Thursday, September 20, 2007

You Should've

I think I know what really happened with Adam and Eve. For thousands of years, we’ve been blaming poor Eve for convincing Adam to take a bite of that apple. I don’t think Eve talked Adam into taking a bite of the forbidden fruit. I think Adam took the bite, got mankind in trouble for it, and then blamed Eve because she didn’t stop him.

I think this because of the way things go in my male-dominated household (MDH). That is, I get blamed for everything. O.K., maybe not everything but enough to make me post about it. And I don’t know why I get blamed for everything. It could be because I am the wife and mother and, therefore by nature, the nurturer. It could be because wives and mothers are typically the decision-makers when it comes to matters of the household and children, and thus the logical choice to point the finger at when things go wrong.

It could also be because I am an obsessive, sticky-note writing, list making, packing for trips two weeks early, micro-manager of everyone’s lives. If I am constantly taking responsibility for everyone’s due dates, appointments, possessions, schedules and hovering around all the time, it makes sense to say that I will get blamed when things don’t go as planned.

I will take responsibility for some of the things that go wrong. My personality requires me to have a hand in everything and attempt to keep it all uberorganized. Things are just easier for me that way. But, I refuse to take blame for the following:

1. Injuries While Having Fun – My son Jack was running with his cousin, Sam. They were having a great time, playing and messing around. While running, Jack’s feet got tangled up in Sam’s and Jack went down pretty hard. I ran to check on him, and through his sobs he said, “You should’ve been watching me closer.”

2. Reckless injuries – We were in Colorado on a family vacation over the summer. We took the boys to the Alpine Slide, which is a boy’s dream slide. It is made of concrete and runs down the side of the mountain. You traverse this slide in a plastic sled equipped with a hand break that lets you go slow (my choice) or go the speed of a stock car (my boys’ choice). We had ridden several times with no injury. The last time, Luke rode with my sister, Jack rode with John, and I was riding alone. Jack wanted to race against me. John told Jack that their plan should be to go slow at the beginning, let me think I was winning, and then zoom past me at the speed of light. Which is what they did. I caught up to them on the other side of a turn. It was easy to catch them – they had flipped over and crashed. They both had a painful and severe case of road rash. And what did Jack say to me while in the first aid station getting bandaged up? “You should’ve told us to slow down.”

Jack's road rash on knees, thumb, elbow and forehead.
3. Impulse buys – Jack loves to spend money. He would buy stuff every day if we let him. When we do go to the toy store to let him buy something, he takes forever deciding. You’d think he was shopping for his future wife, or new parents. He looks at everything in the store at least twice, and carries things around that are potential purchases. Knowing his tastes, I can tell when something he has his eye on will not be fun for him. If he decides on that item, I try to talk him out of it. He usually buys it anyway, and then plays with it for about 9 seconds before he is bored. He then wants to go back to the store and get something else. I tell him no. And he tells me, “You should’ve talked me out of buying that.” I say, “I tried.” He says, “You should’ve tried harder.”

4. Absentminded mistakes – One night last week, the boys were spending the night at my mom’s and John and I were cleaning the house and the carpets for weekend company. We ordered dinner to be delivered because I didn’t feel like cooking. I stacked John's food all together on the counter (micro-manager), and took mine to the table. He grabbed his stuff and brought it to the table. He went to the refrigerator and came back to the table with something in his hand. As he started squeezing it out on his salad, I realized it was mayonnaise. John hates mayonnaise, so this struck me as odd. I said, “You’re putting mayonnaise on your salad?” And he said something that I can’t repeat in this family-oriented blog. After he had scooped out the goopy lettuce, he said to me, “You should’ve yelled stop.”

5. With Luke, the blame is a little different. His blame stems more from the disappointment of not getting to do what he wants to do and it takes the form of the "You Said," as in, “You said I could have potato chips for breakfast!” And then he punches me.

Until I go for a personalityectomy (has that been invented?), I will have to be willing to take a lot of the blame around here. The peace of mind that it brings me to be the obsessive, sticky-note writing, list making, packing for trips two weeks early, micro-manager of everyone’s lives outweighs the few things that I get blamed for that are clearly not my fault.


Anonymous said...

Oh that is just perfect! "You should have..." I have so been there!

Momrepus said...

I, too, am in a MDH: husband, two boys, and a male cat. My boys are too young (by THIS much) to "You should have..." me but I, too, refuse to take blame when they look at me with those eyes... My 3 year old does things all the time (kicks the wall, bites his finger) then comes to me to tell me it hurts. Um, don't kick the wall. Don't bite your finger. Not only will I not take the blame...I won't dole out any sympathy. It's fun. :-)