Saturday, August 27, 2011

Things My Wife Complains About #19: My Complaining

The other day my wife, without the faintest sense of self-awareness, said she was so tired of hearing me complain. This would be a little like Ahab telling his wife he's tired of her obsessing.

Understand that we carefully worked out a system, which neither of us follow, where she's free to complain, so long as she doesn't complain about me. In this instance, I was boldly complaining about some complaint that wasn't specific to me, though here my wife and I enter into philosophical disagreement. Consider the following statement:

"I can't believe you didn't make two bottles!"

To my wife, this isn't a complaint about me. It's an observation, or perhaps an expression of surprise. Possibly, it's a complaint about the nature of bottle making. When I point out that she asked me to make "a bottle," I'm accused of complaining about her complaining. Then my meta-complaint is met by the following question:

"Do we even have the same son?"

This is also not a complaint. It's an honest inquiry, or maybe a meditation on experience versus reality. At worst, it's a bit of humor designed to defuse the high-stakes game of bottle preparation. My wife stocks bottles of formula like she's preparing for Simulac armageddon. When I watch James, I only make a bottle if he's hungry, a practice so barbarous it's a wonder social services allow me to live at home.

At this point, I'm done meta-complaining. I say that, to the best of my knowledge, we do have the same son, who immediately commences screaming for seven thousand hours.

Possible Solutions!
1) Complain about her complaining about my complaining about her complaining
2) Insert James into the middle of the complaints, assuring he grows up to resent us both
3) Vow of silence (hard)

James at 15 weeks + 6 days 2011


Cory said...

Is the caption for this photo: "James quibbles with Kevin's use of the subjunctive."?

kclou said...

James only communicates in the imperative mood

JDStern said...

You guys have to quit making parenthood look easy and idylic.

kclou said...

Real quote from my wife this morning: "It wasn't complaining; it was grumping."

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