband: What? Where? Oh. Do I need to heat it up? Me: I don’t know…do you enjoy Chicken and Stars ICE COLD?!?! Or maybe you might want to pop it in the microwave, so that nasty looking crap might actually be palatable, even to an infant!!! Duh.
Next on my list is forgetfulness. But evidently, this trait exists only within the confines that we call home. I mean, the man has a blackberry, apparently knows how to read, and runs a department full of employees who call him Boss. But he cannot remember our anniversary or the date of his next haircut appointment. And, of course, he can remember the score of some Longhorn football game from 1989. Or the batting average of an Astro’s baseball player from 1992. But day-to-day stuff…not so much. I truly wonder how he would survive if I was not here to tell him what to do next.
And can you imagine if our husbands had to do the school/after school activity chauffeuring?? I mean, I am pretty organized (or at least I used to be), and I still need Google Calendar synched to a GPS system to get me where we’re supposed to be on the right day and time. Hubby’s head would EXPLODE if he had to figure out how to time the baby’s nap schedule, so that he wakes up in time to throw him in the car with goldfish & a sippy cup and race to carpool line. He has no idea about the nuances of timing the carpool line, and that if you arrive one minute late you are SCREWED and will end up at the end of the line waiting for eternity, and then your kid cries that she was the last one picked up. All with a screaming baby in the car. I would pay money to see that.
Another touchy subject is weekend leisure time away from home, which Hubby is always scheming to get more of, leaving me on duty 24/7 & needing to be talked off the ledge. But I always somehow seem to manage, mainly with the help of Nick Jr. and wine in a box from Target. When Husband goes away for the weekend (which he has done TWO weekends in a row now…grrr…because, you know HE needs his “me” time…LOL), yes, I miss him, and yes, my life is infinitely harder without him to run backup. BUT, the household barrels along as expected, the kids are clothed and fed, the cats are immunized, and beds get made. If I was to leave for a weekend, and I say this hypothetically, because this is a non-occurrence, Husband immediately makes plans to take the children to his parents’ house so he won’t have to deal with them on his own. Whatcha ‘fraid of, scaredy cat?!?! Ha, ha!!
Seriously, if I did leave, I would come home to Armageddon. No one would be wearing anything matching, or even seasonally appropriate. There would be toys and trash strewn around the house as if a pack of wild boars had raided the place. And the refrigerator would be empty. When asked why he didn’t go to the store, husband would reply, “What? You want me to take these two kids to the store?” Yep, I do! I know it’s no fun to drag two children out in 100 degree heat. And it sucks to have the baby dump a full baggie of Cheerios over his head and all over Aisle 9, while a manager glares at you disapprovingly. And go ahead and add $20 to the bill to account for all the stuff Big Sister will sneak into the cart when you’re not looking. I know, it ain’t no fun! I would LOVE to be sitting in a nice, air-conditioned conference room, with civilized, educated people, calmly discussing the future of healthcare. And then you even get to go have lunch at a restaurant that’s nicer than where you took me for my birthday! Gee, I know you’re working REAL hard over there, buddy.
Now, I’m really just kidding, because I know Husband works very hard. He really does. I worked full-time in the corporate world once upon a time, and it’s no cup of tea. And I appreciate all he does for our family, blah, blah, blah. But I can honestly say that I have never worked harder than I do at home with these children. It’s a different kind of hard. It’s a lonely, isolated, frustrated, crazy kind of hard, defined by manic highs and lows. The baby took his first steps…pure unadulterated joy! The baby pooped all over me and the entire bathroom…time to slit the wrists!
But I am not sweating it with this second child. I know it goes by SO fast, and I will wake up one day, and these children will be gone, and I’ll be sad. Not like, crawl-into-a-fetal-position sad, but bittersweet sad. I will relish my newfound freedom to pick up “me” where I left off, if I can even remember where that was. Do some travelling. Revisit my old hobbies, and maybe try some new ones. Spend more time with that Darned Y Chromosome that snores in bed next to me every night. Yeah, he’s still pretty cute. But you know what I look forward to the most? At mealtime, fixing my plate before ANYONE ELSE’s.
Can I get an Amen?