Friday, March 18, 2011

Dead Man Walking

Meet the Mister.  (That's me, him, and Butterbean when she was around 6 months)

He is an amazing father - we're talking the kind of father who takes the kids out for hikes and nature walks, teaches them sports, plays Barbies, takes them to museums, zoos, you name it.  Completely devoted to his girls.  
Why toot his horn?  To remind me not to kill him.
He works a rotating shift - 1 week is 8am until 6pm, 1 week is 4pm until 2 am, and one week is 10pm until 8 am.  Which is why he is home with the girls during the day a lot more than I am.  This last week he has been on midnights.  He arranged it so he could come home at 7 am in the morning instead of 8 am to "help me out".  The first morning, I ended up being half an hour late for work.  This morning was only 15 minutes late ... good lord.  And it's the littlest thing - he is tired, and that's part of it - but he also screws up my morning rhythm of how I get the girls ready and myself ready.  I have a method - back up and let me use it!  And then, right when I need him to officially take over - he disappears.  Where fore art thou, Mister?  Taking a nice, leisurely bathroom break, then brushing his teeth.  GRRRR!!!!  You could do this AFTER you drop Mooch off at school!
What it breaks down to is, women are not good at putting themselves first.  We're conditioned early on to always put the needs of others in front of our own, which is why I almost always arrive at work without having eaten breakfast, with my toothbrush in my bag, and needing desperately to pee.  Men, on the other hand, naturally think of their own needs, then everyone else.  When the Mister and I talked about this he put it as, think of it as the oxygen mask situation on a plane.  I need to put my own on and take care of myself before I can properly take care of you.  
Cut to me foaming at the mouth while hopping up and down and shouting at him "You would be too lazy to put mine on!  YOU WOULD FORGET ABOUT ME AND BE WATCHING SPORTSCENTER!!"

He's not a bad man, he's just .... a man.  As my aunt and I have said many times "they're just wired differently". 
My Grammom had seven children.  My Pop-pop reminds me a lot of the Mister, in many different ways.  Grammom was raised in a Catholic farming family where she was taught that the needs of your husband and your children always trump your own.   She followed this creed for many years, taking on the lions share of child rearing, house cleaning, errand running, then she got smart.  She started making "honey do" lists for him, and setting them out next to his morning coffee.  He would complain that he was too tired from working as a lineman for the electric company to get the list done. 
Then she started grinding up the diet pills her doctor had prescribed for her (the infamous 'have a little extra pep, housewives!' ones) and adding them to his coffee.  That list was always done, harmony was restored - at least for then - and Grammom caught a break.  


  1. First: I LOVE your grandmother. That is awesome!!!

    Second, you are soooo right about the programming. MacGyver is AMAZING at helping around the house. He does more at home than I do since I work more. But what gets done is ALWAYS on his schedule. And if one of our routines is getting changed, I'll only give you one guess as to whose it's going to be (hint: It's not the Marine with the inflexible schedule).

  2. Also: You have a To Do list on your Blog! That is a great idea! But also a very scary one! I wouldn't want all my followers to know how unbelievably rare it is that I cross someething off.

  3. Oh girl, every woman out there knows your pain. Hubby is awesome at helping out around the house, was great with the kids when they were home, but alas, so often our senses of urgency just didn't/don't mesh. It's times like that when I stop and think about all the reasons I love him. After all, I would look horrible in one of those prison outfits.

  4. You are describing our house exactly! Why don't husbands realise it's all about the routine? I was just having this conversation with my sister last week.
    Love your method of talkin' him up before you kill him! Everytime I am angry with my husband I insist on a kiss & a hug to curb the aggression - hadn't thought about drugging him though, great idea ;-)

  5. Great post! Love the story about your Grammom!



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