One Couple's Stumblings Through Parenthood and Marriage

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It's Been a Rough 24 Hours

It has been a rough 24 hours for me - as a man, a father, and a husband. It all began yesterday when Annie called me at work.

She asked me what I wanted to do in the evening. I volunteered that maybe we should watch American Idol and the Olympic short program of the women's figure skating. What? WHAT? I couldn't believe what I was saying. I hate reality TV, and women's figure skating isn't the most masculine of sports. Annie even picked up on it, saying, "Are there any other girlie things you want to watch?" In my defense, the only reason that I suggested watching American Idol was because Annie knows one of the contestants. But still, the fact that I wanted to see it horrifies me. I didn't feel so macho after that.

Then later that night, Annie took Genna to the store with her, leaving me to bathe Julia and Kate. It was fun being able to visit with them. But once I got Kate out of the bath, she realized that mommy and Genna were gone. She got distressed and asked where they were. I told her, and she responded by saying, "I don't want to stay home with you dad." Oh, knife in my heart. I didn't feel like # 1 dad at that moment.

This morning was the real kicker. I got up a bit late, so I had to rush into the shower. I had only just stepped into the water when I felt a tickling on my ankle. I glanced down and saw the world's largest spider climbing up my leg. Ok, it wasn't a tarantula, but it was a massive daddy-long-legs. I suffer from extreme arachnophobia, so I shrieked. I didn't bellow, or shout, or holler. No, I shrieked. I stood there, thrashing my leg to get it off, and I shrieked. It finally fell off my leg and I leapt out of the shower. I heard behind me, "Honey, what's wrong?" I turned to see Annie poking her head into the bathroom, looking very worried and sleepy. My screaming had woken her up. I realized at that moment, that standing there, trembling and naked, having to admit that it was only a spider, couldn't have been the boldest display of masculine prowess. Even my little daughters would have shown more stoicism.

I don't know what to do to shore up the erosion of my masculinity. The levees that prevent me from being feminized are obviously not holding back the flood waters of girliness and pink princesses. Last night we gave the girls pillows with Belle, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty on the pillow case. Was I a bit jealous? I think I was. Help me.


Alan said...

From someone who is equally as terrified...I feel your pain!

Ms. Karen said...

Wow, you only shrieked? Personally, I think I would have taken the shower head off the wall and beaten the spider into pudding with it. My friend's husband was also terrified of spiders, and in the morning he was always blind as a bat. Once, he peered into the bathtub and saw a large, dark "thing" and he began to holler for his wife. That good soul rescued him from the dreaded shampoo cap.