December 1, 2011

The Dynamic Chain Of Command

To anyone who knows me and my husband, it's clear that I wear the pants in the relationship. This does not mean that my husband is a meek, subservient man, however; it just goes to show how incredibly smart he is. Unlike many men, he knows when to let me vent and chooses his battles carefully. We then, (I like to think) have a reasonable discussion about how I can get my way. If the discussion wasn't reasonable, we later have a good laugh about how vehement I was and how red my face got while firing obscenities across the room. It isn't easy wearing the proverbial pants.

The Pants had a good run
The dynamic changed when we had kids. Constantly at the mercy of M and Em's needs, wants and whims, we had less patience with each other. With little sleep and even less free time, things that didn't piss me off before made me positively irate. The biggest offenders: leaving stuff all over the house, not using a garbage can, and leaving dirty towels on the rack. The more I nagged, the less K listened, and the kids followed suit. I lost clout and started resorting to threats and bribes like "those" moms you see in Walmart shouting, "Smarten up or I'll give you something to cry about!".

Our biggest beef these days is M's bedtime; K lets her stay up way too late. Since nothing seems to work, I've put sex on the table (I wish we could have it on the table... or anywhere, really): if M's up past my dictated bedtime, K doesn't get any nooky. This cheap tactic works for a few days at a time so I thought I still had one leg in the pants, but the truth came out last night around the dinner table (NM: Me, K: Hubby, M: 29 month old daughter, Em: 9 month old daughter):

M: <raised voice> No, Daddy, I don't wanna eat that. I want a yogurt drink! 
K: Just try a little bit, M, it's good. Mommy made it!
M: <yelling> No, I don't wanna eat that. I'm not hungry. 
K: Are you sure you don't want to try a bite? 
M: <yelling> No!
K: <goes to the fridge to get M a yogurt drink> Do you want an apple, M?
M: <yelling> No, I want a yogurt drink! Are you getting yogurt drink, Daddy? I want it!
NM: M, can you ask nicely? We don't talk like that. Please use your manners.
M: <speaking super fast> PleaseDaddycanIhaveyogurtdrink?
K: Ok, here you go.
M: <drinking>
NM: What do you say to Daddy?
M: Thank you!
NM: That's better. <to K> Don't let her talk to you like that, Honey. It's so rude. We're not raising her to be a little brat. If she screams like that, you need to give her a time out. She's not the boss, right?
K: <smiles and nods>
NM: <jokingly> Who's the boss? Are you the boss, M?
M:  No, Em's the boss.
Em: <laughing>
NM: What?! If she's the boss, who am I?
<long silence>
NM: <resignedly> I'm The Bitch. <looking at K> Who are you?
K: The Peon
NM: What about M?
K: I don't know.
NM: If Em's the CEO, M must be the CFO because she tells people to f$%k off all the time.
K: That sounds right.

And there you have the story of how I lost the pants. I should have seen it coming... after all, Em had a plan all along.

Who's the boss in your house?

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