Mountain View Mommy: Sand, Trucks and Testosterone

September 22, 2007


Filed under: Nathan — by mvmommy @ 9:16 pm

There are some obvious differences between my husband & I. He is a man. I am a woman. Obviously.

Many of those who know us, think we are two peas in a pod. Both Type A to a fault, and so highly organized that it would make your head spin.

However, in parenting … we are different. The contrasts are neither bad nor good. Just different.

In the last 15 minutes I have marvelled at our dissimilarity and had to laugh.

We were sitting at dinner and there was mention of a ‘surprise’. The word, ‘surprise’ in our house means dessert. So it was explained, that if they ate their beans, we were going to have dessert. The kids decided that tonight, dessert would be homemade chocolate chip cookies…. but we didn’t have any flour to make it. So I volunteered to go to the store quickly, if Nathan would keep the boys distracted by mowing the grass (which they love to do & crossed off one of the to-do on my list).

I came back in 5-10 minutes… and literally the kids were locked in the pantry. They were in there with the door closed and cans/bottles banging. I just looked at my husband and laughed. This is what happens when I am gone. The grass gets mowed, as asked, but the kids run crazy.

In accordance with the definition of ‘mayhem’, they destroyed the pantry. Everything was everywhere. When I am home with them, they aren’t even allowed in there. But when Dad’s home… all bets are off.

At this point, I mentioned to my husband that it is sort of ironic (or as Joel would put it… it sucks) that when Nathan is expected home, I clean up as much as possible so that he can walk into a clean home and relax. But when I am expected home, who cares about the mess… let’s make the biggest mess possible if it’s fun & safe.

I can’t be mad. It is actually great. The kids love the freedom & they love being with dad. He is super fun, and they are in great hands. It’s just so different from my mode of operation.

Another obvious difference in the past 15 minutes is our levels of patience. I have to spread my patience over 12 hours. I dole it out as necessary. Nathan only has to be patient for 2 hours – between 6:00 – 8:00. This makes his perspective a whole lot better than mine. I just watched him bake cookies with my kids for the past 30 minutes; he calmly and easily dealt with the kids and the tornado of flour that was in our kitchen.

Somehow the mounds of salt being poured all over didn’t bother him. He didn’t care that no one was listening & everyone was grabbing for all the dangerous objects all at once. Somehow he was able to cook the cookies quickly & assign ‘busy’ tasks to each kid so that they were involved but not in the way. It was fun.

I was impressed at his skills, especially since I had tried making pancakes with the kids two days prior (a task he usually does with them). I was frazzled and frustrated trying to keep hands away from blenders, and too much food off the floor. By the end, the kids had fun… but I am not sure I did. And it definitely didn’t go like it does with dad… smoothly and without the word ‘no’ used about 100 times.

So differences are good.

However, how do I find a way to maximize our differences and minimize the mess? I did appreciate the homemade cookies (obviously since I ate about 5) … but I didn’t like being called in as the clean-up girl for the pound of flour on the floor.

I guess you win some, you lose some. Now I will go back to my cookies and spending time with my fantastic husband/father.


1 Comment »

  1. at least he doesn’t turn to you after the two hours are up and the kids are sleeping and say, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about. This is easy.”

    Comment by Joel Bittle — September 25, 2007 @ 11:19 am |Reply

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