Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's All About Communication

Whenever younger people (you know, those twoppers...otherwise known as "twenty boppers) complain to me about their husbands, or parents, or siblings, I am infamous for telling them, (as if I am some wise old owl) "Communication is the #1 thing you need in order to make a relationship work."

Yep, just call me a cliche. And a marriage counselor. (I briefly considered switching my college major to something where I would be qualified to be a marriage counselor. I decided against it because #1: it would require grad school and #2: you can't finish undergrad and grad school in four years. Which was the college deadline my parents I had set for myself.)

I sort of pride Workaholic and I on our good communication. And by that, I mean that I know I tell him all the tiny, minute details of our lives that he needs to know in order to do everything I want need him to do in order to make me happy keep our house running smoothly.

However, I recently realized that I may have overestimated our excellent communication skills. He has started "forgetting" things that I know I have told him. I was convinced that he is losing his hearing, much like his father. (what I now know is that he has what is called "selective hearing" and apparently is quite common amongst married couples.)  He will call and be like, "Did you say something to me about working late today?" After I have told him three times. In writing.

There also is this thing called "mommy brain", and I have it. I am the poster child for moms who can't remember where they put their car keys or if they fed their children or if they told their husbands that they have to work late and so someone needs to go home and take care of the kids.

So yeah...communication.

We took Sam's pacifier away from her about a week ago.  I have not slept a full night in a week. If I am not randomly waking up for absolutely no reason at all (other than I am a mom), it is because Sam is crawling into our bed. It would seem that she makes it most of the way through the night, and then something would scare her and she would crawl into my bed. It has been driving me nuts. I've tried talking to her, and all she will tell me is that, "My light turns off and I get scared and so I have to get in bed with you." (She is terrified of the dark and sleeps not only with her closet light on and doors open, but the lamp on her dresser is nice and bright too.) Her light "turning off" makes absolutely no sense, since I swear when I get up in the morning, they are all still on. If not more lights than were on when I left the room the night before. I figured she was either telling me something backwards or manipulating me. Three year olds are crafty, you know.

After a colossal meltdown this morning, I felt just terrible about yanking her pacifier from her. I thought this had to be the reason for her recent strange behavior. It has been a crazy busy couple of months, I've been working a lot since the new year, and then we just deprive her of the single, solitary thing that makes her feel at peace. (OK, to be fair, she has blankets too, and dolls, and stuffed animals, but the pacifier seemed to be her favorite.)  

So tonight, I caved. She saw a couple of pacifiers laying on a table that we had forgotten to hide, and she was on it like white on rice. I decided to let her go to bed with it. And yet, she fought me. She wanted me to lay with her, she wanted me to sleep with her, she didn't want to go to sleeeeep, she wanted to sleep in MY bed. ( Kid, you have a damn binky, be happy.)

Later, I was telling Workaholic about how she was still a challenge to put to bed, and how I thought the problem with her lately was that we had taken away her pacifier without some cool story about the Pacifier Fairy coming and taking all the pacifiers to little babies who needed them. We just told her to suck it up and grow up. Such mean parents.

And then I told him (again) about how she was telling me (again) about how she comes down into my bed when "her light turns off". And how I just didn't understand that, because she always comes down in the morning, even before the sun rises, so she can't be confused and thinking that she is coming down when it is light out. And how I think she must really be having a problem with the busyness of the last month.

That was when Workaholic smiled sheepishly at me. OK, let's call a spade a spade. He damn well smirked at me. And then he says this, "Oh, I guess I had better stop turning off her lights when I leave for work in the morning, huh?" EXCUSE ME??? Then he says, "I don't turn off all the lights, just the lamp, and I leave on the overhead light on dim."

And it all makes sense. She hears him leave for work because the garage door wakes her up. She realizes that her lamp is off, the all-important BRIGHT LIGHT LAMP that she insists is on every night before we leave her room, (the closet light is no longer enough), she gets up, turns it on, and then comes down to sleep with me. Because she knows I won't walk her back to bed since she says she is SCARED OF THE DARK.


Communication, people. It is the cornerstone of a happy peaceful marriage.

(The sad part is, the more I think about it, the more I think I remember him telling me before that he did that. We'll just blame mommy brain.)

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