There are certain fundamental differences between Jack and me that make me wonder if perhaps we’re ill-suited for eachother. The most obvious and troublesome one is this:
Jack is a morning person.
He jumps out of bed and greets the day with a song.
I find his before noon joy to be stressful and off-putting.
I am not a morning person.
I hit my groove sometime around 9:00 p.m..
By that time Jack is slobbering on his keyboard.
Jack likes to get up and do stuff so he can have the rest of the day to play. I prefer to play all day and clean before I go to bed so that when I get up the next morning I have a clean slate. I usually rule on the weekdays, but when the week ends Jack turns into Bill Lumbergh.
(I’m also going to need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too…. ~ Office Space)
And he runs the ship with such a sunny, GOOD MORNING WORLD attitude that I fear one morning I might accidentally stab him with the nearest spoon or errant Polly Pocket. Accidentally.
Today, no sooner had I migrated from our bed to the living room couch, he came bounding down the stairs fresh from his shower, teeth glistening in the morning sunlight, and announced, “IT’S TIME TO CLEAN! C’MON! C’MON! C’MON! SOON IT WILL BE 9 A.M. AND THE DAY WILL BE HALF OVER!!! GAWD I LOVE THE MORNING!” I swore grumbled a bit and raised holy hell a slight fuss, but nearly 14 years of marriage has taught me that resistence would be futile so I crawled into the kitchen and started throwing dishes away because I didn’t want to deal with them unloading the dishwasher while he went into the basement to “motivate” our children.
I swear to you that it wouldn’t have been so bad, and I might have managed a smile or two if the 4 of them hadn’t marched around the house yelling The Wonderpet’s battle cry, “What’s gonna werk?! TEAMWORK!!” ad nauseum. Everything was punctuated it. “IT’S TIME TO FOLD THE TOWELS!” Jack would holler happily. “WHAT’S GONNA WERK?” he’d demand. “TEEEAMWORK!” our progeny would respond and rush to help him.
“MOMMY’S FALLING BEHIND WITH THE DISHES,” he’d sing while sliding by on a puddle of suds. “WE NEED TO MOTIVATE HER! WHAT’S GONNA WERK?” And my children would respond, “TEEEAMWORK!”
“Where was TEEEAMWORK last night when I asked for help?” I grumbled, but no one heard me because they were too busy singing that stupid song at the top of their lungs and running around cleaning.
I was determined to let him ruin my morning when suddenly I realized I was doing it wrong. I needed to think like a man. I wasn’t being careful enough unloading the dishes. Move too quickly you see and I might chip the Corningware. I also noticed that he didn’t bug me as much when I carried a spray bottle and a rag from place to place. I looked busy (which was what he wanted) but I wasn’t actually doing anything (which is what I wanted). Win/win.