Month Seventy-Three

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Dear Husband,

Happy Anniversary for August. Six years! One year shy of the seven year itch and on the downhill side to a decade. Feels like forever and not very long at the same time. And the day kind of got lost with everything else that went on this month…

We had a portrait session again but since this is really an hour or so of us corralling a toddler and a dog do try and do that same thing at the same time, its hardly on my top ten list of enjoyable things to do. Then we went out to dinner but we have been eating out so often lately that one meal sort of blends into another. We have to stop that by the way. Won’t be able to afford it in the country.

And that was the massive thing this month that trumped everything else. Swapping the city for the country as a permanent residence. Despite the admonishment that we’d never get back into the property market we would be leaving and the common response to the move, why on earth are you going there, we upped and left our now cramped little three bedroom cottage with the ratty backyard across from some annoying neighbours and relocated to a spacious 4 bedroom house on over an acre of land with a much smaller mortgage to boot. Not so dumb as far as we were concerned.

You also went over and above organising and arranging everything. The sale, the purchase, the exchange, the settlement and the moving itself. I know how much work it was and how much stress you were under. I also know that I would not have handled it at all well with the pregnancy at the same time and was glad not to have been more involved. Which probably created the situation where I was unaware and insensitive to what you were going through and in an effort not to complain about what was probably the lesser of two evils, you didn’t understand what I was going through either. So we sniped at each other. A lot.

But now we are moved if not quite settled yet. Which brings with it certain other adjustments…

You know how you would sometimes come home after work on a Tuesday when I’d had the day off with Genibean and you’d utter something along the lines of:

  • Has she even had a nap today??
  • Did you try to put her down?
  • I don’t suppose you got to the washing or the washing up did you?
  • How much TV did you watch today!?!

Pot – kettle, my friend, pot – kettle.

So now I find myself feeling vindicated because its not so easy to get lots of stuff done in the day just because you’re home or to ensure that she is constantly engaged in educational / character building activities rather than staring at the sparkly babysitter or even to achieve what you want to achieve and make sure she has an adequate nap at a suitable time of the day. Is it? I’m sure there are superparents out there who can do all these things but I can admit that I am at times more selfish than selfless. I have my lazy days where she watches more than a single half hour of Play School.

However, I am also feeling slightly pissed that you went all judgy-judge-pants on me when you are no better. I don’t think you have unpacked a single box since we moved house. You have taken things out of a couple of them and relocated a few but unpacked a whole box by yourself? Forgive me if you have but I have not seen it. You had previously told me of all your lofty ambitions to play with the Genibean and have all these adventures with her when we moved because she watches “far too much TV” and yet you have spent hours watching TV together. And what makes it worse is that most of it is your TV and not hers! The news is full of death and destruction, your movies are full of bad language and violence and your TV series occasionally contain all of the above including creepy stuff. When Genibean and I watched TV together, we watched ABC2! I watched my TV when she had a nap.

Now I fully admit that you have taken her to a number of activities since you officially became a stay-at-home-dad. She has been to storytimes and playgroups and to visit friends. You have thrown yourself into town life to become part of the community. You have also whinged about how tired this has made you and gotten very irritated with your daughter who has been overtired on more than one occasion because she has had no nap at all. Lord help you when you are solely responsible for the next one during the day. Peanut better be a good pram sleeper because otherwise we are looking at one cranky household.

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But I appreciate the effort that you have put in this month to get us where we are and to get us connected, both literally and figuratively. Even if it took you days to hook up the washing machine all the while complaining over your lack of clean underwear (like what was I really supposed to do about it??). Despite your concerns over whether this move was the right one for us to make, I have never had any doubt that we could make it work and you will make a brilliant stay-at-home-dad. I hope this month becomes a blip in the year and the start of our next crazy chapter together. The one about the dog, the goat, the alpaca, the duck, the chickens, the little people and the big ones who prefer not to rest too firmly within the stereotypes.

Apparently slightly alexithymically yours,

You Loving Wife

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