I relinquish my role as Primary Kid Wrangler to my husband after dinner. The exceptions being those I-can’t-take-it-anymore days when I am desperate to punch the proverbial time card the moment he sets foot in the house and those nights he is working late, has a meeting, or is going out with his Peeps. Most nights, though, our deal is: I clean up the kitchen and he cleans up the kids.
We’ve never talked about this division of work. It happened organically, and over time, it became our pattern. I am happy with this arrangement (he might not be but I’m not asking) and on those nights I am required to pull double duty, I am reminded how lucky I am that he is an involved parent.
But, as in most things, we do things differently.
“Mommy,” said Henry, splashing in his bath. “We thkip da shampoo tonight?”
“What? No. We have to wash your hair.”
His scowl matched his displeased mutter. “Daddy doeth.”
He pointed at the plastic rinse cup on the opposite side of the tub. “I’m thirthty. Gimme dat.”
“So you can, what? Drink the bathwater? No.”
I raised an eyebrow and stared him down (this is easy to do when you have a 30 year advantage).
He glared at me. “Daddy doeth.”
I attempted to wash the grime from his ears. “Are you growing cabbages in there?”
“No, Mommy, don’t!” he screamed. “Daddy doethn’t do dat!” He thrashed from side to side trying to escape the dreaded washcloth. By the time bath time was over, I was soaked and the bathroom floor was dotted with flotsam from our battle. We both wished that his father was there.
He had one last question for me while I was drying him off. “Mommy? Can you thtand up and pee?”
He smirked. “Daddy doeth.”