Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Five Questions For My Husband

The following are questions I would really like to ask my husband, the irascible yet cuddly Cap'n Coupon.  You know who I'm talking about, right?  The other adult in my house? The one who's supposed to help me set a good example for the little terror suspects?  Yes, that's the one.  The attractive one in the blue chair. The one who's watching football so intently that if the house caught on fire, until the TV was in flames, he might not notice.

Where do your shoes go?
At our house, we try to encourage people to put their shoes in their room.  Because five of us live here and, for some reason, we all seem hardwired to kick off our shoes in the living room.  But if we were allowed to do that, the floor would be covered with cast-off shoes within minutes and chaos would reign.  We would no longer require an area rug because children's Crocs and sneakers and half inside-out socks would cover all the available floor space.  We would trip over them constantly and the living room would smell even more like feet.  This must not be allowed to happen.  I have therefore become a nag on the subject of putting shoes away.  If I were a talking Mommy doll and you pulled the string in my back, I would say: "WHOSE SHOES ARE THESE?!  Do they belong here?!" 

And yet, though you too have tripped over stray sneakers and cursed as you narrowly avoided injury - you somehow think there is a Daddy Exemption to the Shoe Rule.  There is not.  You wear a size 13 shoe. Your snow boot is bigger than my first car. There are kayaks smaller than your dress shoes. Put them away, dude.  Because when you don't - the kids are like "but Daddy leaves his out and one of his are as big as six of mine so that's not fair!" and they're right.  And I hate to be outwitted by people who have to ask my permission to poop.

We Don't Have a Reading Room, Do We?
Our house is pretty standard.  It doesn't come with a library. The absence of a room specifically designed for reading does not mean that you can designate one for that purpose.  Especially not when that room already has a purpose.  You guessed it - the potty room.  Here's a new rule regarding the bathroom:  If you bring three sections of the Wall Street Journal in there for your morning constitutional, please take them back out with you.  And carry them directly to the outdoor recycling bin.  Also, the use of certain electronics - such as MY SMARTPHONE - in the Reading Room is strictly forbidden. Just because the web browser on my phone is awesome does not mean you can bring it in there. Just please don't do it because I will know

Congratulations. You Changed a Diaper.
Thank you for changing a large, nasty poopers.  I am very grateful.  As you may have noticed, our children have extremely unfortunate timing when it comes to their bowel movements, so your assistance in this matter was very helpful and much appreciated.  The act of changing a disgusting diaper, however, does not render you off duty for the remainder of the day.  There is no Nobel Prize for periodic parental chores.  I am very sorry if this statement makes you feel that I am not sufficiently grateful for your help.  I change them all the time, and I do not require copious amounts of thanks for doing so.  If that's how things are going to be moving forward, I will be happy to call you at the office six times per day and say: "I just changed a diaper. Praise me, for I am good."

Also, I get your point about how there are plenty of men out there who do nothing around the house, fail to engage with their kids and never, ever change diapers.  They're called douchebags.  I understand that you're awesome and the opposite of that.  But please don't expect a medal for a wiping.

Here's the actual question: Could you please refrain from describing the aroma and consistency of the substance in the diaper? For example, if it looks like chili - I don't need to know that and I certainly don't need to hear about how it would look in a bowl surrounded by Fritos.  Thank you.

I Did Not Throw Away Your Driver's License
Every once in a while, it is incumbent upon me to sort through piles of crap and paperwork and make decisions about what needs to be recycled, shredded, or tossed.  I don't enjoy doing this.  Mostly because I hate cleaning.  But also because when you get home, you see that the piles of crap have been sorted and instead of saying, "Thank you, darling. Would you like a kiss and a glass of wine?" you say: "What happened to that pile? The one that was right there? Did you throw away my driver's license?" No, I did not. And just because I accidentally recycled my W-2 form once right before tax day does not mean that I always get into a sorting frenzy and randomly throw stuff out without really looking at it. Ahem.  Usually.

And every pile is an important pile to you.  So I don't understand what I'm allowed to toss.  I'm sorry but what very important pile were you referring to? The one comprised of Val-Packs, Pottery Barn catalogs and fliers for tree pruning?  That pile?  Or the pile of discarded newspapers and Starbucks napkins?  If items are important, let's put them in an important place.  Here's a suggestion - let's not make the "important place" be a pile precariously balanced on top of the Honey Nut Cheerios in the kitchen directly above the garbage can.  Because then your driver's license will get thrown away - either by force of gravity or one of our offspring who is trying to get some cereal. 

Let's be honest, between my irrational hatred of cleaning and your insistence on me not touching the piles, we are probably going to end up hoarders, so let's please put off that undesirable outcome just as long as possible.  Shall we?

How Do You Think People Get Cards?
The holidays are coming.  Birthdays, anniversaries, new babies, and graduations happen throughout the year.  How do you think people get greeting cards for these events?  Because apparently there was a silent clause in our marriage vows that stated that I was responsible for the timely sending of cards and gifts.  Have we met?  I am the wrong person to put in charge of this task.  First of all, I forget things. Second of all - I hate the post office.  Hate it.  But I still do it.  Thirdly, I . . . can't remember exactly.

You actually care about sending our Christmas cards.  I do, too.  So this year, could your participation in sending out our holiday greetings consist of more than:
  • Speculating as to whether the intended recipients of our festive holiday greeting are still alive.
  • Exclaiming: "These cards cost WHAT?!" and then having to sit down and quietly sip scotch for a while.
  • Taking a stack of cards, writing very long notes on three of them and then turning on the TV, stretching and saying: "I think it's so important to stay in touch."
  • If, in fact, the envelope glue is poisonous (a la Seinfeld) then I will surely die if I have to lick all of them by myself (again).
  • I know how much 75 stamps cost.   You don't have to do the math.
Those are all the questions I have for you.  For now...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010


  1. The shoe thing and the card thing. 'Nuff said.

    I <3 Lydia!

  2. When our first was born my husband used to say "I changed this one, you get the next" So I started texting him at work: "Wow! That dipe was disgusting! You next, muffin!" Then 2 hours later the same thing. 2 hours later: the same. After one day of "owing" me the next 6 poops, he started coming home and changing all the messy diapers from 6 pm to 6 am with no question.

  3. Two suggestions:

    A) removing one's shoes before entering a home (they can be stored inside in a small cabinet by the door or even outside by the entranceway) eliminates the living room shoenami and radically reduces the dirt tracked in and need to clean it all up. Anyone who has lived in Japan can vouch for the many benefits of shoeless habitation.

    B) eliminating Christmas cards is a fantastic stress buster. If that's too radical, substitute a simple, homemade, printed, post card type of greeting; say goodbye to envelopes and save lots on cards and postage. Cut loose from others' expectations and live a life with more freedom.

  4. Thank you, thank you - I've been waiting for you to write this list! The kid lists are hilarious too but sometimes it's the husbands that are even harder to handle since they are *supposed* to be allies in the house yet somehow they think the shoe (and coat/briefcase I may add) rules don't apply to them!

  5. I love how it magically is my fault my hubs never knows where his phone is. No, I did not move it. No, I can't call you, you just told me your battery isn't charged. Ask one of the kids, they usually are pretty good at finding stuff.

    It's never on the charging station or in his office. It's usually attached to his belt. He might figure that out some day. And his computer bag! He leaves it everywhere, literally. He left it in an eatery for 2 days! before he noticed it was gone. I'm surprised he hasn't shown up for a flight naked yet...

  6. Preschool parents: Why oh why can't you park your gimormous Canyonero in the lines? We ALL have kids with us, not just you. You are taking up 3 spaces in the Driver's Ed Film of parking lots. Maybe you could skooch over just a little, please and thank you.

  7. Well damn. I'm sitting here scratching my head all confused like because I thought you were writing about MY husband. Weird. And I swear to maude, if I have to unball one of his disgusting socks one more time, I'm gonna cram it down that pretty face of his!

  8. my house exactly!

  9. Love this. I, too, have a man of many piles. I often "sort" through them, too. I have to make sure I get stuff to the trash can and the trash service actually comes to pick it up BEFORE my man comes home. He will sort through the trash in the trashcan if he sees I've been on a sorting/cleaning binge and declare, "we need to keep this!" Now, granted, I did once throw away the remote control ... so his fears are slightly founded.

    One caveat ... these piles should NOT take over floor space. I'm wondering if he's got piles all over his office at work??!

  10. Oh you were at my house - werent you? I am past poopy diapers but I remember very well the way he would expect praise for doing one change. Now when he cooks his hamburger helper or his white rice & chicken legs he expects constant exclamations of mmm, thats good, thank you. I just never wrote all these things down - could never do it as well as you do anyway. Thank you for making my mornings! Hopefully I wont choke on my frosted mini wheats.....

  11. Let's be honest, between my irrational hatred of cleaning and your insistence on me not touching the piles, we are probably going to end up hoarders, so let's please put off that undesirable outcome just as long as possible. Shall we?


    I swear I have said each one of these things. So I just got rid of mine. Of course he wasn't awesome like the Cap'n, so it was pretty easy. His girlfriend can nag him now, I suppose. Of course I have nobody to blame for the piles now. Dangit.

  12. Heard at my house DAILY, "Hunnnnneeeeeeyy? Where's my (insert anything that I would have nothing to do with here)?" If only my ability to find lost socks, keys, belts, etc would translate into an ability to find trees that grow money. Sigh.

  13. "irascible" ?????

    I can't believe Kate didn't call you out on that!

  14. Whooped with laughter, though I'm totally guilty as the piler of important documents with trash. Including the floor--and yes, including my office. I really don't like to read those stories about hoarders, even though I'm not (quite) there. It's just that YOU NEVER KNOW, PEOPLE, you might need that whatever it is again, and it's a sin to waste anything...

  15. OMG, so it's not just MY guy who's exactly like this?? Again, one of those moments when I realize I AM NOT ALONE IN THIS WOMAN/MOMMY THING :D

  16. Oh.My.GOD! These were so awesome I nearly widdled myself! I've *mostly* broken my husband of his habit of disrobing and leaving his clothing (and shoes) wherever he happens to be. Mostly by sheer embarrassing commentary: "Hon, what do you DO when you get home from work?! Do you just start stripping yourself naked the second you get in the door? Should I play strip club music for ambiance? Look, it actually makes a trail back to the TV room: coat, shirt, pants, underwear - oh, I see you took your socks off last and CARRIED your shoes with you into the bathroom. Did you want *company*? I mean, I can arrange that. Also, I'd like an explanation for yesterday, when it was JUST YOUR UNDERWEAR draped over the arm of the chair by the front door. Were you feeling constricted? Could it not wait until you were at least fully in the door? Do the neighbors know what you look like with no pants on?"

    Now he just leaves socks everywhere like it's confetti. And looks guilty when I yell at the kids for the same thing.

  17. My question for hubby dearest is -Why oh why must you leave empty wrappers where ever you eat the contents? Why must you put empty bottles on the sink? Do you think I wash the rubbish before I throw it out? The bin is two feet from the sink-use it!!!
    I love your rants, I can almost always relate directly to them. This one is just hysterical. Thank you!!

  18. Once again I am really wondering if I wrote this post in my "know" my husband too well!

    Thanks for the laugh and reality check (that I am NOT the only person going through this) today!

  19. If we got praised for every poopy diaper, every bag of trash we took out, every meal we cooked, every shoe we put away, every bug we smashed . . the Hallejulia Chorus would be playing constantly. I finally started jumping up and down,clapping when my husband changed a diaper and acted like it was big deal. First he was amused. Then, not so much. Then he understood.

  20. "And I hate to be outwitted by people who have to ask my permission to poop."
    love this. and it is SO. MY. LIFE! when did preschoolers begin to learn negotiation techniques? and be GOOD AT IT?!
    i heart you both and now i think i will forward this to my husband, maybe he'll get the hint. especially with the diapers. maybe.

  21. just how do they read in there?!?
    i mean do they flush first,
    then read,
    or read first, then go?
    i am so confused.

  22. My husband does the same thing everythime he does a chore. And I quote "How many men/husbands do you know that help with housework?" A lot actually....

  23. I too cannot overplay the joys of a shoeless lifestyle - we're in Canada and most people up here do not wear shoes in their homes - we have a shoe mat in our front entryway, and while THAT is a complete disaster zone (and smells of feet) at least the rest of the house is shoeless (or should be - sadly the wee ones don't actually follow the rules as they should and we do end up with crocs and the like littering our living room). Plus it sure does make quick work of keeping our floors and carpets clean.

    I am seriously contemplating doing away with Christmas cards. Every year they go out later, and less 'personal' until I just recently found last years stack, unmailed, in a 'pile' balancing on a box in our garage. ~sigh~

    This year I beleive I will just give up and drink wine on my 'card night' instead.

    1. I realized I had scarred my child when at 2 years old, he pooped his diaper right before we left the house. I took him in, and tried to put him on his back on a blanket on the carpet to change him. He arched his back in that way they do when they don't want to get in car seat. He's screaming and crying, and I cannot figure out for the life of me what the problem is, and then realize he is screaming "no shoes! no shoes!" Poor thing was scared to death of getting his shoes on the carpet.

  24. OMG, my dh has piles everywhere. I once recorded the Oprah episode on hoarding and tried to get him to watch it. He was offended.

    I'd like to know why he should expect a full half hour of total privacy for pooping? If you need that much time you need more fiber. And privacy? I haven't had that since they started being mobile!

  25. Here is a comment from a husband. I change more diapers than I ever dreamed I would and I despise it.

    To Wife: I'm sure you don't love it either. I have many friends who won't even touch a dirty diaper. Consider yourself a somewhat lucky one if your husband will change a few.

  26. When hubby was deployed for 1 year, I had no one else to change the poopy diapers. So I declared that once he was home, he would change diapers for 1 year. Yeah....that didn't work out as I hoped.

    But when he's not doing Army training or deployed, he is awesome and not at all a douchebag.

    Oh and what you need is a shoe cubby from Ikea. It sits by your front door and the kids put their shoes in there when they come home. It eventually gets so full of shoes that I will start tossing shoes out of it, telling the kids to find theirs and put them in their closets since this is not a shoe bin at Goodwill. But at least it keeps them in 1 place!

  27. I am shocked and amazed every time my husband returns from a deployment to Iraq in one piece...not because of evil terrorists, but because I am not there to explain the simplicities of life, draw crayon maps and repeat things 12 times because he is pretending to not hear me and wants to waste time. However, they do have that "if I pretend I am stupid, they will ask me to do less" game that is also very effective. All I can say to that is, Well Played.
    I have you linked on my blog. Much love.

  28. Mr. Man (my hubby) is an over-the-road truck driver, so I don't have the daily messes but... He is a walking billboard for man-tsunami of messes on the weekends when he's home. It's like he has to make up for not making a mess at home during the week. (Sigh)

    And his semi-truck is even worse than the mess he leaves behind at the house. You would think since he's the one living in the truck, he would notice the mess, the smell, etc. But, not so much. When he does get around to noticing the mess in his truck, he asks me to clean it up for him. How about "hell no", does that work for you, honey?

    Or better yet, Mr. "I won't help out at home because I'm working 5 or 6 days a week, 18 hours a day" ... why don't you help out around the house, and I'll see about helping out around your truck after I get done working 20 hours a day, 7 days a week around the house?

  29. I'm dying here! Lydia, you're killing me. This is awesome. My dear sweet wonderful husband gets military on the kids for not putting their shoes away, but his giant size 13 boats are always in the hall for me to trip over. He has Sorel boots that have to live in the garage because he won't put them away and the hall isn't big enough to hold them. And taking the phone in the bathroom- yes! What the heck? If it takes 30 minutes to poop, I'll get you some Metamucil dear! Then maybe we could keep phones out of the germ-factory bathroom! And the diapers. Ah, the diapers. Why must the contents be discussed? I know they're gross. I get that. Then again, he shares details of his own bowel movements with me, so what do I expect?

  30. Can we start a club? Wives of Cap'ns Anonymous?

    Seriously with the size 13 it a genetic disposition if your feet are that size?!? Perhaps once off the feet they resemble furniture enough to be forgotten by the wearer? We actually OWN a shoe basket by the front door (I felt getting them into cubbies might hurt his brain) and they're still ALL OVER! What really gets me is when I'm walking to MY side of the bed (his is closest to the door) and fall to my doom on HIS shoes! GAH!

    Yeah, I hear Bejewelled while he's on the pot. I used to get in trouble for discarding reading material, so now I cram them all into a drawer to be retrieved if needed...they are NEVER needed, but if thrown out someday will be the most important magazine EVER.

    Yeah, the card thing. Sorry about never getting those thank-you cards out. My bad. Stop hammering me about them or get off your duff and do them yourself!

    That is all.
    Lydia, you rock my socks off...which are in the laundry bin...right side out. :D

  31. HAHAHAHAHAHA. So funny. Thanks for my mid-morning entertainment. :)

  32. I've got one for you... Why-oh-why must you, dearest husband, leave your laundry on the floor in front of the dirty clothes bins?? I know it's dark, but I can toss socks into the right basket in the pitch black, do you really expect me to believe that you can't find the baskets when you're standing right next to them?

  33. While I too comiserate on the silliness of boys in this post I am compelled to comment on the "reading room" pic. Fan-freaking-tastic! What I wouldn't do for one of those!

  34. I seriously think we might be married to the same person. Hilarious! Every word I read I was like, yes! I know this guy! So glad I am not alone.

  35. "You go to your meeting hon, I'll clean up the kitchen *for you*" says husband. (say the for you part dripping with sarcasm) Great. Leave for meeting. Come back three hours later. He's loaded the dishwasher with the dirty dishes, and washed the frying pan, which is in the draining tray. But...every flat surface is covered in sauce and crumbs, and as I walk across the floor, I am making the snap crackle pop of rice crispies everywhere. The table has dried blobs of ketchup, chocolate sauce, and something else sticky I cannot identify. But HE CLEANED UP THE KITCHEN AND WHY CAN'T I JUST BE HAPPY WITH THAT??!!

  36. Are we ALL married to the same man? That can't be possible, can it? Because I'm starting to wonder....if we're all sister wives and just don't know it....

  37. The shoes and the piles of crap could have been written about my husband. And I have a shoe box at the door, but he still leaves them on the floor for all of us to trip over. I also never realized when I got married that as a wife I'm in charge of knowing where everything he owns is at any given moment in time. I was out of town for two weeks once and he called asking where he had put his glasses. I said, "I haven't been home in two weeks." He said, "but you always know where I put them." sigh...I still love him though:)

  38. OMG! The piles!!! I would just be happy if they there only on ONE surface of the house. Sadly, I can tell you that it will only get worse the longer you are married. I am married to a wonderful man...we have been happily married for over 30 years, but the thing that seriously drives me batty are the piles. God forbid I sort through them and he loses ANYTHING for the next two years!!

    We also leave our shoes on the front porch (its enclosed). We got in that habit when we lived in Hawaii...well kinda have always taken them off at the door, but in Hawaii, everyone does, so it became habit. I keep a small shelf on my front porch for crocs, etc. Nice shoes go in our rooms.

    Great post, as always!!

  39. LOL!!!!!!!! love this. so very very very true, especially the reading room.

  40. "does nothing around the house, fails to engage with their kids and never, ever changes diapers"

    I know someone JUST. LIKE. THAT. Now I know how to refer to him. Douchebag.

    Thanks, Kate and Lydia, for enriching my vocabulary. You girls effing rock.

  41. LOL! So true. Especially the shoe and card ones!

  42. I think your husband and my husband might have been separated at birth. Seriously. ESPECIALLY WITH THE IMPORTANT PILES. Gahhhhh!

  43. OMG ... why is your husband's driver's license never in his wallet? That's the only question I have, everything else sounds very familiar.

  44. Perfection! I'm right there with the dirty diapers thing! "Oh, you played with the baby for 10 minutes and now you're handing him back to me so you can go "work" (read: watch football on your office tv and surf the net) upstairs? Mmkay, cool."
    And yes, hubby, I think it's *great* that you took the initiative to take TWO hours on a Saturday, while I fed, changed, occupied, and put our baby down for naps, to make a bajillion breakfast biscuits to freeze for future breakfasts. But after all that time on your feet, could you take a minute or two to wipe up the thousands of tiny English muffin crumbs that are now coating the counter and floor so that I don't continue to step on them and see them for the next three days? Thanks.

  45. So this year I told my husband I wasn't sending any Christmas cards out. He said he would do it. Now I must admit he did actually order them, put the addresses on them, lick them shut (all with help from the child) and then put them on a shelf. They are still there. Perhaps I will send them out next year.

  46. Yeah, we're the worst.

  47. Clay, NO! You guys are the best. And seriously, the Cap'n is so much easier to live with then say... ME.
    Love having you here, man!
    xo, Lydia




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