I wouldn’t say I was an extreme girly girl before having two children, but I would say that I at least enjoyed wearing make-up, dressing up, and putting some jewelry on. Now I feel like I will have to take some kind of make-up application course after my boys are grown. I simply don’t remember. After putting my boys to bed today, opening a beer, plopping in front of the TV, and watching Breaking Bad reruns, I am not feeling very feminine at all. In fact, when the hell did I become a man?
Now, I may be stereotyping the male species with my observations, but I strictly observe my husband, who just so happens to be a stereotypical male in many ways. I’ve decided that based on the list below, it’s time I get in touch with my girly side quickly, before the boys grow up any more and the testosterone floods the house completely.
1. I can get ready in 5 minutes. I used to be so envious of my husband. To get ready for the day I would shower, do my hair, put on makeup, try on 5 different outfits before actually getting dressed, and boom…an hour and fifteen minutes later I was ready. His shower would last about 3 minutes and the other 2 minutes were reserved for brushing his teeth and getting dressed.
It only took me having children to discover his secret. Not giving a shit. It’s that simple. I have a seven-minute window for a shower and then I apply powder and mascara quickly so that people understand I am of the female species. My hair usually gets thrown back and getting dressed only depends on one factor. Leg hair. A deciding factor on whether it’s a pants or shorts kind of day. Now I’m the one in the car with the kids, waiting on my husband to get ready so we can go. Ugh! It’s so annoying!
2. I take my shirt off in public. Well, almost anyway. I was not able to breastfeed my first son, but after a great deal of blood, sweat, and tears, nursing my second son was a success. The first time I whipped it out in public, I felt so vulnerable and just uncomfortable. Like someone was going to tell me to “Put them away.” But it’s amazing how much changes when your baby is screaming at the top of his lungs and you have the cork to the whine. It’s a pretty awesome thing, I must say. The funny part is, I wear the worst shirts for breast-feeding at the most public of times, and I feel so exposed until I look over at the man walking around the park displaying his ultra-hairy chest, and I think to myself, “Oh My God! Put a shirt on.”
3. I have a wife to do all the cooking. Well, I call her my wife, but the manufacturer calls her a crockpot. If I do decide to cook, it’s more like arranging things on a plate. Or, lately, I have started making up recipes by just throwing something together at the last minute based on what’s in the fridge and pantry. If it’s gross, I tell my husband that I am definitely not making that recipe again, as if I found it somewhere, and I find myself acting just like my husband when I actually prepare something good. I talk about it like I just catered an entire wedding by myself. I talk about how good it is while he’s eating it and fish for compliments. I also make sure this phenomenon stays rare so that the hubs does not expect intricate meals to be the norm.
4. I replaced foreplay with “After Sleep.” No really, I’m good. Our 4-year-old has become very mysterious at night. You never know when he will walk through the door. He typically crawls into our bed between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., and in between you never know if there will be a nightmare, accidental pee, temperature issue, or if he just wants to tell us a fact about ninjas or space travel. Right now, it’s all about skipping the previews so we can get to the feature, or else we may miss the show all together. The baby just started sleeping through the night at 10 months. Believe me, right now there is nothing sexier than some good old-fashioned after-sleep. But no cuddling. I get way too hot, and my husband snores.
5. I will do gross things. When my first son was a baby, I used to think it was sweet to let him crawl around without a diaper…. until he started pooping on the white carpet. I immediately used my hands to catch the poop so it wouldn’t touch the floor. My husband was revolted. And although I had just done something completely disgusting and so unlike the old me, I didn’t really care. I was unphased.
In fact, in moments of necessity I have done more than a hand full of really disgusting things. Never before would I have used my fingers to wipe the boogies off a child’s face or clean throw-up, sheets soaked with pee, and mystery goop that I don’t even care to know the details of. Things are stickier and dirtier and sometimes just plain gross. Forget foreplay, my husband is probably so grossed out by what he’s seen, he may want his own bedroom at this point.
6. I have embraced the smell test. Before children, I still did all our laundry. It was a control thing because my husband would dry clothes I had asked him not to and he just didn’t do it the way I liked. I used to wonder why I had twice the laundry he did. He enlightened me by letting me in on the “smell test.” Basically, if it smelled okay and there were no stains, he wore it again before washing it. I thought this was gross.
Now, after two children, I find myself rummaging through the dirty clothes hamper thinking, “These pants could go one more round maybe.” Or, “This shirt has a little life left.” When you’ve got triple the laundry and half the wardrobe, sometimes there’s only one option. Now it’s like a Seinfeld episode. A challenge begging the question, “How far can these jeans take me?”
7. I now suck at listening. My husband does this thing where he pretends like he’s listening but I know he really isn’t because he says things like, “right” at really inappropriate times during the conversation. Before I even get to my point, he’s already agreeing with me. I used to pride myself on being a good listener. If you needed advice or just to vent, I was your girl.
Now I have a son who asks me the same question about forty times in a row, and when I try to talk on the phone he decides that is the best time to act like a maniac until I hang up. Or the baby is crying. At get-togethers, I participate in partial conversations interrupted by a small person practically ripping my shirt off to tell me something. So. I find myself using my husband’s technique on my son. “Right, right,” I tell him. At four, my son says, “Wait, I’m not done talking.”
So, yeah, am I stereotyping? Maybe a little. Or maybe it’s not so terrible to meet in the middle on some things. My husband is more of a nurturer than I ever could have dreamed, and as for me being gross? My white carpet is better off for it.
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