Bless his heart. He just doesn’t get it.
Last night, I was sick.as.a.dog. (Again. I know, it’s like, just get over it. You’re pregnant; puke happens. But I was so blessed with Smooch’s pregnancy in this regard and I’m feeling rather irked with Doodlebug at the moment. Gimme a break, kid!) Gruff was very sweet about it – he fetched me water, and milk, and Tums, and when all of those failed and I upchucked anyway, a nice cool wet washcloth. Sweet guy.
A few hours later, Doodle started bopping around and I realized it was the strongest of the flutters I’d felt so far. “Hey, babe, I wonder if you can feel this yet….” He absentmindedly flopped his hand over on my belly, eyes still fixed on the laptop (where he was finishing a PowerPoint presentation for work. About shock and how to identify and treat it, in case you were wondering.) and sort of muttered that he didn’t. I repositioned his hand to where I’d actually pointed (this is why glancing over at your wife can be useful occasionally) and he said, “Oh. Yeah. I can feel movement – but I’m not sure what it is.” I laughed and told him it was a bit early to be identifying arms versus feet versus heads at this point, and then I got all ooey-gooey on him. “Awww, can you believe it? You just felt the baby for the first time! That is so sweet!” I waited for him to respond… and this is what I got:
“Yeah. It’s great. Now, I have to finish this.”
*stunned, hurt, angry silence from the other side of the bed*
“What? Don’t get mad – I’m WORKING and I have to finish this. I can feel your belly later.”
*again with the hurt and anger*
Dude, for real? I know his presentation was due this morning and he was “in the zone” and wanted to finish. I’ve felt that before, and I know it’s irritating when something pulls you away from your work. But for pete’s sake – this is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. You only feel your child move for the first time… the first time. Can’t we take a minute and celebrate that? Say a little prayer over this baby, thanking God for his or her health and asking for a continuing peaceful pregnancy? Daydream a little bit about what this child might look like? Something? I feel like Dr. Evil — “Throw me a frickin’ bone here!”
I told this story to a friend on the phone this morning, and she said (with a smile in her voice, but still…) “Okay, you’re going to have to start telling me some good stories about Gruff, because he’s starting to drift over toward My List.” She was joking, the way friends do, when they take up your side of things – but it made me think. The fact is that Gruff DID do this particular thing – and a few other particular things, to which my close friends and bloggy buddies are privy – but maybe I shouldn’t share the stories that cast him in a negative light. Overall, I don’t think I’m one of those women who is always complaining about men in general, her man in specific, or male-bashing at any opportunity. But I do sometimes choose to vent, here or in person, about my husband.
On one hand, I feel like it gives me a sounding board – a chance to feel heard, a chance to feel like I’m not being outrageous to expect (X, Y, Z) from Gruff, a chance to reality-check that other husbands do or don’t do (X, Y, Z). On the other hand, I wonder if I ought to stop comparing, stop having expectations, and stop venting altogether. I don’t know. What do you do, especially if you have a man like this in your life?