There wasn’t time to tell my husband that I was saving the pile of lint on top of the dryer. I had hopes of showing my daughter how to make paper. This was a lofty goal because 1) She is only 2 and 2) When was I ever going to find a time when my baby was sleeping in order to teach her? Still I had a plan and when my lint mysteriously disappeared I knew who to blame.
“Honey, did you throw away my lint?” (This sounded absurd even to me.)
“Isn’t that what we normally do with lint?”
He glanced at me with mild concern, as if waiting to be told that I’ve been working on the world’s biggest lint ball and storing it in the scary condemned shack that shares our driveway. A giant lint ball is about the only thing that could make that place creepier than it already is.
Any other day I would have expected him to throw away the lint and possibly reprimanded him for leaving it there. How’s a working dad supposed to win against a stay-at-home parent?
It made me think of all the things I’ve said to my poor husband in the last 2 years, all of which may have justifiably caused him to view me as a Nazi.
As a stay at home parent the house is my domain. That’s not really what I want, it’s just what happens when someone is home as much as me. My partner comes home at the end of the day and waits for instructions because he is tired of doing the wrong thing. I don’t blame him a bit. I don’t remember to share things like, “Oh- you have to give the baby his own spoon to hold now unless you want him to rip yours out of your hands.” And so he has to find things out the hard way and spend part of dinner cleaning the beef stew off the floor instead of enjoying his own meal.
It isn’t until he has already dressed the baby in the morning that I think to tell him, “Oh- breakfast is a pajama kind of meal these days. Otherwise we have to change him all over again.” The poor man. No matter what he does I always have a better way. No matter how attentive he is it’s never enough. I call him at work to frantically shout, “Where the hell is the snot bulb sucker?” Or, “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE CHEERIOS?”
My God. What have I become?
Stay at home parents get a lot of pity. People realize it’s a hard job that is some days full of tedious repetitive chores and not much gratitude. However, other days you get to wear your pajamas all day, go braless, and bake cookies so it rather evens out. The working parents- the ones who support their families and have to come home to psycho spouses with ridiculous rules and double standards- now those are the ones who deserve our pity.
Sorry honey. FYI: The paper towel tubes in the laundry room? I’m saving them to make a marble run.