This ought to be a good thing. But it's not.
I imagine that many of you moms out there can identify with this problem. I am, by far, the primary caregiver of our child. I do pretty much everything. We get along fine this way. But periodically, Jimmy will decide, usually in the summer when he doesn't have as much work, that he wants to step up and take a greater interest in the care and feeding of our son. And, of course, is a big fat pain in the butt.
I guess I should say that I don't mind the help. In fact, I would love to have the help ALL the time, not just when it suits Jimmy. The problem is that Jude and I have our thing worked out, everything runs smoothly, and the last thing we need is Jimmy jumping in and trying to reinvent the wheel.
This is all further exasperated by something innate in Jimmy's family which my sister-in-law Niki has dubbed the family "Complication Factor". Any simple, logical task at hand must be worried and fretted and rethought until it becomes complicated and difficult. And then, because Jimmy is Mommy's son, the complicated and difficult version of the task must be obsessed over until everyone is driven crazy and gives in to the insanity just to maintain the peace.
Case in Point #1: The Breakfast -
I have made Jude breakfast every single morning for the past 10 years. It usually consists of a protein (bacon, turkey bacon, chicken breakfast sausages), some fruit (cantaloupe, apples, grapes) and some kind of bready food (cereal, the not-bad-for-you Poptarts from Trader Joe's, a muffin, cinnamon toast). It's easy and he gets the nutrition he needs for the day.
But Jimmy has suddenly decided (I think he saw something on that damned Today Show, the source of MUCH of Mommy's worries and obsessions) that "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" and that Jude isn't eating enough. Believe me, he is, but...no matter.
Jimmy has decided that the perfect, more filling breakfast food for the boy is...a quesadilla. Where he got this notion, I don't know. Except that it is one of the only things Jimmy knows how to prepare.
Unfortunately, it's also my favorite go-to lunch food for the kid, but if Jimmy's making him a quesadilla for breakfast, I can't make him one for lunch. Grrrrrr.
So now, it's become a race to see who can be the first to get up and make the boy breakfast every morning. And believe me, I'd rather be taking advantage of this summer thing to sleep in every day.
The problem isn't that a quesadilla isn't a fine thing for Jude to eat for breakfast, it's more that Jimmy is suddenly criticizing the perfectly healthful and hearty breakfast I've been feeding the kid for 10 years!
Case in Point #2: The Hair -
Many of you may remember the ongoing problem of Jude's swimmers hair. As a result of that post, and the advice given my many of you, I purchased Jude a chlorine-removal shampoo and a leave-in conditioner, which help quite a bit. When Jude uses them correctly. Which is where Jimmy has stepped in.
He's driving the boy crazy. Constantly with the hair. "Did you put in the stuff?" "Did you brush it? You've gotta brush it!" Jude has actually started taking his shower and running as fast as he can into the bedroom to avoid Jimmy's questions and rethinking. "I'm good! It's good! I'm fine!" the boy shouts as he runs down the hallway.
Jimmy went to the beauty supply store just to buy Jude a special "wet brush", which is actually genuinely helpful. But now, he has taken it upon himself to try to brush and blowdry the boys hair himself. Which is a problem, because every time Jimmy blowdries Jude's hair, he ends up looking like a 1970's Disco King, which is the only style Jimmy knows how to achieve with a blowdryer. The poor kid is miserable.
Case in Point #3: The Jug -
When Jimmy picked Jude up from Junior Lifeguards a couple of weeks ago, he noticed that one of the other kids had a Thermos water bottle which kept their water cold. The kids are all asked to bring water and a snack with them every day. I always just fill a water bottle with cold water for him. Sometimes, I'll stick his water bottle in the freezer, then the frozen bottle melts as the day goes on. But I often forget to freeze it the night before. It's fine. If y'all haven't figured this out already, Jude is as low-maintenance as Jimmy is high-maintenance. The kid doesn't care if his water is cold. He really doesn't. He's easy.
Jimmy, however, became completely obsessed with this Thermos water bottle thingy, which he kept referring to as "The Jug". "We gotta get him that jug!" And of course by "we" he meant "me". He even asked the mom of the kid with "the jug" where they got it, and then continued to HARP on "our" need to go to the Smart and Final store and get "the jug". He was driving me insane.
So finally, on Monday, I went to the stupid Smart and Final and purchased this...
...just to shut him up.
Actually, the jug is pretty cool. Water spout. Shoulder-strap. I took this picture and texted it to Jimmy. To which he answered "That just made my day. I can relax now." Uh-huh. Sure.
Let's hope the kid doesn't lose it before Friday.
So what should I do? Try to gracefully accept Jimmy's "help" until he gets busy again and stops paying attention?
Yeah, that's what I should do, I know.
But it just makes me crazy!
I must let go. Anybody have any advice?