April 13, 2007

Pulling My Weight …

Pregnant women can be so self-centered sometimes. They’re always thinking of themselves, saying extremely silly things like I’m hungry, feed me or I’m tired, carry me upstairs. They demand these things without taking into consideration that food is expensive and that carrying them up the stairs is a direct violation of section B paragraph 12 of your softball contract:

“No player is allowed to lift or carry any woman he impregnated—not even his wife—up steps, down steps or over big puddles of mud during spring, summer or fall sessions. Any violation of this rule will be met with a demotion, suspension or, worse—taking over coaching responsibilities of the team.”

Recently, I’ve noticed that this self-centeredness has caused Brittany to start skirting her chores. She stopped vacuuming. She stopped washing the dishes. She stopped picking up after me, leaving mounds of my dirty clothes piled up in the living room, exactly where I left them! In fact, one pile had grown so large that we sculpted faces in it and named it Mt. Sockmore.

Disgusting? Sure, but impressive nonetheless.

I decided that this kind of neglect was completely unacceptable. When I confronted her, she made up lame excuses like “I’m tired” or “My back hurts” or “You’re a grown adult and should be able to pick up your own damn clothes and throw them in the hamper.” Obviously the baby is causing her to lose her mind.

With this conversation, I had opened a can of worms. She began acting like I didn’t do enough and demanded that I pick up the slack. Clean the bathtub!, she’d say. So I cleaned the bathtub. Vacuum the rugs! So I vacuumed the rugs. Cook dinner! So I picked up a yummy 30-sack of White Castles. But, in true Brittany fashion, she complained. Since it’s extremely hard to argue with a pregnant woman, I did what any rational man in my position would do: I ignored her. Then I ate my White Castles.

After the food had settled, I gave Brittany’s gripes some thought. Maybe she was right. Maybe I haven’t been the best husband. Maybe I don’t do enough around the house. Maybe “Bacon” isn’t a reasonable name for a child. At that moment, I knew I had to step up to the plate and help out.

So I cleaned the bathroom—sink, tub and toilet. I changed the bedding and fluffed the pillows. I did the laundry (twice, if you count the underwear I accidentally dropped in the toilet and dried with the hair blow dryer). I made trips to the grocery store with lists that included more than just Mt. Dew, Miller Lite and Doritos. I did all these things and more.

I rarely pat myself on the back (hey, stop groaning!), but after examining the past week and all I accomplished, I knew I deserved it. I knew I could safely look in the mirror and say to myself “job well done.” Brittany didn’t say it, but I knew she was proud of me, too. After all, for the first time in my life, she only had to redo half of my cleaning.

*Pat Pat*

I still don’t like doing chores and, if I had my way, I’d hire a housekeeper to take care of everything. Then again, if I had my way the Reds would play year-round, video games would qualify as ‘pets’ and all the thoughts running through my head would be narrated by the soothing voice of James Earl Jones. Unfortunately, I can’t control everything and it’s not unreasonable for me to pull my weight around the house. I vow that until BK3 is born, I will clean more, dust more and shower more—at least once a week—and help out in anyway I can.

Of course, once the baby arrives, my cleaning career is over. Don’t believe me? You should. It’s prohibited in my softball contract.

In Memoriam: While growing up, Kurt Vonnegut was my favorite writer. His books pushed me to think harder, think for myself. I may never be as prolific as he was, but I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without him. I’d like to end with a passage he wrote in Slaughterhouse-Five that’s stuck with me since I was 15:

“Why me? Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber? Well, here we are, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.”

Goodnight Mr. Vonnegut. You'll be missed.


j&jsmom said...

I vote no on doing the laundry permanently. If your husband is anything like my husband, there were two loads before we got married. White and anything that wasn't white. And the same towels that you used on your body were used to clean the bathroom at the end of the week! They were washed and used on your body again for a week before they were used for cleaning again and were washed and used again for your body! It was a vicious circle I tell ya!

Will said...

All the cleaning is making you crazy! How is Bacon not a sweet name? Get ahold of yourself Gov'ner!

You keep it up and you've signed your name on the dotted line for managing the co-ed team.

Newsandseduction said...

well written.

ShannanB said...

How sweet of you to pitch in and help lighten your wife's load (get it, load???).

I was so tired with my first that I would come home from work, put on my PJ's, and go to bed. I did that a lot.

My husband said he almost felt single again (without the dating other girls) because I was constantly encouraging him to go hang out with his pals so I could sleep without feeling guilty.

We considered the name Cooper for a boy. This was quickly kaiboshed by mother who proclaimed he'd called "Cooper, Cooper, Pooper Scooper".