Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Kim Arnold

She is a good mother, an amazing woman, and the best thing that has ever happened to me. She can also have her moments.

Ok, so I am not yet tuned in to Violet. I can hear her scream when I am dead asleep, but I can't hear her fuss. Of course, I sleep farther away from her bassinet, so it may just be a matter of physics. In any event, I don't hear her when she is fussing.

I also tend to repeat many a social faux pas, much to Kim's aggravation. Let me set the scene.

A friend of ours posted an open invitation to go to the bar on Facebook. I saw that, and didn't feel like going out because I thought that that would be taking advantage of Kim while I had fun. So, I said some convoluted thing that involved a mention of Kim, me needing to help with the baby, and a suggestion for him to visit us at home.

Apparently, I use Kim as an excuse to not leave the house. A lot. And it angers her because she feels that it turns her into the bad guy. And she has told me this many times, at regular intervals.

I still do it. I do it thoughtlessly, not maliciously, but I still do it.

Moving on, I came home, and Kim was understandably upset. I tried to explain that I did not think that Mike would take my comment as a negative swipe at her, but Kim had the hurt and frustration of every other time I had done such things, as well as post partum hormones, to win the argument before I could even mount a defense.

Any way, I tried to let Kim know that I wanted to help her take care of Violet tonight so that she could take it easy... er. Note that I am writing this at 1:30 in the morning. Here's the reason I am writing this at 1:30 AM.

Kim heard Violet fuss, and tried to lightly awaken me before Violet began to cry. Once Violet cried, I was up. Groggy as all hell. Violet was hungry. So, Kim told me to feed her.

I can warm breast milk while barely awake. I can make formula while barely awake.

I can't mix formula and breast milk together while barely awake. Suffice it to say, it was not good.

Any way, after about three minutes, Kim got up and took control of the situation. Which she knew she could do. Because she knew that I would have to leave Violet crying while I struggled to get her food ready.

Kim set me up for failure. Which, by the way, she just apologized to me for.

Look, I am going to continue to screw up. I am going to continue to hurt Kim's feelings. But damn it...

I'm gonna keep trying to NOT do that.


cassdawn said...

since i seem to be losing my current bout with insomnia . . .

i'm going to say somethings that are pretty un-pc, that's a warning.

you are not as tuned into violet - period. which is by no means me saying that you aren't a good dad. carl is the best dad i know and yet i could hear malachai shift position from a dead sleep. carl - not so much.

the social faux paus thing - she's right. carl does something similar with his family "um, sure i think so - let me ask cassie" that statement makes it clear that he wants to do whatever it is and if he returns with a no verdict it's because of me. when the truth is half the time he doesn't want to do it anyway. but i digress.

i've read enough of your posts to know that some of your friends have here and there had issue with kim and with you leaving them behind for kim so yeah . . .

anyway, that is usually - as for *this time* in particular - i don't know exactly how you worded it in your response but the wording is damned near everything. turn the scenario - can you imagine kim telling someone "no, i can't go out mark needs me to help with the baby" (and forget the breastfeeding thing for a minute).

in both scenarios you are taking a passive role that lends itself to the idea that kim is in charge and you are along for the ride.

on the other side of the coin - - from what i know of you you don't have a lot of experience with babies. kim does. plus (here comes the un-pc again) that whole not hearing the baby fuss thing. it isn't just the being in tune part. it's men vs. women. men handle problems - baby crying is a problem. women try to handle things before it becomes a problem - baby fussing is a potential problem. and so the truth is that you need some patience right now. she knows more about this and needs to be leading the way calmly. but of course, you're gonna have to wait a while until that kicks in. there is no rationality now - don't expect it! :D

the best thing you can do is pay attention to what she does when she is caring for violet. there are a million little things that she knows to do but isn't necessarily going to think to tell you (to us they seem obvious).

be patient with yourself on this daddy thing. you're a good man and you love your daughter - you'll figure it out.

anyway- hopefully i didn't overstep my bounds here but you posted it and it is after all 4am so my ability to make reasoned decisions . . . not so much.

Cindy-Lou said...

You will figure it out, I promise. Maybe you'll do it differently, but that doesn't mean it will be wrong! Just keep at it. You'll be fine.