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ABOUT ME

About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.

Monday, June 22, 2009

This post is what’s known as a mental vomit


Chuck is really freaking me out lately. If he were a superhero, I would call him Wipe Man. No, not because of this. Because every fricken time Junior has schmootz on his face and I reach for a wipe, Chuck beats me to it.

See, now, I thought it was the mom’s job to be the wipe master.

Before you get on your “You’re a sexist ass for calling mothers the sole proprietors of wipes” kick, let me tell you something: Chuck’s dad already beat you to it.

We were at his house over the weekend when Chuck pulled his Wipe Man stunt and I yelled, “What the heck? Mr. Mom keeps beating me to the wipes!”

Chuck’s dad started laughing; I thought because he found me so comical, endearing, sympathetic, lovely, etc., ad nauseam. Do you know what he said?

“Women. They’ll never be happy.”

Excuse me what? ^&#*)#&*)%#&*@G&*#T@@E^&%@!#^&E %@!#^&(E%@#^(!&E#@)!ETE%!@^E%@!^&@#%!^%(^&(R!E^&@RE@%^R@#%^&R%(RE@#%!*!E&!_(&*# Come again? ^&#*^&#%@^&%@^&E%@(#&^E^%@#(%E^(&%E#^&&%E^(&@#ER

After I pieced back together my exploded head, I politely encouraged him to expound.

“If Chuck wasn’t being attentive to Junior," he said, "you’d be on him. And when he is being attentive, he still hears about it.”

I looked over at Chuck, who was suddenly aloft in an ethereal cloud of smugness.

A-fucking-loft.

But dammitall, Chuck’s dad was right. Could I really be angry that my husband was so in tune with our child’s needs that he anticipated them before I, the woman who had given our child life? Twenty-eight hours of excruciating, I-want-to-die, life bearing goodness?

Yes.

But not angry. Just…fumbling.

It’s been a huge transition having Chuck be a stay-at-home dad. I mean, there was that phase when I worried about growing facial hair. Chuck grocery shops and has his own “man” diaper bag. He goes on play-dates and has joined a parents' meet-up group. Recently, after a play-date he had with another dad—during which the dad asked Chuck how much sunscreen he should put on his daughter—Chuck gently mocked the father for still stumbling with the “basics.”

I shouldn’t be surprised; I knew this was in him. He diapered Junior the first few weeks because I was still in shock that the hospital had actually sent us home without a chaperone. He was a better lactation expert than the one the doctors sent. I was fine with all that. But lately, when I see stay-at-home moms, it hits me that my husband has more in common with them than I do.

And I’m not sure how that makes me feel. A little sad, maybe, because I always pictured myself drunk on a playground with other moms commiserating about what a thankless job being a stay-at-home mom was. Oops, did I say drunk? And maybe a little threatened because Chuck is doing a good job at mothering and fathering and I don’t always know what my role is. I know I’m Junior’s mom, for Pete’s sake, but if Chuck is Mr. Mom does that make me Mrs. Dad?

I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I know we’re lucky that I got a year home with Junior and now Chuck gets to stay home. I know I’m lucky that Chuck is an attentive, nurturing father who is doing a fabulous job.

But shit. Right now, Chuck is who I thought I’d be. And some days that throws me for a loop. It’s a turf war between the Wipes and the Wanna Wipes. It’s a smackdown!

Anyway, if you’ve made it this far, thank you. I feel somewhat better.*

*I’d feel a lot better if you told me that if you saw me across a crowded room and I was standing there with a wipe in my hand, you’d bring me your crumbly face and let me go to town. I’d buy you a drink afterward. Promise.

27 comments:

kyooty said...

LOL!

Ashley said...

I would totally let you and it would be completely needed cause I'm usually a mess.

You know you could solve this dilemma by having more children. Then you would both have someone to wipe.

Keely said...

Yep, I totally feel your awkwardness. Hubby and I are half-and-half for the most part but I still feel triumphant when X chooses to be comforted by ME. I feel petty and small for feeling that way, but...there it is.

I have no practical advice, but...hang in there. At least Chuck IS a good father (slash mother) and isn't letting Junior run with scissors or anything.

Right??

FoN said...

I know how you feel - Brian's been home with the kids for only about three weeks and already they walk right by me to ask him something. Geez, I thought it would take them just a little while longer to replace me. Ingrates.

Kayleen said...

You could wipe shit off my face anytime. I dont think my hubby could be a stay at home dad... I have nightmares about the kid wondering around in the yard alone while he gets "sidetracked" by the shiny x-box.

blognut said...

Yup, you can wipe my hands and face. But that where I draw the line!

Jenera said...

I kind of get what you mean. My husband is gone on the road alot so when he comes home and can accomplish something with the kids that I've been trying to do for a week, I get a little...worked up.

Michel said...

HILARIOUS! You can wipe my face, it always seems to have dirt on it here!

You'd even be appreciated (and subsequently mocked).

Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

At least its coz Chuck is a stay at home dad. My hubs and I both work and my sons love their dad more coz..well, dad is much more fun while mom is the one who tell them to finish their vegetables and enforces strict bedtime schedules!!

I'm sure they'll love me more when they become well-rounded grownups :P

Dto3 said...

Chicks! First you want equality, now you're pissed you have it! SHEESH, Chuck Sr. is Right on. [commence explosion session]

Suzi said...

I'll bring you all 3 of my snot nosed kids just to give you the satisfaction of wiping them. Well, not really they are a bit older and it's not an issue.

I will bring them to you every time they need to hit the shitter. We went camping and not once did they ask Jeff to take them to the toilet....which was a hole in the ground with a toilet over it. They had a fear of falling in. You can take them! Please, anyone?

jo said...

How are you at wiping away guilt?

Guilt for not being a SAHM, guilt for not being there even though their Dad is, guilt guilt guilt. The 3 of them turned out pretty well with our combined efforts though.

Frogs in my formula said...

Thank you, everyone, for all the wiping opportunities. I'm tickled. Did I mention I also need plane/bus/taxi fare? Minor issue...

Lindy said...

I'm gonna need a drink pre-wipe please.

Belle said...

Mr Shithead has some serious issues with cleaning in our house. In fact - they are not issues. We have discovered that he has OCD and walks around with a little bottle of all-purpose. So sad really.

C.B. Jones said...

I can get my face groped, plus get a free drink? sounds too good to be true. There has to be some kinda catch. the tissue would be preused, right?

Heidi said...

What a sweet, honest, funny post. I would feel exactly the same way, only I probably wouldn't be able to poke fun at myself - I'd probably turn into a raging ego-bruised biatch who would drive that good man away. Brava.

Irene said...

For a drink, yea, wipe my face! BTW, I'd have been pissed too. Men. They'll never know their place. *ducking*

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

OMG! I love you! Well, not in that way, but you know... ;)

You can wipe my face anytime! :)

I suppose I should tell you to count your blessings and all that crap - if Hovering Hubby were to ever be a stay-at-home dad, everything would fall apart around here...there is a reason we refer to him as the 'Absent Minded Professor'...I cringe whenever I end up having to do errands on a day he's home - PN always wants to hang out with him...but by the time I get home, she's usually looking like a dirty homeless hungry waif... Apparently, 'Wipe Man' could never be Hovering Hubby's calling. :)

Jeanne said...

The careful balance of a 55-year-old woman's face is nothing you want to mess with, but you can totally wipe my hands (I have this habit of stopping to pull every weed I see, so they're often dirty).

Joanie M said...

Enjoy the fact that your husband is a hands-on Dad.

I was the mom who did everything!

I once found myself driving to NJ (we lived in PA ) to a baby shower, with my infant baby. I realized that my husband was at home, lying on the sofa, watching a football game and I could have been at that baby shower BY MYSELF, enjoying myself! He saw me getting ready, he saw me leave with the baby all the while thinking, "COOL!!! I can enjoy myself and not have to worry about the baby!"

It started a pattern. I was the go-to person for the kids ALL THE TIME!!!

Crazy K said...

I think that our husbands may be related in some way.

It used to bother me, incite rage...but then I realized if he wanted to change the poopy diaper, wipe the snot, brush her hair over and over again until it was shiny (gag!)
then she's all yours.

In the end, I am still her mommy and she still runs to me to kiss her booboos.

Mrsbear said...

I can ship you all four of my sticky faced kids and you can spend an entire day making them presentable. You might need more than wipes. Also, as an added bonus, it will make you that much happier to go to a paying job to get away from them.

Your mental vomit actually formed a very eloquent post about the conflict you're feeling. That's talent. So glad you were able to piece back your exploded head. ;)

Julia said...

You can wipe my horses faces, my kids faces, my face, the cats faces and any other faces you feel so inclined. :)

Pricilla said...

Hey, I know how you feel. I want to go lick little Harry and Abby just keeps butting me all over the place.

What's wrong with licking up my grandkid, huh, huh?

I am a good nanny, I am a good grandnanny. I just want to get a lick in. Or two. But no, Abby won't let me near that kid. She says I have my own kid and to go lick him.

But I digress. The publicist says she doesn't have any kids so she can't really help you but suspects you are just feeling left out. And if you want to wipe something you can come out here and wipe down us goats.

If you weren't a good mommy you wouldn't care so much....

Chris Keller said...

I'm not so much into blogs but this one made me laugh fkn' hard. Great read!

Eileen said...

You get to do your 50%. Once The Boy turned 1-ish, Matt was all over the place "helping." Where was he when The Boy and I were sobbing over ourselves during the 2 a.m. feeding? But I had to take a breath or six and have a mental do-over. Matt's ready to jump in and I'm ready to go play with big people. It all works out. We'll revisit the situation on the 2nd birthday.