Bear and I are lucky enough that we get weekends with our kids at the same time. He has a son and I have an Abe, so when we are all together it’s a lot of…boys.
My cooking skills and planning skills are truly put to the test on these weekends. If it were up to them, they’d sit on the couch watching movies, football, and probably a few episodes of Say Yes to the Dress (j/k, I was wondering who was paying attention) while eating out of the pizza box from last night’s order that’s been on the coffee table for more than 12 hours. They’re not animals. They’re not jerks. They’re just…BOYS spending a weekend hanging out. No rules. No concerns.
So, to get them up and moving, I plan trips to the zoo, lunches out with this week’s circular coupons to local restaurants, trips to the park, make-your-own-taco night, you name it. I am a Weekend Planner when we’re all together. Usually by Sunday evening they’re all so sick of following the schedule they probably want to poke holes in my tires, but they smile and say thank you.
Until Sunday night.
After a long day together, a few tantrums (those were Abe’s, not mine), and a meal in public without the iPad (“No iPad? This is terrible news,” Bear said upon entering the restaurant), I stood up from the couch to clean the kitchen.
“I got it,” Bear said. I didn’t even turn around. I assumed he was speaking to someone who was throwing him a football or perhaps to the piece of pepperoni that fell on the floor. I kept walking. “Babe. Go lay down. I got the kitchen.”
Now, Bear is an INCREDIBLE boyfriend. He shows up in every situation to make me feel loved and cherished. But this…this was like foreplay I’d never experienced before.
“Seriously? You’re going to clean the kitchen?”
“Yep! We got it! You go relax.”
I’m not lying. I’m not EVEN lying. He said this to me. And then I went and laid down. And I HEARD him in the kitchen doing things with dishes so I knew he actually went in to the kitchen after he said that to me.
And I went to sleep. It was amazing.
We all woke up in a tizzy the next morning (and by “we” I mean Bear, followed by his son, followed LONG after by Abe and me…we got the “sleep in” gene). I rushed to get dressed so I could get some breakfast out before everyone had to split. And as I walked into the kitchen…I saw it.
Pots. Pots everywhere.
“I didn’t really clean it like you clean it. But I unloaded and re-loaded the dishwasher,” Bear said pouring his coffee and smiling sheepishly.
Upon closer inspection, I realized the counters were not wiped down. The stove wasn’t tended to. The floors were not swept. This. This was not a kitchen that had been “gotten.”
“That’s okay,” I smiled.
I mean, how am I supposed to feel about this?!
It took me a full day to process my feelings (after washing the pots and pans, wiping down the counters and the stove, and sweeping the floors, of course). Bear says in general I need to relax and go with the flow a little better. He’s right. He’s damn right. But about this? I mean, really, ABOUT THIS TOO?! You said you “got” the kitchen and the kitchen was not “GOT” when I walked in. Do I just chalk it up to my boyfriend being a huge liar and move on with life!? BECAUSE THIS WAS A HUGE LIE!
Alright. I’m exaggerating. But truth be told this stupid little experience really did teach me some things:
1. Bear would do anything to make me happy. He might not do things the way I would do them, but he would do them if he thought it helped.
2. When the pots aren’t washed, counters aren’t wiped, and floors aren’t swept…it IS in fact possible for me to go to sleep.
3. Kitchens clean up the same way the morning after dinner as the evening OF dinner.
4. I should probably relax and go with the flow a little bit better.
5. I’m more of a control-freak than I thought.
Anyway. I’m incredibly grateful to have the life that I have with the man in it who supports me like crazy. I’m also incredibly grateful that he teaches me how to be better, both by communicating with me (he’s RIL good at that) and also by bringing my issues out into the light so I can actually SEE myself (by doing things like cleaning the kitchen the way HE cleans it). I suppose any good relationship does this: forces you in front of a mirror to take a good hard look at your particular brand of crazy. Without it, we all hang out being the same people forever and, frankly, now that I’m realizing what a control-freak I am, I don’t really want to be that anymore. And I’d have been really sad if I looked back later and realized no one ever mentioned to me what a control-freak I’ve been.
All that being said, the kitchen is cleaned to standard this evening. So, I can go to bed.