Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Control - Who Needs It? - I DO!

I have control issues.  I tend to control everything.  This is not good for me because it tends to frighten people away and I like people.  I like having friends.  I also like my family and don’t want them to roll their eyes when they see me coming with my calendar and list.  I need to work on that among other things like refusing to be wrong.  I hate being wrong and maybe being in control helps me not be wrong.  Who knows?  I would love for one of my readers to be a psychoanalyst and give me some answers.  
Easter weekend was a busy one.  On Good Friday The Hub had off.  The group, Catholics 4 Change, were having a prayer service/demonstration for the survivors of sexual abuse by priests outside the Cathedral Basilica of St.s  Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.   The original plan was for all of us to go downtown, drop me off for the prayer service then go to Ben Franklin’s house so First Born can do some extra research on his ‘Biography of Benjamin Franklin’ project.   On Thursday Little One woke up crying with a sore throat and a fever.  Scratch the Friday plan, and I go by myself and Hub stays home with the kids.  (this was a discussion and decided the best thing to do...mostly by me) 
The prayer service/demonstration was moving beyond words.  The survivors who were there and spoke are the strongest people I know.  They want nothing but to have their voices heard and believed and for the lying from the Church to stop.  That is ALL they are after.  Standing outside in the bright sunshine, with that group of survivors and supporters, I felt closer to Heaven than I have felt in most churches.  
After the service I went to my car and called The Hubs.  When I call, he is in his car just leaving JimmyJohn’s Hotdogs. Through the phone, I hear our Little One in the back seat saying “Daddy, I tired, I gonna take nappys and if you see any choo choo’s, you wake me up. OK?”   This sent me reeling.  When I asked what they were doing, the Hubs says, “OH, we just got some lunch and now we are going to go to Ben Franklin’s House.”  I see red.  I was emotionally drained from the service.  I. Lose. My. Shit.  
Silence. Hubs says “OK, ok, fine, we will not go downtown. When is First Born’s project due?”   I say that I am not sure, a week or two, and he starts asking, “Well, when is it, one or two weeks?  Will we have another day to go down there?”  I inform my husband that I can not pull this information out of my ass at this present moment and that I have now decided to go to my parent’s house for lunch.  He says “OK I gotta go.”  GOOD!  
I took deep breaths and then spent a nice lunch with my parents.  I went to my grandmother’s house, hung out with her, made her dinner and cleaned up.  I finally got home about 7:30pm.  A 9 hour day without children..... Wow, I needed that.  
When I pulled into the driveway, Hub jokingly runs out the door waving his arms like a maniac, thanking me for coming home. This instantly makes me smile and ooze love for him. (there are certain things that he does to make me laugh that get me.... and he knows this!) The kids are in bed, Little One is asleep.  First Born is drifting off.   He shows me the kids bikes and how they went to the bike shop to get 4 new hand grips and a new tire for Little One’s bike that used to be First Born’s.  They had a blast. The Hub was telling me about how everyone was in love with Little One in the bike shop.  Little One is very animated, speaks well and although he is going to be 4 he is still wearing size 2T clothes.  He is a little pip-squeak with huge blue eyes and a messy mop of hair.  You can’t help but fall in love with this kid.  The Hub did not get Little One to nap, but he fell asleep easily enough at 7pm.  I decided that I need to let the control go and we go to bed.  
Fresh start, new day, Saturday before Easter.  I need to chill and let go of some control.  The Hub, hates more than anything to have nothing to do.  He dislikes being around the house.  We settle on the local Children’s Museum.  We decide to take First Born’s best friend J with us.  J lives across the street.  He is a riot and a lot of fun to have around.  J and First Born would live in the same house if they could.  Whenever they are both home, they are together.  It is endearing and I love that kid.  He makes me laugh and is so kind to our Little One too.
All are having a blast at the museum and The Hub and I confer that we want to get something to eat, like a late lunch/early dinner.  I am psyched that we are both on the same page.  The Children’s Museum is on the waterfront with some decent waterfront restaurants that I am looking forward to trying out.   At one point in the Museum, it is about 2:30pm we split up, me with Little One and Hub with the big kids.  About 20 minutes goes by and I am assuming that we are going to wrap things up pretty soon and head to a restaurant.  I go to look for the Hub and find him and the two boys sitting in the Museum cafeteria.  First Born is eating a hotdog and J is eating a piece of pizza.  I am trying to restrain myself and I say to Hub, “I thought we were going to go out to eat?”  He says, defiantly “We are.”   This is interrupted by Little One who wants pizza a a juice too.  Grrrrrrrrrr.  I am thinking to myself.  ‘OK, self you have a couple of options.  You could do what you always do and take over the situation, control the rest of the day and everything that goes on from here on out.  OR you could try to remain calm and let your husband, who is a grown ass man, handle the day, just relax and go along for the ride.’  (this is my inner-monologue font, incase you are wondering)  Against my better judgement and more along the lines of trying to rise above my control issues, I choose the latter.  
We stay at the museum and let the kids leave when they are ready. Translation: we stay too long until meltdowns occur.  We then take a walk along the waterfront (with no set plan, just a walk... with 3 boys... near water.... and old diesel trains. God help me! ) At 5pm everyone is hungry again so we go to the restaurant.  The Hub is feeling pretty proud of himself now as I was “wrong” in my assumption that no one would want to eat.  Can you see my eyes rolling?  
During dinner as it is getting later, I quietly remind my husband that we still have to buy, hard boil, color and (after the kids are in bed) hide eggs.  He looks at me, shocked and says, “You don’t have any eggs ready?”  This man has seen me and what I have done for the last 3 days and none of it involved hard-boiling a dozen eggs.    Calmly I said “No”  Then, again trying to remain calm and not taking over, I say, “Maybe we can just hide the plastic eggs that we have and not worry about dying real ones.”  His eyes did all the talking for him.  His look was a combination of astonishment, shock and disappointment.  So that was not happening.  
Leave dinner at about 6:30...mad dash to the Giant...take J home...Hub gets the kids washed, teeth brushed, in jammies and back down stairs while I hard boil eggs and prepare the coffee cups of egg dye... dye the eggs...put the boys to bed. Done by 8pm.  Whew!  Then the Hubs informs me that my Easter Bunny duties were a failure.  Meaning I did not get enough candy.  See, they each get a basket of candy and get to hunt for eggs (real dyed ones) at my parent’s house in addition to our house.  So the amount of candy is already too much and we have not even started.  Hubs says he is going BACK to the Giant to get more stuff.  At this point I am beat.  I decided to go to bed.  HE can do the baskets. HE can hide the eggs.  Since I was not in control of this day, I refuse to rush around anymore, like a lunatic, trying to get everything done that -had I been in control- would have gotten done 4 hours before.  When the Hub gets home, he looks at me in bed and says, “C’mon, we’ve got work to do!” Oh, he had no idea how close he came to being seriously hurt.   After all is said and done, it looked wonderful.  He did a great job and the kids were thrilled.  The rest of our Easter day goes off without a hitch. (Since we spent it at my parent’s house and they are in control of everything.)  
Then comes Monday.  The Hub has been working at Citizens Bank Park (Phillies Ball Park for you non-locals) for his company.  -----Side Note: He has been working ri-goddamn-diculos hours on this project for well over 4 months. Minimum of 10 hour days but mostly 12-14 hour days.  It has taken it’s toll on him.  His work is physically and mentally demanding. He is eating horribly, not sleeping enough, stressed, and OCDing more than usual. -------- We are huge Philadelphia sports fans.  So when one of the electrical contractors on his job, had offered him tickets to the opening day Phillies game, (Monday after Easter) we were excited.  
But nothing is simple when it comes to Hub’s work.  He informs me that we need to be at the Ballpark by 10am so that he can get his work pass.  (this means he is working during the game, uuhhggg)  Then we need to meet the electrical contractor at the their  tailgating spot in the parking lot so we can get the tickets for me and the boys.  The game starts at 1:30.  We get into the park about an hour and a half early.  The seats are awesome.  The Hub has to run around the ballpark and work but said that since we got there so early we would probably leave by the 5th inning.  Long story short (TOO LATE!) We don’t get out of there until about an hour after the game is over..... rush-hour, exiting the city with 40,000 other pissed off Phillies fans.  (we lost) Uhhgggg 
I am trying this whole time to be calm, go along for the ride, search for the positive.  But after the weekend of crazy, I am not holding together very well.  All this being said, our children are exhausted, hungry, and did I say exhausted?  The HOUR and half ride to get out of there was brutal.  That was met with a 6:30pm major hunger for boys who usually eat dinner at 5:30.  I demand we stop at the first place we see, which is a place called Nifty Fifties.  A diner like place with a 50’s style theme and 50’s style calories to match.  After the boys bellies are filled, we had another HOUR ride home.  Half way home, I started to crack up.... laughing uncontrollably.  The Hub looks at me and says “UH OH!” I am obviously not stable.  
When we get home, I look at the clock and realize we were out of the house and fairly active for 12 hours straight.  I then inform The Hub that from now on, he may come up with the family activity idea but we will carry out the details of said activity according to MY detailed plans, because none of us can handle another weekend like this one.  Control issues be damned, I am good at it.  He is not.  Oh and was I wrong for letting him take control? YES. Will I be wrong again?  NO!  


Becky said...

It's hard to give up control. You know what though? Learning to do it was the best thing that ever happened to me. And probably to my family.

Momma O said...

Thanks Becky. You are right and I am working on it. I shall overcome! lol Thanks for reading and as always thanks for commenting!

Becky said...

It took me a serious health crisis that involved surgery and being out for more than a few weeks to discover that sometimes my husband was capable. As long as I left very detailed instructions of course.

Bethany said...

I have control issues. I reload the dishwasher "the right way" after my husband has already loaded it.