Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mr. Mom? The dishes might not be done on a regular basis, but the baby would be well fed!

Awww. Daa-an.

While I've been the slacking-off-haggardly-bloated-with-frizzy-lacking-product-growing-out-hair (really. Am too growing it out... I am.) wifey poo, Dan and I have been steadily spiraling into dropping those crazy habits people have like washing dishes on a regular basis and picking up skanchy worn-all-day socks off the floor, and you know, not washing our hands after going to the bathroom--number 2, stuff like that. (Oh chill, I'm kidding.) We've sort of been, um, lazy... about doing chores. And by we, I mean him. Sort of.*

Here's the thing, we have always been very mercurial when it comes to the domestic responsibility roles we play in our relationship. This, due in large part to the fact that we have both basically been seesawing between one of us being gainfully employed, while the other is a freelancer. Consequently we've gotten quite nimble at adjusting our division of labor in the Home Economics department. Admittedly, I've always kinda sucked at doing the grocery shopping and he doesn't touch the books. I've always been the one on trash duty and he has always been the amazingly talented chef (whereas I'm really fond of burning things). But there are plenty of other areas we each take over depending on the other's work schedule.

Enter present day, living 8 months in Taipei: I've established the pattern here as the wifey poo (minus the mani-pedi part) who has gotten to luxuriate in not having to drag my frizzy-haired ass to work every day. I happily balance our scales and contribute my part by reverting to the '50s housewife role: doing laundry, dishes, housecleaning, buying Dan's spiffy clothes-shopping, etc. as I view that as MY job since he's the one dragging his ass to work day in, day out. So one could argue (though "one" hasn't), that it is I who hath droppeth thy balleth (it's the Progesterone).

We both don't quite know what to do when I'm under the weather. It doesn't neatly fall under our work-based reasons for adjusting our roles. When it's due to work, there's usually about a 2 - 3 week adjustment period as we redial our mode. We're a bit testier, but then the waters calm again. But an "under the weather" scenario? It's inherently a hit the ground running thing as it usually demands an immediate stand-still. This whole forced bed rest for the sake of de-swelling my ovaries and helping assist our embryos' implantation? That's territory we really don't charter all that much.

Of course it really isn't fair for me to imply he has been neglecting anything either. We're both equal participants in wallowing in our scummy IVF/Shitty Cough transition period. We hit our tipping point this morning. It's a new year, we figured let's start if off trying to avoid collecting roaches as pets. I wandered around the apartment with little blue birdies chirping about my shoulders as I straightened up. Made the bed even. Yeah, that's right - made the friggin' cough-inducing bed.

Ah, and those blessed little sock bombs were finally scooped up. As I marched to the hamper marveling at the pile I was awkwardly trying to contain within the circle of my arms, it solved the mystery of why Dan suddenly abandoned his standard beaten up white tube fare--he'd been dipping into my sock stock. (It's so romantic, after all these years he still lets me show him how much I love him by letting me pick them up after him. [What is up w/that one persistent little sticky {in the "it doesn't go away" sticky, not in the "horny self-loving high schooler" sticky} bad man habit?] It just truly seems to be an un-break-ab-le habit: The Universal Dude Law.)

Then I finally hit the kitchen table which was strewn about with a collection of various items acquired throughout the last two weeks of negligence. Most glaringly, there was the big pile of cash and change carelessly plopped down from a sport drink excursion I dragged my butt out in the rain to execute and which ended with said cash plop, immediately followed by the couch plop.

But, the thing is, that's NOT where we keep our change. Those aren't our rules. That is not part of our protocol. Sure I bent the rules a little, I had my "under the weather" excuse going for me. It didn't take genius powers of observation to discern there was no way I generated THAT much change from my one measly outing. THIS pile of change had morphed into Dan's own little Pirate treasure chest. I couldn't help but crack up at his dude "Dan-ness." Yes it was plainly evident during this slacking phase of mine, Dan was getting nice and adjusted. I guess I really must have been out of it, because that friggin' pile was hard to miss. Flashing back, I could just see him when he came home--excited about the changes that were afoot in the Francis household: "The kitchen table has finally replaced that stupid, small catch-all bowl?! I don't have to worry about aiming to get the coins in that damn bowl anymore? YAY!" went Dan's brain. While I hovered over the table, Dan was toiling away hovering over the sink (scaled for that psychic in Poltergeist) as he patiently worked his way through the stacks of dishes.

*I'll admit there may be a slight, itty bitty possibility it's not that I feel so bad physically that I'm incapable of doing the dishes (or for the love of Gawd, at the very least, bringing them to the sink), and putting my crap away. I think it's more like a quickly-developed-lacking-inertia habit. Stupid thwarted inertia. Damn those pesky bad habits--even bright, shiny new ones--are hard to break.

I guess I'll get to my real point. And I think I DO actually have one:

In addition to simply not feeling well, there's also an aspect of wanting to be nurtured by my husband. I'm feeling weak and vulnerable and want to be cradled and cooed over. I think we woman like to test our man's ability to play Mr. Mom in case circumstances ever demand it. We want to be assured our men can handle all the important domestic affairs including taking care of THE BABY should we find ourselves under the weather (or healing from a C-Section).

No matter how many sock bombs he may plant, or how much he loved freely stashing his loose change on the kitchen table, I've no doubts Dan can hold down the fort playing the role of Mr. Mom... at least until I'm all better.

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