Thursday, June 28, 2007

Men, toddlers, routine and households

The purpose of this blog is not really to turn it into a bitch session about certain annoying habits other people exhibit.

But sometimes, when someone within the household does something that extracts annoyance in me, and I wait a day or so to digest and "get over it", I try to see a certain sense of humour in it.

Or at least, it helps me to reflect on things.

It's also funny in some ways when other people, like for example a certain neighbour, shares the almost identical experience with her own household member.

Then I came across this post which further inspires me to jot down some nutty notes about the following situation.

Heck, why not? This blog is my dairy and therefore, in some ways, my outlet, my sanity saver.

So here is what happened:

Mommy's scenario

  • Morning. Get up. Change diaper. Serve toddler bottle of milk, then breakfast.
  • Allow child to sit on potty, praise when peeing in potty, dress child.
  • Get out of house by at the latest 10 am so as to get the daily dose of exercise, mostly for toddler.
  • Get back sometime around lunch, offer lunch, and then wind down.
  • Start and inisist on quiet time to lead (hopefully) into naptime.
  • Enjoy naptime while it lasts. It does not happen every day and is considered precious time.
  • Exercise child after naptime in some way or another and make it back for suppertime in time to offer food.
  • Since it's summer, let child burn more energy after supper and metamorphose slowly, so as not to evoke temper tantrums, into bathtime and bedtime.
  • Bedtime.

Daddy's scenario

Daddy has this annoying habit of HAVING to read the paper during breakfast time. For some reason, certain sections of the paper cannot be read after breakfast. Like, say, during naptime.

He does remember to give child a bottle of milk.
Child will drink milk on couch or bed and then begin to play.
Daddy will pour milk on his cereal, make tea or coffee, and then immerse himself into the newspaper.

By 10 am I'm wondering why
a) child's diaper is dripping/smells/leaving streaks
b) child has not been fed breakfast
c) child is not dressed
d) daddy is nowhere near ready to get out of the house with child to exercise child
e) daddy is annoyed when mommy suggests that diaper needs changing since now his cereal is getting soggy.

By this time, mommy wonders how this delay will affect:
1) lunchtime
2) naptime
3) playtime
4) dinnertime
5) bath/bedtime

Let it be said that daddy is just as much a fan of naptime as mommy is.
Let it also be said that most of the time, daddy is not only willing, but capable of doing mommy's scenario according to the loosely indicated schedule.

Only trouble is that mommy has to turn into some form of a dictator in order to assure the smooth running of the household.

I do not want to be the dictator.

And I do know that if I'm, say, on vacation in the Bahamas by myself for a week, that the child and the daddy will not only manage to survive, they will have fun along the way.

But, for the purpose of mommy's sanity, mommy's scenario just keeps things running smoother than daddy's scenario. Especially because when toddler becomes overtired or over/understimulated, he whines and cries "mommy do it". Thereby leading daddy to (mistakingly) believe that he is now relieved of his duty.

It's not like mommy's scenario is a strict, clock-watching regiment. There is lots of room for flexibility.

If mommy has to pick up the pieces because of a daddy's scenario, the rest of the day is wasted, unpleasant and a pain in the ass.

And mommy gets resentful.

Mommy threatends to hide/burn/throw the newspaper away until naptime. Or cancel the subscription.

I think mommy is entitled to her opinion if only for the fact that she is almost 6 months pregnant.

Thank you.

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