This morning Thing 2 had a check-up at the doctor’s office. It was time for our pediatrician to see him again… to check to make sure he’s right on schedule for development, and to proclaim him handsome and brilliant.
She also used the word ACTIVE to describe him.
If by ACTIVE she means that he runs like the Roadrunner on speed tablets and behaves like a grenade about to blow, then she nailed it.
She told us that Thing 2’s physical demonstrations are things two-year-olds do. Apparently very few fifteen-month-old babies pick up folding chairs that are made for little kids, close them up, and carry them across the exam room over their heads. She also gave him the green light for his morning coffee habit (I kid you not; he and Hubs have a cup of coffee together seven mornings a week.), and told us it won’t stunt his growth or give him wizarding powers. Thing 2 just stared at his doctor and whispered, “Well. I’m glad you approve, but I was going to continue drinking my cup of Joe every morning, whether you recommended I enter a twelve-step program to quit my habit or not.”
Having Thing 2 in the doctor’s office for an hour is very similar to being on the front lines of a Civil War battle. Hubs and I wrestled him for an hour, trying to keep him quiet and entertained. When our appointment was over, my barrette was falling out of my hair, I had sweat running in places where girls don’t like to have sweat, and I my shirt was eight times more wrinkled than it was when I left the house.
I was a vision.
And then, at the exact moment I was leaving the pediatrician’s office, I chose to hold the door open for a woman with twins who was coming into the office.
Her twins were six months old.
Her short hair was perfect and immaculate. Her makeup looked like it had been applied by Cindy Crawford’s people and airbrushed to perfection. She smelled of expensive perfume. Her summer skirt was white with navy polka dots. Her summer sweater was sleeveless and navy blue. Her summer jewelry was big and chunky and white and fun. Her summer scarf was probably made of genuine silk spun by endangered worms; it more than likely cost more dollars than my LG refrigerator did. She looked like she had just stepped out from a photo shoot for a fashion magazine… or perhaps she’d just left a business meeting on an air conditioned, top floor of a Manhattan office building.
She had one twin in a kangaroo pouch tied to her belly, and one twin balanced on her hip. Her babies were adorable… fat-cheeked… with a couple of tiny teeth showing in both of their drooly grins.
She was Miss Universe, I’m certain of it.
And suddenly I wanted to be this woman, because WHY COULDN’T I GET MY ACT TOGETHER AND ACTUALLY CURL MY HAIR THIS MORNING, WHEN I ONLY HAVE ONE BABY IN MY HOUSE?! Why didn’t I use some perfume this morning? Why did I have to look like I’d been down in the coal mines for seven straight days?
Because yes. I neglected to use the hot rollers this morning, because my live grenade was hopping all over my house, and I had to keep an eye on him before he just blew up and started chewing through the walls.
Of course this is a story that I would share with my girlfriends. Do you know why? Because my girlfriends would actually LISTEN to me tell it. They would understand that I suddenly felt like a girl who lived in a small tent in a campground, without the luxury of an iron or electricity to use it. My girlfriends would have nodded in all the appropriate places; they would have said, “It’s okay! We all have those days when we look like a hairball the cat has deposited on the floor. This, too, shall pass.”
Girlfriends get it. They know when to listen, and they know when to talk.
Husbands, on the other hand, can’t listen long enough because WHAT ARE THEY DOING? They are processing the story you’ve told them and trying to come up with a way to FIX THINGS.
That’s what men do.
They don’t want to talk for the pleasure of small talk. If I told this story to Hubs, he would tell me that if I set my alarm for 4:00 in the morning, I would have time to curl my hair and press my shirts and add some jewelry before Thing 2 attacked me. It would be his way of solving my problem, because Hubs is a problem solver.
Sometimes, we girls don’t need our problems solved. We want someone to just listen to us… to just hear us talk, and to nod and say, “I still love you; I’m sure that Miss Universe had the personality of a bedbug, and I think her diamond wedding ring was probably a fake.”
Hubs and I have joked about this for years. He has always said, “If you want to tell me something, my brain immediately kicks into HOW DO I FIX THIS FOR HER gear. If you want to just TALK, I think your girlfriends are your best bet.”
We’ve laughed about this more times than I can count.
Which is why I died laughing last night, when Hubs sent me the link for a video.
People, it’s NOT ABOUT THE NAIL! The wife wants someone to listen to her; the husband butts in to solve her problems. She’s relieved when he finally does just listen to her, but even then… he can’t NOT try to fix things.
It’s the circle of life, and the code of husbands.
Bless their hearts.
And still… I love the man I married completely. Even if he does want to help me quit snagging my sweaters by yanking the nail out of my head instead of listening to me whine about what’s wrong.
Y’all have a good Wednesday night.