If you are a rather attractive (if sometimes emotionally tone-deaf) 32 year old man who would like to test the outer limits of your beautiful wife’s sanity and indeed your marriage itself, make a vague plan to travel to your parents house one weekend. Make sure you fail to give your wife a specific departure time, then leave her with four loads of laundry, make sure every single cloth diaper is dirty, hand her a screaming infant and three suitcases to pack and come back in a few hours.
For bonus points and extra throat-punching fun, when you get home and see her bedraggled form lying exhausted on the couch, nursing the baby again while the suitcases lay empty and the house sits in chaos, inquire in an astonished tone “You’re not ready? You’ve had all morning! What have you been doing?”
Moms of the internets, I cordially invite you to unleash your collective fury upon my husband. Send me your irate emails and I will fashion a cat o’ nine tails from their pages and find a public square (they still have those don’t they?) to flog him in.
Make him your straw man, your scapegoat and he will deserve every bit because he STILL maintains that I had ALL MORNING to get ready and what on earth was the problem?
(That sound you hear is my screams of frustration, muffled with a feather pillow because the baby is sleeping!)
For those of you new to this fancy little blog, heading to visit either of our families involves taking a ferry (or in the case of Adam’s family, two). Ferries sound fun, whimsical even. When we moved here they seemed so exotic, I would stand outside on the deck with the wind in my hair and a grin on my face, it felt like a cruise!
Now taking the ferries is a bloody death match where I’m never sure if we’ll make it to our destination or end up quietly strangling each other while another muffled delay announcement booms over the speakers to an audience of parked cars, windows fogged with steam and impotent rage.
We’ve had a few marriage-ending tangles with ferry traffic before, most notably here and here (where I also got pulled over for driving so slowly that the cop thought I was high. Nope! Just overly cautious! Better safe than sorry! Hahahahaha!)
So this time Adam wanted to catch the 2:30 ferry. But instead of saying “Hey Madeleine, I’d like to take the 2:30 ferry. By the way you look beautiful and not tired at all. Also you don’t smell too much like pee today!”, he shouted ”I want to leave early!” as he headed out the door to work and then returned far too soon and I wasn’t ready or even dressed, we weren’t packed, the diapers weren’t washed, and World War III began.
There was yelling and angrily uttered epithets and vague threats muttered under the breath. I got to try out the old, “Don’t swear in front of our daughter!” line and Adam took “I sure hope Olive has better time management skills!” for a test drive. There were tears (Olive’s) and more tears (mine) and if my life were a TV show the camera would just flash forward to us arriving at our in-laws seven hours later, smiling and amicable (also I’d have better hair and a nicer house.).
BUT, because sadly my life is as yet unbroadcast I had to actually LIVE THROUGH the next seven hours which included more yelling and then gradually less yelling as we ran out of energy and then stony silence as we raced to the ferry and then Adam repeatedly reminding me over and over how we could have made the ferry that we missed if only I had been ready and then Olive screaming and screaming until we were able to stop and I could feed her.
Long story short, we made it. We successfully (?) completed the first leg of our first road trip with baby. Everyone arrived alive and more or less in one piece. Adam and I were speaking again (and even laughing and making kind eye contact!) and life is good. (until we have to catch the next ferry that is.)
Being with Adam’s family has been a delight. And although I kind of miss my daughter as I’ve barely held her all weekend except to feed her, having two hands again has been blissful. Sleeping in while grandma snuggles her in the morning was wonderful, and having my sister-in-law tell me that all babies are gassy and limiting my diet is hooey, was fantastic. (Especially two seconds later as I bit into some sublime chocolate Adam’s boss brought back from India, and also this morning as I had my first cup of coffee in two weeks).
Olive has had a great time meeting her cousins, she went to (and slept through) her very first hockey game, and is impressing everyone with her alertness, powerful farts and strong lungs.
We’re here until Tuesday and I’m going to take full advantage of the second ( and third, and fourth and fifth and…) set of arms that these lovely in-laws provide. I’m going to eat (with two hands! warm food!) and sleep and shower and it will be absolute utter bliss.