when you get married to someone, or even start dating someone, you begin to notice your similarities and differences in the ways in which you approach life. everything about it. are you the type of person who cares if the bed is unmade? do you ALWAYS have to have the bathroom door closed in order to fall asleep? are you a risky eater but a prudish roller coaster rider?
pat and i had been in that really comfortable part of our relationship for a while when we decided it was time to have children. we knew each other inside and out, backwards and forwards, up and down, all around. (did that make you think about sex? me too.)
i know pat is a freak about keeping his car clean but his closet remains a scary room of clutter. i know he hates it when you don’t put enough ice in a cocktail glass. i know he yells at people who drive under the speed limit.
pat knows i can’t do anything after dinner until the dishes are done. he knows i don’t like to look at the menu of a new restaurant we’re going to ahead of time. he knows it drives me crazy when he leaves too many pairs of shoes by the door.
and then you have a child together. and all of a sudden there are a wealth of things you don’t know about the other person that you get to learn.
for instance, i don’t care if finley gets messy when she eats. i just don’t. i never put a bib on her. i let her get food all over the place – on her face, in her hair, on her clothes. i have found scrambled eggs in her diaper. it just doesn’t bother me. she’s a baby! eating will be messy. i’m relaxed about it. pat? he will have NONE.of.it. he will literally run to get a bib if i start feeding her and he is home. he wipes her mouth after almost every bite. he doesn’t want her to be messy – it stresses him out.
new food? new food is where the tables turn. pat’s like, “eh give her some steak. give her some cake. give her caviar on top of toast. she’ll like it! it’s fine!” um, i don’t think so. “stop feeding her all those things pat!” it gives me anxiety. in the end, it’s not like we really care about each others complaints. he has to make peace with sweet potatoes on the wall, and i have to make peace with fin eating beef tartare.