Friday, September 08, 2006

The Pettiness of Parenthood

As Dan and I acclimate to parenthood at a relatively equal pace, I cannot help but feel that our parenting style is neither permissive or authoritarian, rather a sophisticated game of hot potato. Originally it was attachment parenting that appealed to us the most, but over the past four and half months we have succumbed to a parenting technique even more our style. We barter, negotiate, trade off, trick, push, pinch, beg, and sneak away from the other in order to determine who will tackle what task. We call this the 5 stages of parenthood.

As soon as Dan and I are in a room together the game begins. If we come to your house, you are in the game. Anyone can play. Anyone we see fit is automatically counted in. Dan and I will play this game Saturday morning. Cohen will wake up between us and begin rolling back and forth with the ferocity of a fish out of water - swatting at our faces to see who will wake up first. Dan and I will take turns pretending to be in the deeper sleep, each of us nudging the baby towards our opponent while the other feigns sleep with their eyelids tightly shut. The first one to wake up and deal with the baby takes the lead, and from there may suggest that the other parent get the coffee started, request breakfast, and order any drink to quench the thirst brought about after a long night's sleep. At this point, the parent getting out of bed must huff to express enough anger at being the one that always gets up to rally the guilt of the parent staying in bed (note: No matter who is getting up, that person will complain that they always have to get up, despite however many times the two parents alternate). As the one parent prepares the coffee and the other plays with the baby a yelling match between bedroom and kitchen ensues.

Bedroom: Can you bring a diaper and a wipe back with you?

Kitchen: Where are the coffee filters?

Bedroom: Can you also grab the boogie sucker?

Kitchen: I can't tell if this milk is bad, do you want to smell it or should I just pour it in your cereal?

This is our pathetic attempt to draw our opponent into whatever room we are in, as we are forever desperate for one another's company. In the final stage we settle onto the couch swapping baby for coffee cup, hold her while I get a muffin, I forgot to put sugar in my coffee can you take her, pick her up the dog is coming, put her in her swing, if you get her from the swing I'll make more coffee, if I make breakfast will you do the dishes so I can feed her, do you want to feed her, can I just have her, take her, etc...etc...etc...until all of us are showered, dressed, and out the door on another adventure marked for the Team Jackson photo album. This weekend, house hunting in Queen Creek!

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