The Gender Dilemma of "Y’know?"

by doodaddy on May 7, 2007

Working Mom and I have this weird pattern: She’ll finish a sentence with “Y’know?” and I’ll stay silent.

The usual setup is when WM is looking for support for a choice she’s made. That’s all well and good, but sometimes the choice she presents is just sooooo trivial that I don’t — I can’t — have any opinion about it, none whatsoever.

WM: “I’m going to put her in a t-shirt instead of her pajamas tonight because it’s so hot. … Y’know?”


WM: “Or maybe I should put her in a onesie and stretch pants. Might be more comfortable … Y’know?”

More silence.

Why don’t I just answer her? “Yep, it’s hot,” something like that? There’s nothing wrong with being a supportive husband. On the other hand, a huge parenting skill is the “art of the impromptu decision.” I get lots of practice at that because I’m on my own all the time. (I was a teacher before, too, and I think there’s a similar principle at work with a class of kids: sometimes you just gotta punt.)

So behind the “What should the baby sleep in?” question are tons of “What-ifs”:

“Well, you could put her in either outfit, or even in her pajamas, but we’re not going to know which would work out the best until we see what happens with the temperature overnight, this being San Francisco and all, we might find that it stays hot all night, or the fog could roll in and it might get pretty cold, but in that case, Boobaby will wake up and tell us all about it, so we can pretty much do whatever feels right now and fix any problems that come up…”

You get the picture. I’ve got so much to say that if I said it, it would come out sounding like I have a strong opinion. Which I don’t.

WM seems to want me to approve of her choices. That sounds great — we parents need all the support we can get in our parenting decisions. But when we’re considering the really small decisions, there’s just no telling what’s right and what’s wrong.

The only wrong decision is to put off making a decision.

Say, by the way, I just set up an account at Minti — — a parenting advice site. Does anyone out here use it?

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in parenting,Working Mom ·

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue May 7, 2007 at 10:22 am

This is SO our world at the moment — the constant “what if” monologue in our heads about every little thing — but we end up voicing it out loud most of the time instead of keeping mum (er, mum and dad I mean). Adds to the exhaustion, doesn’t it? Found you recently via Aimee at Greeblemonkey.


Ann Marie May 7, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Mine is Ya know what I mean?
I have three added words.. it gives the reciever a little more time to look at me stupid.
Happy Teen Monther Boobaby!!!!!

I have been catching up today..

sorry the tummy was upset.. to be honest I do the same dang thing.


aimee/greeblemonkey May 7, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Better than the habit of one of my doctor’s – who ends her sentences with “and stuff.” Like… “we need to do surgery and stuff.”

(I promise, she is a *really* good doctor).


Sire May 8, 2007 at 12:53 am

It’s hard being a guy. A lot of the time you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Keeping mum, well I give you a 50/50 chance of getting it right.


doodaddy May 8, 2007 at 1:19 am

@Sue~ Glad you found me! I’m doing my best to keep that inner voice at bay… it’s challenging, though, since I kind of like the inner voice, it keeps me company!

@Ann Marie~ Yeah, it’s funny, isn’t it, how just when our bodies are *least* able to cope with junk food is just when we’re most likely to indulge.

Sigh. Your meatloaf and asparagus sounded great, by the way.

@aimee~ Your “and stuff” reminded me of a client I had once in my old working days — she had a verbal tic of saying “also too” all the time, pretty much in between every sentence. “Also too we need those reports. Also too our timeline has changed. Also too want some coffee? Also too with sugar?” It was *extremely* disconcerting — and there’s no way I’d take medical advice from someone like that!

@Sire~ Yeah, I suppose, although I’m not sure it’s such a “guy” thing in this case, so much as being the at-home parent… at least I choose to think so. I don’t typically like “typical guy” things…

Thanks, everyone, for your supportive comments…


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