Friday, October 07, 2011

Not A Toddler

Sometimes- well, often, actually- I worry that my dear spouse will be unhappy with how little control he has over what goes on at home.  What's for dinner?  Whatever I say.  What is our toddler doing all day?  Whatever I say.  Are there carrots today?  No.  Need new clothes?  I buy them.  Will he please put up my coat rack?  Now?  Thank you. 

As I write it out, I realize that although these seem momentous to me- what the hell is for dinner tonight, anyways?- in an adult's life they're fairly insignificant.  He goes off to work all day to do whatever he wants.  As he frequently tells me, he couldn't care less what's for dinner, he loathes shopping, he thinks it's lovely that I cook, and besides, likes everything except shredded coconut, and Bug seems quite happy.  

I worry that he will feel infantilized, removed from control, treated like a two-year-old and told what to eat.  What I need is the ability to accept my spouse's sincere assurances that I am making his life more convenient and that if something is important, he will tell me.  But I can't help but feel that if our positions were reversed, it would all drive me a little crazy.

And this is why we marry people who aren't exactly like us, right?


  1. Even though I do 95% of the cooking, I always ASK my husband if he wants or DOESN'T want something specific for dinner. If he does, and I'm OK with it, we have it. If he doesn't, then I make the decision. We eat pretty simple meals (meat + veggies, or some sort of breakfasty thing like veggie omelets or bacon and eggs) for dinner, and each make our own breakfast and lunch.

    I buy him t-shirts if he asks (we usually get much of our clothing from Target!) - I know his size, and what colors he likes. If he's the one shopping that week, he picks them up.

    I look at some of this as using resources wisely. I'm a faster cook (and fast is important right now), and I use the time in SuperTarget for grocery shopping as "me" time - I get a coffee and roam around the store alone! OTOH, Tim is faster at cleaning floors, and I'm MORE than happy to let him do those! Tim makes more school decisions, because as the at-home parent, he spends more time taking to-and-fro and sees the teachers more.

    Yes - using resources wisely.

  2. Daisy2:04 PM

    Very funny! I used to worry about that, and was also assured that it was all good. Then roles reversed and DH does all the cooking and most of the house stuff and all the shopping, and I find it is in fact driving me nuts to not be in control of what I eat. Most of the time I really appreciate the effort, but some days it would be nice to be asked (just because I bought apples last week doesn't mean I want them every day!). But generally I keep quiet and remind myself how great it is to have someone else do all that stuff, and when he's out I make something I know he wouldn't do, that way both of us are happy :)

  3. I've sometimes had this sense, too, of infantilizing my husband. I do tend to run the show in most domestic areas, and yeah, I buy his clothes. Yesterday he received some pants he ordered all by himself, and heavens, the jubilation! It was like a little boy's first day of school. But ultimately I guess we gotta trust them to speak up if they don't like it.

  4. Anonymous1:56 AM

    I can't decide if that would bother me or not, but the idea of having someone else buy my clothes would be worth any other inconvenience. I have long said that if I could send my credit card and my body to the mall without my brain, I would be much better dressed (I am actively bad at shopping).

  5. Mary: I would ask, but for the intersection of extremely-limited-food-budget and food allergies. But this is also the man who has taken a cheese sandwich and a carrot for lunch every single day for six years now.

    Daisy: Hah!

    Bunny: He would rather die a fiery death than shop for himself (though he does it if he has to), and I'd rather not do lots of stuff (take out the trash, sweep, scrub the bathtub, wash the dishes, take out the compost, rake, mow....) so it does even out I think. Plus, seriously, cheese sandwich.

    Redzils: That would be very convenient! I don't like shopping and tend to buy six of everything and wear it until it shreds..


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