It sounds really morbid, but sometimes I force myself to think about what my life would be like if Ryan weren’t around (I never claimed to be an optimist). For instance, whenever I’m trying to open a really stubborn jar, I put all my might into it and focus my thoughts into remembering that one day I won’t have my man around to do such tasks for me. I still usually can’t get the lid off and have to ask Ryan for help, but whatever.
The other day, Ryan really was not feeling well and decided to go to the doctor. This is pretty uncommon for him, and I have to admit that it scared me. The whole time he was at the doctor, and I was waiting for him to call with an update, I let my mind wander to that horrifically dark place: what if he gets terrible news? What if I become a widow? What would I do? I came to the conclusion that I would have to get re-married. Is that awful? I simply decided that I have to have a man in my life. I hope I’m not making feminists everywhere shudder. I enjoy the companionship of a man. I feel like Silas needs a man in his life. And, let’s face it, sometimes having a man in the house is just plain useful. (Ryan’s checkup turned out fine, by the way, and I did confess to him the morbid Husband #2 conclusion I’d come to.)
With all of these things weighing on my mind, I got to put them to the test last night. Ryan was gone to a coaching meeting, and I had put Silas to bed by myself. As soon as he hit the mattress he started crying. And crying. And crying. This is pretty abnormal for him, so I tried to just let him cry it out for a bit. Finally when I could not take any more and had convinced myself he was teething, I grabbed some Ibuprofen and headed into his room. There I discovered that his beloved Scout puppy had stopped working.
Now, let me interrupt this tale to say that if you had asked me prior to giving birth to Silas whether or not I would interrupt bedtime and risk causing chaos over a stuffed dog’s dead batteries, I would have wholeheartedly told you, “NO. He can just tough it out. He’ll get over it. It’s just a stuffed dog.” But when your child is strangely attached to the psycho-stalkerish canine and won’t stop crying and maybe just maybe he is crying because he needs His Pal Scout, you’ll pretty much do anything.
So I got Silas and Scout out of bed, put them on the couch, ordered them to stay put, and went in search of batteries and Ryan’s toolbox in order to perform surgery. Just call me Doc McStuffins. This should be a no-brainer, right? Wrong, of course, because I have the wrong anatomical parts to be messing with a toolbox. I thought I had the right screwdriver. Wrong. I tried again. Still wrong. Kept looking and trying. How many different kinds and sizes of screwdrivers does one person need, anyway? Silas watched me with curious interest, occasionally picking up Scout and pressing the hearts on his tummy, then looking confused when nothing happened, as if to say, “Mom? Have you forgotten what we’re trying to do here?”
Finally I remembered that we had a small set of screwdrivers in the junk drawer that maybe, just maybe, would work on Scout’s little back screw. Success! I found one that worked, unscrewed it, replaced the batteries, and got that puppy working again. I then put Silas back to bed, where he continued to cry on and off all. night. long. making me wonder for the millionth time if I am cut out for this parenting gig, but that’s another, more serious post I suppose.
The point is, I did it. I took control of a situation which typically I would consider “man work,” and I owned it. But I have to admit that Silas’ wide-eyed looks while I tried screwdriver after screwdriver kind of made me feel like he knew Daddy should be the one doing this. And I can’t really disagree with him. When it comes right down to it, I need a man around here. It’s best for everybody.