Thursday, August 27, 2015
Fighting in front of the kids—and our in-house peacemaker
"He's nice!" Max informs me. He's talking about Dave.
It's morning, and I've just looked out the window and realized our car was parked on the street overnight. In our city, this is not allowed; cars have to be off the street between 2 am and 6 am unless you get special permission from the police department. Before I went sleep, I'd texted Dave—who was out late with some work colleagues—and reminded him to move the car. But, no.
"Dave, why didn't you move the car?" I ask.
"I couldn't find the keys," he says.
"Why didn't you grab the spare set?"
I shouldn't be peeved—we luckily escaped a ticket—but I am. Because it's not about the car. Are spats really ever about dealing with the car/taking out the garbage/picking up the socks off the floor/cleaning the crumbs? Nope. My irritation is rooted in division of responsibility. Occasionally, I have flare-ups of feeling the many burdens on my shoulders.
I clearly sound annoyed because Max gets an alarmed look on his face, as he always does anytime he senses I'm not pleased with Dave. His solution is to remind me how nice Dave is. Sometimes, he also asks me to say "I love you, Dave!" because he figures that'll dissolve the argument. Sabrina's tactic: whine and say "Stop!"
Dave and I have our more intense discussions about biggie issues when the kids aren't around, but we are parents of the human variety and there are times when we get irritated with each other in front of them. OK, mostly Dave gets on my nerves, because he is way more easygoing than I am.
Max, though, he wants to make sure everyone's calm and happy. And when he says, "He's nice!" it always makes me smile.
"Yes, he's nice," I have to agree. Because Dave honestly is the nicest guy I've ever known. Who neglects to move cars. And he's married someone who often neglects to cook dinner and never irons his shirts. And that's the way it is.
"Iss Ah-ee!" Max says. ["Kiss Daddy!"]
I give Dave a kiss. Max claps. And we get on with our day.
Posted by Ellen Seidman at 6:37 AM