12/20/17

My Wife Has Lost It

"Hey, we need to talk about this chore list..." I don't even get the rest of the sentence out.  Hossmom is in our bedroom, hair frazzled, static electricity sparks flying from the ends.  On the bed is every single piece of clothing that our toddler owns.   Everything.

"What?" my wife says.  But the way she says it is more like a challenge than a question.  It's the scene in Pulp Fiction where Jules asks the kid to say "What" one more time.  I'm afraid to even think the word. 

The winter clothes are in a pile by the pillows, at the top of the bed.  Shorts that my four-year-old hasn't worn in years are on the floor.  Old baby blankets, jeans, and clothes he doesn't fit into yet are thrown at the bottom of the bed.  And in the middle, enough pajamas to fully cloth an entire maternity ward. 

"Um, you're busy.  I can come back," I say and try to back away without attracting notice.  It doesn't work. 

"No.  Ask whatever you are going to ask.  We have stuff to do," Hossmom says as she struggles with a pair of PJ pants that were inside out.  When I put them away, I just throw them in the drawer.  My hands don't fit in the tiny legs and I stretch them out.  If the boy wants his PJs on the right way, he can do it himself.

"Ok," I say.  "Want to tell me what's going on?"
"I'm organizing Bacon Hoss' pajamas."
"Why?"
"Because it needs to be done."

Everyone gives my children pajamas for presents.  Aunts, Grandmas, occasionally a random old lady at the store.  So after three kids, we have a lot.  There is an entire drawer in his dresser dedicated just to PJ shirts, another one just for pants, and a third for the overflow.  There's a lot of pajamas. 

"So," I start again.  Don't sound threatening, it's important here not to sound threatening.  My wife is losing it.  "My chore list.  Yeah, just had a few questions.  That's all."

"Ok.  What about?" she says.

"Do I really need to organize the silverware drawer.  I mean, it kind of already does that." 
"Yes.  Make sure you don't put the small forks with the bigger ones."
"Right.  Got it.  And where the list says 'dust the tops of doors', I'm not sure I understand that one."
"Why?  Get a rag and dust the tops of the doors.  We never do it and I'm sure it needs it."

I want to argue here but I also want to keep breathing, so I just shut it.  I could point out that the constant friction between the top of a door and the door jamb is pretty much an automatic dusting.  I mean, right?  Is there really dust up there? 

"And clean behind the couch?" I ask, but only because I actually did that one last week.  I found a banana peel.  The kids and I had to have a talk.

"Yup, take another look." 

I know what's going on here but even for my wife, this seems excessive.  We have family coming in for the holidays.  My brother-in-law and his wife are flying up.  My little nephew is going to open some presents and then check door jambs for dust. 

Hossmom has gone goofy. 

"Sure.  I can take another look.  But this last one, I'm not sure I understand it," I say to my wife and hand her the list.  She snatches it from my hand, a pair of pajama pants falls off the bed and I quickly pick it up before she notices anything.

"Display cutting boards," she reads.
"I don't know what that means," I say.
"Exactly what it says.  Put the cutting boards out that they gave us so they can see them."
"But they are cutting boards."
"I know.  Put them out."
"I usually keep them in the cabinet when I'm not, you know, cutting things."
"Put. Them. Out."

There is a finality to her words.  Apparently, this is not open for discussion.  She throws the list back at me and I grab it in mid-air. 

"There, all done," Hossmom says.  On the bed are nicely matched pairs of pajamas.  Every pant has a matching top.  The ones that don't have been thrown in a box.  I don't want to ask what she is going to make me do with the box.

My son is four.  He gets his own pajamas at night.  And as a four-year-old, he has absolutely no fashion sense, none at all.  Bacon Hoss will grab a pair of truck pants, complete the ensemble with a winter jacket, and then we are ready for bed.  Usually, I let him do his thing.  Gotta let the little guy express himself.  I don't think my wife cares for the most part.  Not until family is coming into town.

"Are you afraid that your brother and his wife are going to check to see if our son's PJs match?" I ask.
"Maybe," she says.
"I don't think they are that weird."  Not as weird as my wife.  I don't say that though, if I do she will throw me into the box. 

"Help me put all this away and take the box to the garage," she says, ignoring my quip. 
"Can't.  I've got to go hang cutting boards on our wall somewhere."
"Ok," she says like this is the most normal conversation to have.  She grabs an armful of PJs, making sure that they are neatly organized as she grabs them.

"When you're done," she says, "can you give the cat a bath?"

It is going to be a very long Christmas.

______________________________________
Happy holidays everyone.  That's it for this year and I'll see everyone in 2018.  Assuming, of course, if I survive bathing the cat. 





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