Archive for May 9, 2010

“This Is The Greatest Mother’s Day Present Ever!”

May 9, 2010

What was it? Well, let me just give you the entire conversation in which the quote occurred. The setting is the kitchen table, about five seconds after we all sat down to eat the leftovers I had just re-heated. (My idea of cooking for mother’s day.)

Mac (The three year old boy): I have to tee-tee.

Mom: Then go. Wash your hands when you’re done.

Mac (about three minutes later): MOM!

Mom: Ughh. What?


Mom: I knew it, every time I sit down, I have to get up and go wipe a butt.

Me: I guess I should do it.

Mom: Really? You mean it? This is the greatest mother’s day present ever!

The thing is, there was no sarcasm at all. She really meant it.

How, you might ask, is that possible? How have I trained my wife to be that easily appeased? Well, it’s all about managing expectations.

Last time we visited my sister, my brother in law was telling me how she complains about him going hunting. He loves to hunt and fish, and he felt like every time he wanted to go, he first had to get permission, which was very reluctantly granted. I told him that his problem was that he was too good to her. If you’re a perfect husband, of course your wife will want you around all the time. And on special days, of course she’ll expect huge fancy gifts.

Nope. Perfect is a mistake. Now you can’t go too far in the other direction, either. You don’t want to end up on the streets. So you have to find the perfect middle; the behavior that keeps you married, but that also lets you have time on your own and get by with inexpensive gifts. So keep the yard nice, fix stuff that breaks, take out the trash, and every once in a while maybe help with the kids. Anything more than that, and you’re asking for trouble.