Glenn and I are having a tired off. This is where we moan dramatically about how we have each, in different ways, been worked to the bone today. That we have been very stressed and not had a moment to ourselves, each fervently hoping that the other will assume the major parenting role. If he slept badly, I slept worse. Every declaration of exhaustion is countered with more confessions of physical and mental fatigue, in a subtle (or not so subtle) game of tiredness one-upmanship.
This is by no means always the case. As a general rule we take pretty good care of each other. When one of us comes through the door of an evening looking poorly, they are mostly sent tenderly in the direction of the lovely big bed to rest and protected with phrases like, “Don’t go in there. Daddy’s having a rest (from us).”
Or joy of joys – “G and I are going out. You stay here and have some time to yourself. Don’t do anything.”
My default relaxation strategy is always to wait until they are completely gone, have a long bath with the door open and read a book while listening to something that Glenn would hate (like Rod Stewart). Maybe a bit of eBay or Veronica Mars. Maybe wearing one of the facial masks I can’t wear when G is here because it frightens him.
A couple of oddly quiet hours pass and by the time the two G’s burst back in the front door I have started to miss them and want them back.
But back to the tired off.
Glenn says G has not stopped talking all day. I say how can that be bad? Glenn assures me it was very hard work. I give a little eye roll which implies he is being a bit precious. It’s annoying and I know it. Glenn is doing big sighs and moving slowly.
I worked a long day. I hint that it was more stressful than listening to our child’s non-stop chatter. I hint that it was probably less fun that taking a child swimming and then going out for pancakes and then probably having a nap. I flop on the couch and stare forlornly towards the mess of toys on the floor. Mess – I am implying with my eyes – that is making me feel even more tired and should be cleaned up by someone who is not me.
It’s not a competition! Glenn says. But sometimes it is, I think. Sometimes the little shit in me wants to lay out the tasks of the day end to end and compare them in terms of difficulty and fun. Just because I’m feeling tired and tetchy. And because if I’m honest, I am jealous of the number of days he gets to spend at home with G.
In our grumpier moments, my friend Rosebud and I have declared that work stuff trumps staying at home with child, in terms of tiredness, unless the child is sick (in which case it’s way harder). Unless of course its my turn to stay home.
Calm down, I’m only saying all of the above because I worked today. Which means today – I win.