Wildly Good and Mildly Bad

I can love him so, and I can want to throw salted lemons into his bare naked eyeballs.

Yes, my husband Anson. I know all marriages have ups and downs and sideways-es and diagonals, but I am somewhat shocked by how within a 24-hour period I can be of two minds. The first mind being: “I am ever-so-very-lucky. He is gorgeous and sweet and-Oh Mercy-look how the baby is hugging him I should just die now from The Happy.” The second mind being: “I am going to throw a salted lemon into his bare naked eyeball, etc.”

On Saturday, we were traipsing around Governor’s Island with Roan, his friend Javier, the babies, my mother, and her husband. It was a beautiful Autumn day, and we were swinging on swings at sunset. The lights of Manhattan were beginning to light up, and the Statue of Liberty was about a stone’s-throw away. I was breastfeeding the little dudes on a bench swing while Javier and Roan ran around like maniacs and Anson played with whichever baby was not attached to me. It was one of those moments. I decided life was truly perfect right then. In love with NYC, in love with these babies, in love with my big boy Ro, and totally in love with my husband.

Who WOULDN'T want to cuddle this baby?


Cut to one night later where I’m emphatically emphasizing, reiterating, stressing, punctuating, accenting and accentuating the danger balloons pose to babies with my eldest. The thing is, balloons scare the holy hell out of me. I once saw a child choking on one, and it was brutal. He lived, he was fine. But you can’t grab a piece of balloon out of a babies throat like a piece of food. It sticks. It’s a perfect design to hurt a little one. And Roan just got a big pack of balloons that he loves playing with, and popping and as luck would have it the twins enjoy putting the pieces of anything and everything at all into their mouths. Particularly brightly colored stretchy balloons.

And possibly I’m going overboard in explaining it to Roan. But I had told him once, twice, and thrice and still found a balloon tucked under the couch right next to where the little tiny tyrants store all of their toys. So I’m speaking in my slow and deliberate voice, with my eyebrows raised, and hands gesticulating meaningfully while getting more and more descriptive about why this is so important when Anson pipes in with this helpful gem:

Ok you two. Let’s wrap this up.

Oh. No. He. Didn’t.

Now. I’m tempted to write about all the ways this statement made me mad, and why it incurred such wrath but I’ll just let you, my readers fill in those blanks. I mean, if it seems harmless to you that’s cool. You can let me hear that in the comments. But. In the interest of facilitating happy marriages world-wide, I would helpfully suggest to any and all husbands out there that whilst your wife is in the middle of imparting great wisdom to your progeny, you not speak to her as if she is one of said progeny and more importantly not suggest she  “wrap it up”.

So – the weekend. Wildly good, and mildly bad. That’s probably the take away lesson of what marriage is. As long as it’s at least balanced, you know? As many (hopefully more) good times as bad times and you’re probably ok. What say you, reader?

11 thoughts on “Wildly Good and Mildly Bad

  1. Oh my goodness I would’ve shanked him! My husband and I don’t have kids yet but he’s done that to me while I’ve been watching little kids and I seriously thought about shanking him! Kudos for not getting violent, you are a better women than I!

  2. My husband has done this more than once when my 15 year old and I are “having a moment”…I don’t say anything in front of my son, but in privacy I’ll let my husband know how angry that makes me, but he doesn’t get it! My husband hates conflict…so if he can’t help, I’m thinking he should leave the room.

  3. I just pulled off a cleverly cloaked intervention when I couldn’t stand hearing my hubby hound our 5 year old over cleaning his room. I lovingly grabbed my partner’s hand in a come-hither gesture that knocked him off center, then led him into another room where I offered to give him some quiet time to do whatever he wanted. Sealed with a kiss- he never knew what hit him. Later I reminded him of our parenting agreement to not nag our kids, but rather give them clear and strong boundaries and consequences. Sometimes a good solid “or else” right up front can spare the endless slew of reminders and drive the lesson home in one fail swoop. That being said, I have a strong-willed kid who requires us to set strong limits.

    Just in case Anson is a P&P reader…and looking for some future strategies…and feeling like he needs an ally. That being said, always good to back up our spouses even if we don’t like the flavor of the moment.

  4. Oh, Jodi, the horror, the horror. I have a bag of stories that smell the same. But I keep the bag in the back of the laundry room so as not to see it or remember it even exists. It began with our arguments about the size of solid food bits when Otto was a baby and still lingers over me using the words “be careful” too often. Yes, I said it. My husband gives me shit because I say, “BE CAREFUL” to my four-year old Tazmanian monkey. Sometimes marriage is the new black and sometimes it is the new Missoni orange zig-zag. Love you and your letters!

  5. Been there…..more than once. I too felt like one of the children and did talk with my little honey (that I wanted to use for a pin cushion) to remind him that talking like that to me and including me in with the kiddos kind of ruins it when I actually wish to have some authority with the little shavers. When putting it that way…..he did come around and we have found away to give each other a little signal when we think the other needs to “wrap it up” with a child or a situation. It takes time, and a few lemons to get there (I have been married for 25 years and we are still working on it……it is like a home…..you are never really done renovating!! 🙂

  6. Ok you are soooo right about the balloons we are on the same very over the top fear page. Balloons are so dangerous and i have been known to take them off of children in the park (who are not my own) because…..I knew a child while growing up who sucked in on a blown up balloon and it couldn’t be pulled out of his throat…he was permanently severely brain damaged etc. awful. As far as the comment, as long as Anson understands his super duper plunder, it s okay. There will be more plunders (on both sides) ….and the understanding what you did part is oh so important and forgiveness worthy. As for us, Manny has learned to leave the area with which ever kid i am not “dealing” with at the moment. Also, I have been known to tell him “i could really punch your face in when you do that”-(whatever the that is). In private of course. He usually responds-“nice” hahahhaaha. something similar to the lemons and salt?

  7. Not that he needs or deserves defending, but most guys including me, just want/need the high stress encounters to end. We’re just very inarticulate in expressing that need.

  8. Balance. You said it. I thought I was the only psycho to look doe eyed at my husband one moment and want to smack him silly soon after. It’s the balance of things. The nature of marriage. Thanks for sharing!

  9. DKP, I appreciate that viewpoint. Good reminder. Does this mean that by way of me being a spaz and high stress (at times) I am de-sensitizing my boys or am I programing them to fear spazziness? I wonder this many nights as I drift off to sleep…

    btw..I LOVE “salted lemons into his bare naked eyeballs” It may very well catch on in this house.

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