Wednesday, March 30, 2011

How to Treat Your Wife When She is Sick

Illness strikes the best of us, and your spouse is no exception. Try this GUARANTEED 12 step plan for making your wife feel special when she is sick!

1. When she is lying semi-conscious in bed, joke about how when your toddler was sick with the same flu, he had lots of energy. Humor is important to healing.

2. During the sickness, do not load a dish in the dishwaster, pick up a toy, fold a scrap of laundry, or anything else that might help your wife around the house. It will make her feel needed.

3. That evening, plan your usual evening out, except take separate cars. Just because she will want to leave early doesn't mean you have to. She will miss you all the more while you are out having fun. Besides, she loves taking care of the kids, so let her have those few extra hours with them without your interference.

4. Wake her when you get home. No matter how soundly she appears to be sleeping, she was no doubt worrying about your safety.

5. The next morning, when she is starting to feel slightly better, agree (reluctantly don't want to make it too easy for her) to watch the children while she runs an quick errand. However, do as little as possible for the children. If you were to change any diapers, clothes or feed children, she would just feel like no one needs her at home. Your job is simply to ensure that they do not kill themselves or each other in her absence.

6. When she is trying to catch up on missed work by replying to emails or calling clients, interrupt her as much as possible. After all, you know she isn't quite feeling up to par, and probably needs the intermittant breaks from work. Ask who she is talking to on the phone, or if she is sending personal emails.

7. Schedule your day so that you are not available to watch the children when she has to go to work for a few hours. This has the added bonus of making your mother-in-law feel needed too. Plan your return home with your wife's anticipated return time.

8. If your wife is running late, and you actually have to provide care for the children, suggest to her that you should receive "brownie points" for having to change a dirty diaper. You know how much she loves doing that, and will probably be sad that she missed one.

9. Be coy about answering basic questions. When she asks if she should make dinner, just mentiuon that you had a snack without clarifying if that meant yes or no. A little mystery is good for a marraige.

10. If one of your children is having difficulty sleeping, be sure to grumble a little about it as you are rolling over to go back to sleep. Pretend not to notice your wife getting up for the fifth time that night, fumbling for a binky or tylenol, or walking, bouncing or singing with the child. You know how important the kids are to her, and wouldn't want to intrude on their special nocturnal time together.

11. The next day, she will be fully recovered and ready to resume her usual duties. You should make a big deal about doing one or two things to "help" her. Be sure to use the word "help" several times. It is important to let her know that you understanding that vaccuuming and dishes are primarily her responsibility, and you are doing her a huge favor this one time.

12. Take charge of the children for a bit, to give your wife needed personal and leisure time. Eleven minutes should be enough.

BONUS: Since you have fullfilled your "help" obligation for the day, feel free to enjoy the rest of your day in leisure. If you do too much to "help", she will start to worry about you taking over her domain. If possible, plan an outing with your friends starting at noon. That will allow her ample time with the children. Even better if it can last to the wee hours of the morn, as you will then have the excuse to spend the next day on the sofa dozing.

Next Months's Guide: How to make Your Wife Value a Perfectly Clean House as Much as You Do.

P.S. Believe it or not, the first version of this started out far more bitter.

Today, it is all about the sarcasm.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to me

Last week was my birthday. (38 years old now, thank you.) I received one thing that I wanted more than anything: an afternoon off from life. I dropped the kids off at Grandma's, ignored emails voicemails and the pile of work that I brought home for the weekend, and cast a blind eye on the housework. My sweetie was working some overtime, so I had the house all to myself.

It sounds incomprehensible, but I didn't even knit. I worked on Monet. I have about 1,200 stitches completed so far. (out of 108,000, so barely a blip on the canvas.) It still looks like an indefinite blob of blue, with the ocassional speckle of lavender or gray. I know there are some waterlilies on the first page of directions, a good one to two thousand stitches away.

I can knit a row here and there while waiting for court, but I need a substantial amount of uninterrupted time to stitch. I am not certain if my mother gave me a blessing or a curse with those directions. 1% completed (almost) in two months. At that rate, it will take me. . . . . .17 years to complete. Wait, that can't be right. I should take into account that my stitching time will increase as the children grow older, right?

Also sounds incomprehensible, but I ran out of laundry that day. Oh, there were a few stray items in the hampers, but not enough to run a load. Towels, rugs and bedding were all caught up. I am not sure how long it has been since that happened, but I know not since Doodlebug was born 13 months ago. Caught up on laundry. A second little birthday treat.

Today, it is all about the stolen moments.