This is a word I find myself saying far too often (usually accompanied by a ceremonious sigh and a slow shake of my head). After a long day of wrangling children, running errands, changing diapers, giving bubble baths, feeding everyone at different times with different foods…my husband comes home, starts putting the girls to bed, looks at me and says: “Aren’t you going to help?” What’s my reaction (despite the fact that a momma never has this so-called notion of “help” during the day)…I sigh and say, “Men.”
It’s easy for me to understand my girls, because we often speak the same language. On any given day my daughter is performing perfectly choreographed musical productions depicting her feelings on peanut butter and jelly (or other life altering topics for a four year old). In the mornings she is designing lavish (yet tasteful) wedding ceremonies betwixt her teddy bear and baby doll, and in the evenings she is writing her emotional memoir with florescent crayon and stick figures.
The battle of Mars versus Venus rages on in our household on an almost daily basis (and let’s face it, Venus seems to be winning). My husband never has to wonder what I’m thinking, because my constant outer monologue always tells him so. Does he need to compliment me when I least expect it? No, because I’ll point out my flawless taste in shoes before he even has a chance. Does he have to worry what I’m thinking? Likely not. I will usually tell him in a series of lengthy conversations, venting sessions, complaining commentaries (and I’ve even considered interpreting my feelings through the powers of modern dance).
Meanwhile, I seem to constantly be in the “dog house” because I did not supernaturally jump into my husbands head, dig through the hours of Slacker radio and Family Guy cartoons, and telepathically understand his schedule, needs and wants for the entire week. Yes, I may watch Ghost Whisperer too often, but face it dude: I have zero magical powers when it comes to reading your mind.
Excuse me for generalizing the genders of the world, but (except in the cases of ever present anomalies), little girls and little boys often seem so simplistic in their differences. How many of you have witnessed children playing at the library: the little girls reenact scenes similar to 90210 with their toys, while the little boys merely view play-things as vessels for rocket launches and G.I. Joe warfare. Why is that little girls attempt to decorate my couch with Sharpie and stickers, while boys seems to dismantle it (and rebuild as a hand held grenade) in a matter of minutes?
It’s funny how by the time we become adults, we are so busy trying to understand the opposite sex, we forget to embrace how different we are from the very beginning. Yes, I may never understand why my husband can play Modern Warfare until two in the morning before a business meeting the next day…but do I really need to? Isn’t he just that little boy who’s favorite food groups are Tinker Toys and Tator Tots?
It’s true that I can relate to my girls easily (and my husband rarely comprehends why my 4 year old has a catastrophic meltdown because her tiara doesn’t fit perfectly)… but I get it. She feels every emotion, she expresses everything (and sometimes it just “feels good to cry”). Does my husband cry just for the heck of it? No. But does he push buttons on almost any piece of mechanical equipment within a five foot radius (even if self destruction were inevitable)? Yes.
And in a sense, the big boys are still just toddlers at heart. Always pushing buttons they can’t resist (even if it’s neglecting to tell their wives vital details about their day-to-day life or expecting us to read their minds.) So even though I may not understand him, I guess there is only one thing left to do.
Shake my head, give a big sigh, and say…
Bailey Vincent Clark is the Editor-in-chief, author and founder of Makeover Momma. She talks about Mealtime Makeovers on Monday, “Speedy Advice With Makeover Momma” On Wednesday, and has a weekly column on Friday: “Getting Friendly With Makeover Momma.” If you would like to ask questions, submit concerns or simply chat: please email firstname.lastname@example.org.