Why is it that perfectly rational, mostly independently functioning men can go completely ballistic over the most inconsequential, fleeting things and make the entire situation worse? My understanding was that women were supposed to be all emotional and irrational. I’ve always kept pretty tight control of my emotions and apparently, my reward for that is to have a spouse who flips out over nothing and is moodier than an adolescent girl (see, even I buy into the stereotypes!)
Situations that I need to handle because I can do so calmly and logically: taking vehicles in for any repairs and talking with the mechanic, returning items to stores past the return deadline, paying bills, setting a budget, teaching my boys sports, homework. All of these situations turn my husband into an emotional volcano just waiting for a “reason” to erupt. The diatribe has many nuances but the same under lying themes : “the car repair places are a rip-off”,” the gas company/tire store/grocery store etc. charges too much”, “homework is stupid it doesn’t matter anyway”, “the boys just don’t want to play sports”, “I work hard I don’t need a budget but you should be on one”, and “why don’t we have any money since we both make a good living?”
Anyhow, what is prompting this line of thinking is a common occurrence in most households. Our two boys are now ages 6 & 5. They have recently stopped taking baths together because there legs are too long. Now that there is not as much open space in the tub there are many more opportunities for invading each other’s space and wrestling around. They have been reluctant to take showers because they are scared of the water spraying at them. However, at a recent splash park, they finally realized that spraying water is actually fun. My husband took the initiative to help them with their first showers. The six-year-old went first with no problems. As the little one is getting into the shower, my husband asks me to get the tear-free shampoo. I didn’t see what the big deal was, so I said to use the regular shampoo since he already knows to close his eyes when we rinse. Unfortunately, the little guy decided to open his eyes when the soap was being rinsed and running down his face. As he rubbed his eyes, his daddy starts yelling, “OMG, OMG THE SOAP IS GETTING IN HIS EYES!” Just picture a sensitive little drama king in a shower with his daddy YELLING at the top of his lungs about soap in his eyes as though there were shards of glass shooting from the shower head. Little drama king begins screaming and Big drama king continues screaming. Screaming and chaos. I come in and of course am subjected to the accusation that this is all my fault and I have to deal with the carnage. After Big drama king storms off and I enter, putting a dry towel over the little king’s eyes, he stops crying. I ask him if he got soap in his eyes, he says, “yes”. I then ask if his eyes hurt, he says, “no”. I then ask, “why are you crying?” He says, “I’m scared because Daddy started yelling at me”. Imagine that, another completely unnecessary dramatic episode. My little king now says that he will never take a shower again. Gee, I wonder why? Post-traumatic stress syndrome caused by a big drama king.