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Sunday, August 05, 2007

My husband, who is actually a good dad and an equitable sort of person, was still born a rich white child and raised by a doting, martyrish French mother and self-absorbed, demanding Serbian father. And it shows. When we were first together, he was cooking dinner, which he learned to do very well from his French mother but has forgotten in recent years. He was cutting an onion to add to the lamb chop gravy. Normal, except he was STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE KITCHEN cutting the onion, oblivious to the peel landing on the floor. It was like he thought (or more likely didn't stop to consider) that there was a Special Magic Kitchen Fairy that would come behind him to clean up.

Even though he's almost 40, he still believes in the SMKF. This is such a cliché that I can barely stand to type it, but I don't understand why he can't just put his bowl in the dishwasher instead of in the sink, which is mere inches from the dishwasher. And I don't understand why he expects the SMKF to wipe his crumbs up (with the Special Magic Kitchen Sponge, which rests mere inches from the crumbs.) And I totally don't get why he'll leave a non-stick pan in the sink "to soak" before the SMKF flits in to clean it. The SMKF does not like to wake up to a stinky pan, a bowl encrusted with granola and stinky yogurt and crumbs on the counter where she makes her coffee. And, by the way, because the SMKF doesn't wake up early enough to make coffee, he has to go to Starbucks every day. He used to make coffee well, but this is another skill that went by the wayside when his income increased.

The SMKF would get up to make coffee, but she is clinging to precious moments of sleep that were stolen by the Annoying Snoring Sleeper (you figure out that acronym for yourself) and the Adorable But Demanding Nursing Baby (ABDNB - this is getting old - anyone with suggestions for something better can jump right in.) And the worse part is, no matter how often the SMKF complains or explains, no matter what tone she uses, no matter when she chooses to say or scream it, the fact remains that the SMKF is the only one who cares. The ASS is perfectly happy with bad smells and sticky things and crusty stuff under his feet, because he's just walking around in his sand encrusted, un-wiped tennis shoes anyway. Even though the SMKF has asked him not to and left mats conveniently located outside of each door. And I'll spare you a repetition of the story about the time ASS flushed a banana down the toilet, because everyone I know has heard it and it's funnier and more detailed when I'm kind of drunk anyway.

So, last night was a rough night with Baby J. The Magical S had been with the boys so ASS and I could go to lunch (sushi) and see "The Bourne Ultimatum" (totally awesome, by the way, and has led ASS and I to believe that we must work very hard to become way more stylish and badass.) Although we had a great afternoon, sans enfants, it led to random nap times for Baby J, which led to a slightly more difficult night. He didn't go to sleep until 10 pm and woke up every few hours to chat. He woke up at 6 am or so to chat and didn't go back to sleep until 6:30. And I'm guessing at those times because I was in a lack of sleep induced fog.

During that half hour, I had to go to the bathroom so bad I almost wet the bed, but I was paralyzed. I couldn't get up because that might have woken Baby J up for the day. ASS was nowhere to be found, so I couldn't ask him to help (help in this case would mean patting Baby J on his cute little bum in case he stirred while I was gone.) He finally went back to sleep and I went to the bathroom. But then, ASS started making noise in the kitchen, clinking his spoon against his bowl, and in the bathroom, carefully choosing his outfit for 8 am church, which he had decided to go to on the one morning when I might be able to catch up on my sleep (yesterday he went to Yoga at 8 and during the week he works. But don't ask me to feel sorry for him for having to go to work every day, because I'm not in the mood and I don't tolerate martyrs, much to ASS's chagrin.) By this point, X (aka Cute Little Chicken Head) was also in my bed and kicking me; the combination of the kicking and ASS's noisy clanging, stomping and primping woke Baby J. So, it was 7:30 am, everyone was awake (if you count my addled state as awake) and ASS was all dressed up and ready to walk out the door.

I got mad (nope, you're not getting a description or the transcript of the very unChristian things I said) and ASS sighed, just a WEE-bit over dramatically, that he would stay home to "help" me, even if he meant skipping church, which he had wanted to go to for ages. Well, I absolutely refuse to stand between a man and his religion, so I made him go. I think I'll point out to him when I get home that there are short lunchtime services during the week that he could attend if he's not busy worshiping at the altar of Barbeque Lunches with His Friends. I think ASS really appreciates my helpful suggestions.

And all was well. Until I walked into the kitchen and saw his bowl of crusty granola and stinky yogurt in the sink, with a spoon stuck in the congealed mess. And I felt angry again. But decided to be all Yoga-like about it and not be angry.

I recently participated in a workshop led by Desirée Rumbaugh. She talked about defining enlightenment and said that a truly enlightened person never needs to argue. And I'm enlightened, so I don't need to argue with anyone who says I'm not, because I am. So there! It was actually similar to something I told the boys recently. As they were clobbering each other in the backseat of my car, I shouted, "YOU KNOW, AN ARGUMENT WITH ONLY ONE PERSON IS NOT AN ARGUMENT. IT'S JUST ONE GUY FREAKING OUT." They stopped and I explained that, if they didn't argue back, we could just laugh at the one guy freaking out. Not quite as articulate as Desirée, but compare our audiences. So, I was being all enlightened and I decided that I would not argue with ASS about the fact that I was going to leave when he got home and spend the rest of the day blissfully alone. Which I am doing. He walked in the door and I almost acted unenlightened when I saw the Starbucks cup, but I let it go, knowing that I would soon be drinking my own barista-made drink (local, though, not Starbucks, thankyouverymuch.) He tried to be all passive aggressive about my taking the laptop (Guess what I'm typing on right now. Ha! Not that I argued about it), but he decided to take the high road and let it go.

In a nutshell (so I guess you could have just skipped to this part. Maybe you did), I was mad because ASS thinks he can decide to go somewhere without checking in with anyone and I can't. It seems that, no matter how equitable our relationship seems, I am still ultimately responsible for the children. He will never quite understand, although he's been told, that it's a luxury to have children and not know every detail of their medical and dental history. It's a luxury to have three children and never have to go to a parent teacher conference or bring cookies to school for a bake sale. It's a luxury to have a SMKF and not even know the name of the medication she takes every day. It's a luxury to not have to think about what the SMKF worries about or how she feels because you are too caught up in your own worries. It's a luxury to listen to her once in a while and assume that every thing's fine because she doesn't bug you about it again. You can enjoy those luxuries, but you can't make the SMKF like you.

So, I'm hanging here in a coffee shop, BLOGGING on ASS's office laptop and killing time until Yoga, which is three and a half glorious hours from now. It's the dawn of a new age for the recently one year old Baby J. Next up: overnights!

1 comment:

Sparklypooh said...

My husband appreciates my many helpful suggestions too!

And he also enjoys leaving onions scraps on the floor and counters.

Hooray! You and I have so much in common, we should go get drinks some time.