As I’ve mentioned I’m at the beach with the kids, and this time away from home has helped me realize a few things about myself and my life. Our day-to-day here is much simpler, we get up, we have breakfast, we get ready and we go to the beach (with a couple of fights, a crying fit or two, the beds getting made, and me yelling a bit in between). We spend a few hour at the beach, we have lunch, we come home, bathe and nap. I clean and look at blogs, we go out, to the greengrocer, the baker, the butcher, and the candlestick maker. (I’m actually kidding about that last one.) Then we have dinner, go back down to the square for the dancing or kiddie show or whatever entertainment is on offer that night and then we go to bed, get up the next morning and wash, rinse, repeat. If friends come to stay our routine remains pretty much the same, even whilst the chaos level rises exponentially, but it’s all good.
When the husband or the nanny come though… well, I’ve noticed I start getting a little tense, a little more upset, a little… completely pissed off all the time. Why? Because the truth is I’m 36 going on 89. I’m set in my ways, I like things just so, when I settle into a routine I don’t like to have it disrupted. Well, more like I positively despise having it disrupted. The nanny, she puts the dishes away wrong, she puts too much detergent in the washer, she sneaks bleach in the house when I’m trying to green my cleaning products… at home I don’t mind, I’ve got too much to do, and as long as the house is clean I don’t really care how it gets that way. But here, I’m in control of my life, the house is small enough to be manageable and it’s new, everything is where I want it, it’s mine, more than the house we live in every day is. And I want things just so.
The husband, he comes and he wants to go to the beach earlier, or later, he wants to have breakfast at the cafè, he wants to go swimming, or he doesn’t, he hogs the shade, he talks on the phone with the office or his colleagues or his mother. He invites his mother over without asking me, when he isn’t here. He wants to eat dinner out, or in, he wants pizza or sushi or pasta. All legitimate requests, but annoying nonetheless cause he screws with my routine. I can’t just decide and do, when he’s here, I have to suggest, listen, negotiate. Many of these are the same reasons why I wanted to separate a few months back, because life on my own is just easier most of the time. I’ve come to terms with it in my regular life, I realize that with every negotiation I don’t have to face, with every concession I don’t have to make I’m paying the price in sole responsibility, snow shoveling, and spider elimination. So you compromise, in marriage. But I’m on vacation and when he’s around I’m not on vacation anymore. Sure, I’m on an extended version of the mother vacation which means I still cook and clean and run after children, referee fights and all that, but my mind’s on vacation and then he shows up and effectively rains on my parade.
The truth is though, that I should just be thankful that I have a nanny who takes the kids off my hands so I can get some work done, or cleans the house, or irons our clothes, I should be happy to see the Husband on the weekends, to talk to another adult, to go out to eat or have an extra ice cream or a cocktail. I’m just a cranky, old lady, despite my relatively young age. And all I can think of is God help us all when I actually reach my old age cause I’m going to be completely intractable, like a codgery old fool.