Thursday, March 15, 2012

That Thing You Do

"My momma told me don't lose you. Because the best luck I had was you." -Michael Franti

There's a reason I call her My Director. Quite simply, she does it all. She works full time. A big-time boss at a big-time job, managing a big staff and dealing with issues every day that most people might never have to deal with in their entire lives. Her job is stressful to say the least. For the past five months, the stress of her job has affected her health.

Then she comes home and becomes Peanut's primary caregiver because our daughter is a momma's girl. She does the bath or shower. She does the toweling off, the hair brushing, and the nail clipping. She knows when the homework is due and what the assignment is. (Actually, after she read that last line she said to me, "I actually think there's homework tomorrow." You can't get anything by her.)

She planned our entire five-day whirlwind trip to Disney World, with some crucial but minimal contributions from me. (More on that when I finally start blogging about Disney... soon.)

In a nutshell, she does it all. And she doesn't complain about any of it. Ever. She just keeps going with a smile on her face.

Until yesterday morning...

Usually, My Director doesn't call me at work in the morning because that's my busy time. When she does, it's normally just to say hello. Sometimes she has a directive to issue. But this day, she needed to vent. She had just dropped Peanut off at daycare. Turns out, Peanut was not a good girl that morning.

Seriously? How can she not be psyched
about these cupcakes?!
After we had put Peanut to bed the night before, My Director had spent about an hour making Mickey Mouse cupcakes for her to celebrate her birthday at day care the next day. Peanut asked if some of them could be Minnie cupcakes. We explained we did not have the capability to make Minnie cupcakes. We seemed to be clear.

The next morning, however, instead of being excited to see the cupcakes; instead of thanking her mom for pushing herself to make them and not doing what her body was begging her to do (pass out on the couch while watching American Idol on the DVR); instead of being happy that her birthday celebration is continuing nearly a week after we celebrated in Disney, Peanut threw an apoplectic fit. A fit so bad that I could hear the hurt in My Director's voice through the phone. It pains me just to think about it. She couldn't understand that Peanut could be so ungrateful, so selfish.

To be fair, we did drag an exhausted Peanut though Disney for five days, sometimes literally kicking and screaming. Add daylight saving on top of that and her body clock is totally out of whack. However, we are sensing more and more that we may be on a collision course with the only-child syndrome we became aware of earlier this year. Like I've said before, it ain't pretty.

Parenting ain't pretty either. A lot of the time at least. It's an often thankless job. And this is a prime example. Peanut didn't thank My Director for those awesome cupcakes. She chose to go off the reservation and became completely spazztastic. Now My Director and I have issued a joint directive to Peanut. After a few bad days she's been put on notice. No more excuses. No more exceptions. She acts up, she gets a toy taken away. One strike and you're out. I'm prepared to pile them up. And she doesn't get any back until she shows she can act nicely.

We'll see how that works.

In the meantime, this is a grateful husband telling his amazing wife that he notices. What she does every day is nothing short of spectacular. It's exhausting and I know it and there is no way for me to be thankful enough except to hug her and just say it. For being her. For being present. For always being on, especially when I'm off. You, my dear, are our rock. Our stabilizing force. And you're not gonna let some ridiculous fit of pre-school rage get the best of you.

If you want to know why I started calling her "My Director,"  you can read about it here.


  1. I love how you show your wife you appreciate her. We all need to know that. Manfriend and I had a similar experience this weekend with Cinderella. She is also on a crash course to only child syndrome and I think he realized it big time this weekend. Parenting is thankless.

    1. Sooooo thankless... the little punk. Yes... we love her like crazy anyway. Especially when she's sleeping. HAHAHA.

  2. Oh, and tell Director that the cupcakes are amazing!

    1. Will do. She did get a lot of nice feedback from the moms in class.

  3. I have two (well three if you count the bonus son) so I can't really say anything about the only child thing. However, I had this issue with both of my boys when they were little. I found (and I'm not so proud of this) that a little guilt goes a long way.

    Your wife made those cupcakes a priority for Peanut. She took time from her day, from her free time, to make them. Sometimes reminding them of that works wonders. Because NOT all parents do that. And as they get older they will notice things like that.

    Youngest's birthday was today. He's ten. I told him right out that I had no energy for cupcakes for his class AND his party this weekend. He was thrilled with Hoodsie cups for class, and I got an extra 3 hours of sleep. Win win. :)

    OK. I'm done... but I must say, tell the Director awesome job!

    1. I'm starting to lay a little guilt on her myself and you're right about not being proud of it. But we'll see if it works. ;-)

      And happy birthday to your youngest! 10! WOW!

  4. Your Director is kinda my hero. I love hearing about your parenting. Gives me hope.

    1. Well, if I can do it, ANYONE can. HAHAHA. You're right about My Director. She's no joke in the mom dept.


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