Oh Glory Days! I am vindicated!
In anticipation of the day when I return to full time work, I have been preparing my husband for the onslaught of parental duties that he will have to take on.
My husband is a great Dad, and a wonderful husband, but he lacks something that is critical to handling a pre-schooler. He lacks the fundamental skill of scheduling and timing. He doesn’t understand that a 3 year old cannot wait until 1:30 to eat lunch just because he doesn’t want to stop en route to Grandma’s house. Well, that’s not quite right. He does understand the concept. He just doesn’t always react to it. The reprocussions for him in these situations have more or less been nil, as I have as ever taken over and corrected things. Or at least had the forethought to bring a boatload of snacks. Not because I am wise beyond my years, but because I’ve made this same mistake and many others at some point in the past.
These lessons learned by trial and error have led me to always be prepared for anything when it comes to my daughter and THAT could be the root of my problem: I take over. If I just let husband handle things, he would get ‘there’ eventually. But at the price of an upset, irate three year old and a husband who is getting equally frustrated. Not a good price. At least, not one that I can live with too easily.
So I have been imparting my collected wisdom from the last three years over time, to make sure that he is as up to speed as possible, short of creating an app for him to keep on his Blackberry.
One thing that we have known for a long time was the need for Taggies to go to bed with our daughter. Taggie is a square of fabric with little tags sticking out on all sides… Our daughter has had a Taggie since birth and loves it. We bought a back up Taggie in case something happened to the first one and when she discovered it in the laundry basket one day, she resolved never to be parted from either of them ever again, hence the plural appellation. Really, they are her sleep friends, but if we go in the car, they have to come too. They stay in the car, but they have to come too. When she goes to nursery school, they come in the car for the ride and then they come home again with Dada, to be sure that they are here for nap time.
Just this afternoon, we chatted in the car about getting a third, identical Taggie and hiding him in the linen closet, in case the inevitable loss of one of them occurred, which would trigger Meltdown 2012. I said to my husband that I would get another this coming week.
Several hours later but only minutes before bedtime, the same man who agreed that we needed extra Taggies because our daughter is so attached to them, put both – not just one – in the washer. I asked him where they were. He told me. I stood in stunned silence.
“She won’t notice if we don’t say anything.” he said to me.
I scratched my head and rolled my eyes but didn’t reply.
I tucked her in after her book and not one second later, she asked: “Where is Taggies?” She started rummaging around her room, liting up her covers, before the husband came in and said that they were in the washer and she would have them in the morning, all nice and clean.
“I want Taggies!” was the ensuing wail that I heard as I left the room. For once, he was going to suffer the consequences of his scheduling deficiency. She was already suffering and as Taggies were wet clumps of pink fuzzy fabric at that moment, there was little I could do to alleviate her suffering.
He read her a book and found her giraffe toy that had tags on it, as compensation. I was in the living room, listening to all of this on the monitor. She seemed to calm down a little so he tucked her in and came down the stairs.
The very second his foot hit the bottom stair, the crying started anew. My turn. I went up to find her standing by the door. She just wasn’t having any of it. She screamed that she wanted to search the house for her Taggies and the red, tired eyes looked at me, so sad and forlorn. I couldn’t refuse her.
My husband came in behind me and saw the same face. He sighed and gave up: he took her to the laundry room where they placed the Taggies in the dryer and then sat and waited for them to dry. When done, he brought her back up stairs and assumed that all was well. Taggies in hand, she should go back to bed, right?
She was still too upset to simply hop in bed and go off to dreamland. So she picked out a book and I tucked her in and read it to her and in due course, the sniffling slowed. She even smiled at a funny part. Eureka, we had happy baby back! I gave her a kiss and a hug, as did Dad, and we left a happy girl clutching her Taggies.
I stood in the hallway and did a gloaty dance. Yes, I gloated and swirled and smirked and sashayed… Really. It was a powerfully proud moment. I finally proved to him that listening to my endless advice wasn’t a total waste of time and if we had washed Taggies that morning, immediately after she got up, none of this would have happened. Sigh… Even as I write this, I feel the glow of vindication washing all over me. Okay, I’m taking it a bit far. But only a little bit far. I think it was a well deserved gloat. My husband thinks I’m getting bugger all for the New Year’s Eve dinner that he was planning to cook for us. Yes, I know. How can I complain when the man was going to cook for me? Easy. Watch me.