man and wife

Sometimes when my husband gets frustrated with Chicken there's a small vicious part of me that wants to say, "SEE? Do you SEE what I have to do all day, every day? And do you SEE why I need you around on weeknights and all day Saturday and Sunday? And do you SEE why taking Chicken to my parents' house for a long visit without you and basically being a full-time single parent who is on duty 24 hours a day is NOT A VACATION?? Do you need me to turn some more lights on or DO. YOU. SEE?"

(As I'm typing this post, Zemanta is suggesting that I post a link to a related article entitled "Man pleads not guilty to wife's beating death." Apparently Zemanta can sympathize with the frustrations of first-time parents struggling to accept the things they deeply miss about their childless former lives. Either that or Zemanta is warning me to shut my ungrateful mouth and make my husband a sandwich before he snaps.)

But when I do get frustrated and resentful and "I TOLD YOU SO-Y" I remember a week ago when I lay slouched over the frame of a pack'n'play, weeping over the red-faced, screaming, coiled-up knot of Chicken that did NOT want to go to sleep even though he badly needed it. Moments like that are basically the activation fee on your "I'm a parent motherfucker" card. In addition to "Mother-child weeping duet" they also accept "when the baby pees in your mouth" and "grocery store meltdown."

He held me close and told me we would be okay and this would not last forever.

And he was right.

I think about how incredibly sweet his kindness tastes.

I want him to know the relief of his partner coming into the room at 2:30 am to say, "You're off duty now. Go to sleep, my love."

The secret to a happy marriage, I once heard, is to never say "I told you so." I think another secret to a happy marriage is to show up even when you're off duty.


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