Ever had this kind of conversation?:
Him: Shall I go and put another load of washing on?
Me: (mildly irked) Why?
Him: She has no clean school shirt ready for tomorrow.
Me: (now slightly overreacting) WHY DO I ALWAYS DO THE WASHING YOU NEVER DO THE WASHING I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU SAY I NEVER DO THE WASHING WHEN I ALWAYS DO.
Him: (baffled silence). Oh.
Smug winning face
A simple conversation about washed shirts, turns into an unspoken competition about who does and who doesn't do all the household chores in our house. Him, cross the shirt isn't ready. Me, cross that the shirt not being ready is some indication I am a bad mother and wife. When at the end of the day? We just probably need more shirts.
There's other little things. My husband and the kids have a weird handshake. Yes. A handshake. Like what the Fresh Prince of Bel Air may have had. We now have the daily trauma of him doing 'the handshake' before he leaves for work. If this does not happen in the correct way? We have tears and weeps and howls and me trying, and failing to do 'the handshake'. Then the angry "you forgot the handshake" texts start. My handshake just doesn't cut it. In this house I am uncool Carlton (really committing to the Fresh Prince analogy here).
My girl chose me to go to her first swimming lesson. ME! I was honoured. I was pleased. And more than anything I was ruddy smug. I did a small dance (yes like Carlton) and skipped all the way to the lesson. I text whilst there just to ensure he knew I had been chosen. And that in some small way means I am the best parent in our house. On the way back? She said to me "next week Daddy will come with me". I was crushed. I thought swimming could be our handshake. "We can take it in turns as I know both of you would love to see me swim". I nodded sadly and thought how can a three year old be more sensible when it comes to situations like this? How can she grasp the rules of sharing and we can't?
Generally my blog posts come to some conclusion, or some solution. This time? There is non. I shall continue to be bad cop and my husband the good cop. We will continue in our own small weird ways to prove that we are the better parent. Me doing that extra load of washing and being a huge martyr about it. Him making a song and dance of his bloody handshake. But at the end of the day. If we are both trying our very hardest to be the very best? That's no bad thing. We may be at war but our children are reaping the benefits of two (albeit cray cray) loving parents.