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But, alas, you have a point

So why did the terrible book actually have some merit? Well, primarily because it made me feel so smug about how awesome Mr. Bunny and I are relative to the couples described in the book. Mr. Bunny is a pretty good model of egalitarian parenting, whereas apparently there are men who pride themselves on never lending a hand. And yeah, I’m a horrible nagging bitch like the women in the book, but at least I periodically apologize for it.

So that was awesome. But there were a few additional things I took from it aside from a sense of superiority.

The book also made me realize that I’m having some knee-jerk reactions that are pathetically typical.

SIGH. For example, when Mr. Bunny says I’d like to watch a soccer match this morning, and I’ll take Bun Bun this afternoon, instead of hearing I need time alone, just as you need time alone, so here’s how I propose we arrange that, I hear I hate my boring baby and wife and want to chase the doe-eyed gazelle* of sitting on my ass. So yeah, I seem to be just like all the women in the book who are afraid their partners will abandon them with a young child (because, you know, On the Veldt), and see all kinds of things through that filter.

Plus which, I also have a stupid tendency to give him the time alone and then not take MY time alone, or use it to clean or make dinner. BOO. (I know, I said I enjoy cleaning, but not as much as I enjoy sitting on my ass watching trashy TV. I AM an AMERICAN, you know!) Then I get to feel resentful, which is THE BEST.

And I guess even though I’ve been making a real effort since day one not to undermine my husband’s parenting by nit-picking or criticizing (because what the fuck do I know about child-rearing), I think I need to extend that general approach, and stop being so fucking uptight. I genuinely do believe that one of the benefits of having multiple caregivers is having multiple care-giving styles. And while I’m okay about letting Mr. Bunny do whatever the hell he wants in terms of naps and feedings and whatnot when he’s in charge, I get all tense when I see him do certain things. Like check his fantasy baseball scores when he’s hanging out with Bun Bun. I feel like she deserves his full attention. But the truth is, she doesn’t need two parents like me. Nobody does.

Anyways, I hope you appreciate my sharing the wisdom so you don’t have to slog through all the offensive shit to get to it on your own. I look forward to you all having perfect relationships thanks to me.

*Thanks for the imagery, Bionic.

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. Thanks for this, bunny. I always like a good piece of relationship realism. I bet you're doing a great job with it, though. Being honest about your stuff is half the battle, after all.I often wonder why it is so fun to feel all put-upon. I don't know, and yet I partake so readily. Mystery.

    October 19, 2011
  2. JB #

    Yeah, I don't really understand why biology and evolution feel so adamant about making me feel stabby and murdery toward my child-rearing partner when that seems sort of counter-productive. I mean, is it ruining our offspring's development or chances for survival if KB wants to play the drums for a while or watch the football game instead of talking to me or the baby? Or if he changes diapers differently than I do? Mystery indeed.

    October 19, 2011
  3. Couldn't you just post this a few weeks ago, and spare Mr. A and I the trials of our current marital dissatisfaction? Really. Like Twangy, I am much of a fan of your relationship realism. I also like your book reviews. Thanks for this, dear Bunny.

    October 20, 2011
  4. 🙂 on the veltd just cracks me up. Thanks for all of your support lately and always. You are truly awesome!

    October 20, 2011
  5. I will chalk up my marital success at my 70th anniversary with husband number 3 (I will say yes, Kelly Slater, if asked nicely this time!) because of such sage advice.1. Be Nicer2. If number 1 is hard, be less of a bitch.3. Repeat.My book is much shorter and costs a lot of money, btw. Excellent and economical advice is worth getting where you can. I think I mentioned the myers-Briggs somewhere in writing, think what you will, that test made my relationship very clear. The Mr. Sees a pile of clothing and thinks I don't love him, I find my carefully measured ingredients for a complicated recipe tossed in the trash and think he is an overbearing anal asshole. But, we are neither of those things, just have different triggers for bith happiness and anger. Knowing where you can cut slack is key to all of it, and coversely respecting the triggers like the land mines they are.

    October 20, 2011
  6. I suspect he did not turn you into an anal uptight bitch, so when he married you, he did have an inkling of what you were like and what he was getting into. He must be used by now with your carefully laid out instructions and to ignore them, he must be pretty sure on himself. Or plain daredevil. Sometimes right, but we are not talking about those times, do we? :-)I feel mistakes are bound to happen in any relationship, and as long as I am able to talk about them with my husband and we can stay on a common ground, we're fine. Being an uptight bitch is part of my personal je-ne-sais-quoi, why would I change that? And he is always going to wait around for his dirty sock to sprout legs and go by themselves to the dirty laundry basket, so there, we all have to put up with the other's little quirks (euphemism had never a better use, isn't it?).Keep keeping it real, Bunny.

    October 20, 2011
  7. I tend to be equally bad about taking the time for myself. When it's my "turn" for downtime, it never fails that I end up spending it with N and Arlo, which is what I would have been doing otherwise. I've got to get better about actually taking that time and stepping away, like, getting outside of the house. It's hard to do that in this new town yet, and it's actually one of the reasons I miss my old moms group so much. It's easier (and more fun) when it's concerted and with others. Anyway, I do the put-upon thing myself, it's just too easy. It's harder to take a step back for perspective, but we gots to do it. Yep.

    October 20, 2011
  8. If you want to feel smug about your egalitarian marriage, go hang out on the discussion boards on bab.y.cen.ter dawt cahm. Fair warning: cannot be unseen. I so treasure your posts. It makes me feel so much better about my foibles. I hate it when J is trying to goof off online during his baby time, and if I'm around, it is ALL I can do to not be all, "I think he's ready for a nap!" I have GOT to chill out.

    October 21, 2011
  9. On no. I've heard those words "I'd like to watch this soccer game.." and I'm afraid that my reaction was no better. Fortunately, I've progressed over time and I now believe that I can attribute some of my earlier behavior to temporary insanity. Over time, I've come to see that G might actually do some things better than I do (ouch, that hurts to admit)- but I still end up rewashing at least half of his dishes (on the sly) and berating him for leaving the house without so much as a clean diaper.At least the book wasn't a complete waste of time.

    October 21, 2011

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