Sometimes being a parent along side another parent can have its tricks. Today one of those tricks placed me between a rock and a hard place, and I think both smashed me a bit by the time it was all over.
Having just got back from our trip to Utah, I had to put out several fires at work that had popped up while I was gone. Those fires had to be managed on my first day back, which meant that I had to stay at work a little longer than usual. Casey had her own fires that had to be taken care of at home.
For one, our house is loaded with Christmas decorations, including a well decorated Christmas tree and outside Christmas lights. We also have six suitcases full of stuff that we used on our holiday vacation and all of that stuff needs to be unpacked, washed, and put away as soon as possible. There’s also an extra smelly fridge that greeted us as soon as we walked into our front door from our holiday vacation, and a toilet that began leaking sometime while we were in Utah.
Those fires all by themselves left Casey staring at a daunting task, but throw in a sick and grumpy Vivi and the tasks for the day seemed insurmountable.
As she usually does, Casey set about tackling all of those chores one-by-one.
When it came time for me to go home from work I got in my car and began to buckle my seat belt when my cellphone began to ring. I answered the call and heard a very upset Vivi screaming in the background. I initially wondered if it was another one of those calls from Casey where she calls just so I can hear Vivi throwing a fit. Sometimes Casey will make those types of calls to prove that Vivi isn’t always the little angel that I believe her to be. This wasn’t one of those calls, though. I heard a sobbing Casey on the other end of the line asking when I would be home. I told her I was leaving right then and Casey hung up the phone without even saying goodbye. That was it.
I had a sobbing, screaming baby at home and a sobbing, emotional wife taking care of her.
When I got home, I walked through the front door and saw a wide-eyed wife and a baby who looked like she had been sobbing for a very long time.
Casey looked at me and said, “I don’t know what happened, but that’s not our baby.” Apparently, Vivi had lost her mind after her nap and had screamed for nearly an hour. She screamed and cried for so long that she threw up all over herself, and threw whatever food Casey tried to give her on the floor. Nothing Casey tried to do consoled the upset Vivi.
This is where the rock and hard place part comes in.
Casey is an excellent mother and she does an excellent job taking care of Vivi and Addie. I don’t want to imply that Casey doesn’t know how to take care of Vivi, because she does, but when it comes to Vivi I believe I’m the ultimate expert.
I’ve spent so much time with Vivi that I can tell what she wants or needs 99% of the time. Part of being able to give Vivi whatever she needs or wants may have more to do with me being her favorite parent than anything, but I still think I have a pretty good sense of what the kid needs when she’s throwing a fit.
When I got home and heard about what happened, I started asking Casey what she did to stop Vivi from crying. I wasn’t trying to correct Casey or make her feel like a bad parent, I just wanted to give her a few pointers on what I had learned while taking care of Vivi.
As expected, the conversation didn’t go over so well. Even calling my statements tips or pointers comes across condescending under the circumstances, but it I’m not sure if there is any other way to have had that type of conversation.
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