Do you ever have one of those little misunderstandings happen where you really want to just call up a girlfriend, vent for a minute, and then let all the steam go?
Well, I can’t “call up my girlfriend” because I can’t even call her a “girlfriend.” It means something quite different when moms use that word with each other — “You go, GIRLFRIEND!” — and I have no equivalent way to describe the acquaintances and friends I make at the park, most of whom, yes, are female.
As usual, it all started with something stupid. We got a new garage door opener, so when Working Mom came home to take over with Boobaby I set it up and went downstairs to make sure it worked.
“I’m going to run down and check the new garage door opener,” I called. We’re on the second floor. In my head, I meant to imply “So the stair gate will be open for a few seconds,” but the message did not get across. When I came back upstairs, WM snarked that I hadn’t closed the gate and thereby put Boo at risk, I snarked back something about how it would be nice if she could keep an eye on her for five seconds. You know, the usual yadda yadda, this is how wars get started.
No big deal, and we’ll make up. I should have been more explicit, I should have just closed the thing in the first place. Maybe WM should have been more attentive. We’ll both be clearer and nicer to each other in the future. Good conflict resolution.
I’d really love it, though, if I also call up my Park Buddy and go for a glass of wine or a coffee, you know — get out of the house for a minute or two.
But she’s a girl and I’m a boy, as they say. So that would be weird. Even though it wouldn’t need to be, and there’s nothing and no intent between us, I still think that would be just uncomfortable for our spouses.
Here’s another one of those points of asymmetry between stay-at-home dad families and stay-at-home mom families, I guess.