Monday, June 11, 2007

Starting fresh.

My husband loves to tell people how much he helps out around the house. How after slaving away at work, he comes home to serve my bidding -- cooking, cleaning, looking after the boy and dressing up in cute little outfits. HA!

And it isn't that he doesn't help -- he does clean the foyer during weekly cleanings, cooks dinner about once a week, and will help, when asked, with general tidying -- he just doesn't help nearly as much as he thinks he does. And the amount of mess that the man makes often cancels what he willingly does out by the end of the day. I mean, I'm much less likely to notice that his ACU shirt has been hung up when he dribbled soy sauce all over the kitchen and just smeared it across the floor with a dry paper towel. He has trouble understanding why.

This past weekend, he had some single guys in thrall as he told them how much he helps out with the Munchkin.

"To give the wife a break, I decided to wake up with him on Saturday mornings. I've done it since he was born..."

I had to tune out at this point because the waking up thing does not give me a break at all. And he didn't decide to do it. And it didn't start at birth.

First of all, our son was in the hospital for the first month and then some after birth. And I remember all too well when, after we did bring Munchkin home, I suggested that CPT Dick feed him his morning bottle. I figured that since the baby was waking up each morning around 4:45am and my husband's alarm was going off about 20 minutes later, it would be cool for CPT Dick to give the baby his bottle before he left for work. They could bond and I could have an extra half hour of sleep.

The answer? No. No explanation, no whatever. Just no.

But after 3 months or so, after I was so sleep-deprived that I was yelling him all the time and spontaneously crying, we somehow worked out the incredibly fair agreement of CPT Dick waking up with the baby on one weekend day a week. Hell, at that point, I was grateful for whatever I could get.

Only one problem. CPT Dick can't hear the kid. At all. Ever.

So each Saturday morning, my big break consists of the Munchkin waking me up by crying for freedom. I then gently shake my husband, "Honey, Munchkin's awake." He mumbles something about wanting to wait and see if Munchkin will go back to sleep. I shake him again and inform him that it's not likely. He rolls over and ignores me. This goes on for approximately 15 minutes until I am savagely shaking my husband and slapping his thighs so he'll go get the kid already. Totally restful for me. I can't think of anything more conducive to returning to slumber than a quarter hour mini-workout and intense anger at my husband. I could use more breaks like those!

But this morning, as CPT Dick got ready to leave for his next duty station, getting the boy out of bed and changing his diaper before leaving, I almost forgot all of that. I realized that for the next few weeks, until we straighten out this whole orders mess, I am totally on my own. There may be less of a man-made mess, but there will also be no one to watch the kid while I take a shower or run to the store.

And I must admit that knowing this has made me appreciate this awkward dance that we do when he's home a little more. He does try. And he'll be trying his heart in the next few weeks finding a place for us at his next duty station.

So hurry up, CPT Dick, and get us those orders. We're ready to follow.

Even if it means more Saturday morning slap fights and soy sauce dribbles.

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