The Elephant is Not My Husband's Spirit Animal


In almost every aspect of raising children I would rate my husband, Doty, as the superior parent. He is noticeably more patient, more likely to follow through in the role of disciplinarian, and did I mention he’s more patient than I am? Because he is.

I always suspected in our dating years that he would make a great dad someday, but I had no idea just how well he would fit into that role until we found ourselves on the front lines together. It was my husband instructing me how to properly change a diaper in those first few weeks and not the other way around.

It seems he was destined for the role of super dad in every way…except one. My husband is forgetful. In calling him forgetful, I’m being kind. In order to make our lives easier, I’ve learned to supply him with comprehensive grocery lists and set reminders on his phone for important dates and appointments. This method works, with a few hiccups here and there, about 9 times out of 10, but there is one situation that a dozen alarms, a post-it note, and a tattoo on his forehead can’t seem to make right.

Each morning I drop the kids off at preschool and my husband picks them up. Since I often work late, this is the only arrangement that works for us and my husband’s perma-status as the pick-up parent means he is also the recipient of any letters, reminders, or general correspondence from our children’s teachers.

This has rapidly become a problem because instead of reading those things and taking them inside the house where I can make myself a note to bring in cupcakes for a party or an empty shoe box for a craft, Doty sets them aside, forgetting about them on the quick drive home and eventually wallpapers the floor of his car with them.

Meanwhile, when I arrive at Anders’ school at 7 A.M. to find his class is having an Easter egg hunt and Anders is now the only kid without a basket, I’m left activating my “Doty forgot something important” phone tree to find someone that can bring him a basket and save Anders from future therapy fodder.

So far I’ve tried asking him to put everything in the kids’ book bags and when that failed I asked the teachers to hold the papers for me to pick up in the morning. Through a combination of the two and some heavy nagging, the situation has improved.

As far as parenting disconnects go, this one is annoying but minor. Anyone else have a forgetful spouse or a miscommunication tale of woe?