Blah, blah, blah kids are hard.
They’re hard on my skin elasticity, hard on my sleep schedule, hard on my ability to retain information, like where I parked my car or why I have no pants on.
But, they’re also hard on my marriage.
Don’t get me wrong, kids mostly make things awesome, like when you need an excuse to get out of stupid obligations, or someone to laugh at your MC Hammer jokes, or reasons to buy 7 rolls of duck tape and Korean Rosetta Stone.
But they are also consuming as fuck, like little black holes of attention and energy, and you float along in this blissful land of eskimo kisses and belly raspberries, until one day you look across the bed and wonder who in the hell that hairy guy is laying next to three sweaty heaps of children.
Child-centered marriages. They are a real thing. Couples whose whole relationship revolves around their kids.
It’s why fanny packs and crocs exist.
Is it a bad thing, to be married to your kids? Well, for starters you can’t have sex with them, and unless they are Tiger Woods, they don’t help pay the bills. And those are two really awesome perks of marriage.
I started thinking about the date nights Andy and I sneak in every two weeks. We spend most of the time talking about the kids, trips we’re taking with the kids, shit they do in school, who’s sick, who’s whiny, whose got a game/field trip/performance/one act play about political anguish opening off Broadway that week.
I thought about dinner last night. Andy was telling the kids about the Hockey tickets he got, when he looks at me all, what are you doing? And I am like, pretending to know what hockey is? And he’s like, you’re cutting up my steak for me, and I’m like, well this just got weird.
I know sometimes husbands are like kids, but not in the sense that I need to cut up their meat into chewable, non-choke inducing pieces.
Add to that, we have been bickering a lot, which is new because we almost never do, and rarely do I have fights with Andy that occur outside my own head. It’s way more emotionally taxing when your opponent is a real person, and not the invisible guy you sometimes daydream about running over with your car because he ate your leftovers.
We’re both super busy with work, he’s working long hours, I work into the early morning hours. He comes home and beelines for the kids until bedtime, I’m in the office finally working kid free.
We’ve had the we need us time conversation eleventy billion times, and it always ends with promises to be more romantic and lovey dovey, and it totally works for exactly one day, and then boom, we’re back to stumbling around like parent zombies wearing celibacy sweatpants and replacing Xbox controller batteries.
You guys, I had to take the batteries out of my vibrator to put into a Batman car yesterday. That’s how you know, there’s trouble in River City.
And then Wednesday night happened.
Wednesday night, at 11:45pm, I was sitting in my car crying outside of a Speedway gas station, blaring Eddy Grant’s Electric Avenue, which is totally a better song after 11pm, all because Andy forgot to buy a newspaper.
The kids had been sick all day. Fevers, snot and coughing until they threw up, repeatedly.
After work, Andy had to go to a going away party for his company’s CEO, and that was fine, because part of the allure of sick kids is that, between puke and rampant diarrhea, they sleep. This did however restrict me to the house, which was a bummer because I had gotten word my picture was on the front page of the Arts & Entertainment section of our daily paper, it wasn’t available online, and I totally wanted to see it.
I called Andy asking him to grab a paper on his way home, he said no problem, he’d be home by 8pm, ok fine.
At 10pm Andy texted that he was finally in the car, and I was super cool about it, because I am a totally chill wife, and also I was watching Hoarders with the heat turned up super high, so I was in no rush for him to get home and try and explain electricity and gas consumption to me.
In he walks at 10:45, and after chatting with the sickos watching cartoons in upstairs in bed, he goes to bed.
So I follow him in, and I’m like, hey babe where’s the paper, and he is like, oh I forgot to get it, and I am all, it’s the one thing I asked you to do all day, and he is like, I’ll get it tomorrow, and I am like, it’s a daily paper, you can’t buy yesterday’s paper tomorrow YOU AREN’T MICHAEL J. FOX.
I started grabbing my shoes, and put jeans on under my pajamas, and he’s like, what is the problem here? And I am like, how many cancer moles did I have removed? Who was our guest on the television show today? Why am I in the paper? What did I do differently with my hair today (psst finger waves, totally cute.)? You don’t know the answer to any of these things because you don’t ask me these things and you probably don’t care, because I am just a vessel to magically turn your sperm into real people.
As I tore apart my dresser for my car keys, he asked me where I was going, and I said away, and then I left.
Which I have never, ever done before, mostly because I am a control freak about leaving the kids, but also because I have a fear of driving.
I left my phone on the nightstand, which under any other occasion, would have made me turn around on the spot, but I was supposed to be proving a point, so I had to keep driving without it, which felt totally weird, because what was I supposed to do the whole time? Focus on one task at a time? Like watching the road or not tweeting?
The whole night was a disaster, and I had to go to three gas stations to find one that had newspapers left.
The guy at the counter was the only kid I had ever babysat, and it only lasted three days because I flooded their barn, got kicked by a horse, and ate all their Shwan’s Frozen Corn Dogs. He looked a lot older than when I last saw him.
Just the paper tonight?
I just made coffee and hot chocolate in the machine if you wanna buy some?
No, coffee tastes like barf and I am off carbs right now, I don’t wanna talk about it.
You look familiar.
I used to be your babysitter, I was obviously also super young when that happened.
Oh yeah, I remember you.
Can I sit back there on that couch thing and read this?
I wouldn’t, the trucker showers are back there, and some of them can be kinda rapey…and you’re wearing pajamas.
I went back out to my car, deciding to read the whole paper before driving home, so that Andy would maybe have time to realize how super right I was, and also be worried, except I mostly cried, because I couldn’t even realize if I was totally right or not anymore, and that sucks, because being right is something I am really, really good at.
By the time I got home, he was snoring, sooo…not visibly shaken from the evenings events. I decided to sleep on the couch because that’s how they do it on television.
The next morning, flowers came and he apologized and planned a weekend kids-free getaway. I apologized too, because I am trying to be diplomatic, and I think it’s obvious to everyone I am totally not crazy or at fault here.
Men. Can’t live with them, can’t qualify for a car loan or get the Christmas decorations out of the haunted attic without them, amirite?