Today, Bob and I celebrate nine years of being legally obligated to tolerate each other. To celebrate, here is a list of nine things I am better at than my husband:
1. Driving. That’s a given. I had to lead with it. I am definitely a better driver. Bob is… hmmm. How best to phrase it? Bob is an extremely cautious driver.
2. Knowing which socks belong to which kid. This goes for underwear, too. (Maybe he is just bad at gauging size/scale? Regardless, I’m usually the one that puts the clean laundry away.)
3. Making beds. This is contentious since Bob was a Marine however, my hospital corners are exceptional.
4. Paperwork. I handle virtually every piece of paper that enters this house. I excel at paperwork. I could be the valedictorian of paperwork, if there were such a thing. I even have a special pen that I prefer to use when I’m filling out paperwork. I could keep going but this is getting a little weird, right?
5. Loading the dishwasher. My way is the best way. The only way. The silverware faces up, sucker. Also, if you nest the spoons, they won’t get clean. Seriously.
6. The children’s hygiene. Bob has never clipped a fingernail or toenail for any of our three children for as long as they have been alive.
7. Matching up toys with their like kind. This is an important life skill because if you put the Matchbox playset away and it doesn’t have all of the little pieces and parts with it, many, many tears will fall the NEXT time a four-year-old pulls it out to play.
8. Knowing who will eat what food and when they should be eating it. I can tell you that Charlie will eat this flavor of yogurt but not that one. That Henry will eat raisins but not on Friday. That Millie only likes jam on her sandwich and not peanut butter. Who gets milk, who gets water. Who likes ketchup, who will absolutely freak out if their Fig Newtons are touching their green peppers. Sure, it’s simply a consequence of being the one that fixes most of their meals and snacks but, still, it can be confusing to a third party.
9. I make really, really, really good coffee.
Turnabout is fair play, so in deference to my husband, I would like you to know that he is better at:
1. Driving sensibly and with reason and a lot less rage. Especially on I-95.
2. Getting outdoors with the kids. He is so good about taking them to the park, working with them outside, going for bike rides, etc. I’m always like, “I just have to check this one thing online…”
3. Patience when dealing with tantrums. I go from Slightly Annoyed to OH MY WORD. YOU MUST STOP THIS MINUTE BEFORE MY BRAIN STARTS LEAKING OUT OF MY EAR. Bob has this endless reserve of tolerance that affords a lot less yelling than my technique. So, whatever.
4. Any and all things associated with lawn care. He takes care of everything landscaping related.
5. Reading for leisure. While I’m ruining my brain watching television and surfing shameful gossip sites online, Bob’s reading interesting biographies of past presidents and captains of industry.
6. Giving advice. He kind of always seems to have the answers to tricky situations. He is so good at this. Probably because he has sixteen years on me and is so WISE (also, mature).
7. Execution of activities. If I’m the logistics, he’s the execution. I’m the one that packs the diaper bag and ensures we have everything we need when we get there including diapers, wipes, extra outfits, water bottles, snacks, pacifiers, entertainment, etc. This exhausts me so once we’re in the car, he takes it from there.
8. If the early bird gets the worm, then Bob gets the early bird. He is so good at getting up early and getting things done; emptying the dishwasher, laundry, cleaning up toys. I’ve always thought I could solve 50 percent of my problems if I could just get up early enough to tackle them before the kids wake up. But, my bed is just so comfortable…
9. Resisting sweets. (And, any other food that would be considered bad for you.) That man has some serious willpower.
The past nine years have been amazing, Robert. I hope nothing on this list changes over the next nine. Well, maybe that one thing about nesting all the silverware together in the dishwasher, but that’s really just a minor complaint, right?