the last stand-off

Last night, Henry and I faced our last stand-off of the decade. At least, I hope.

Since our trip to Florida was postponed, Henry went to work yesterday. Although I believe most of his mental energy was spent on gathering enough receipts to reclaim the money in his flex spending account. By the time the evening had drawn to a close, I was completely exhausted by the compounding of issues, from everything from Overnightprint’s failure to live up to its name to the day’s purchase of our latest baby gear. We were both working non-stop from the time he arrived home and it was now 11 pm. And I finally had it. Enough. To the couch.

Sorry for the un-pc term of Indian arm burns, but not even those childhood antics would make him budge. I did break into laughter a few times, but I was serious. I wanted him on the couch. Henry knows that he can needle and pester and annoy me a LOOOOONG way and then I am super hot. FIRE ENGINE RED!!! hot.

Eventually I always cave. Once my words of fury are out, they have long left my mind. Which is the exact opposite of Henry, who will bury them away to save for next week’s argument. I have frequently told him to hold on tight to those fights and let them harden his heart, because that will just give me more time to date in the rest home.

So last night, unable to scream at the top of my lungs in fear of waking Lucy, I discovered a defense I am regretting now as I type this with burning, sleep-deprived eyes. “I have nowhere to be today. It is icy and we have our groceries. I can stay up all night long if I like.” So I marched to our second bathroom, aka our garage, with Henry hot on my trail. “What are you doing? Where are you going?” I reached down underneath the stroller and pulled out every single one of my library books that I had picked up at the library that day. All 13 of them, with more than half filled with embroidery techniques from the Seventies.

I marched back to bed dropping the load square in the center and plopped down. I looked at him and said, “I am having a library book stand-off. I am looking at every one of my library books before I go to bed. I have no where to be tomorrow and I can stay up ALL. NIGHT. LONG.”

And with that clear defeat, he grabbed his pillows and headed to the couch.

Within an hour, I had reviewed all of the embroidery techniques and decided which ones I wanted to keep a little longer and those that could be returned today. Plus I was a lot calmer and can’t even remember what exactly he was nagging me about. So I was back out in the living room with a request for an apology. Then I told him that he could return to bed.

This morning, instead of being angry from the night before, he woke up singing about the library book stand-off. This little weapon of non-violence is a freebie in hopes of ending all arguments in a more peaceful way. I think that Henry was shocked and amused. Plus I gave him just that much less reason to be mad at me. Instead of letting my mouth take over, I got some free time to cool off and do exactly what I wanted. Look at my library books. Clever, I tell ya! Although I am not sure if it will work next time. Hmmmm… But another great reason to frequent the library. Just in case.

Thanks for a great decade, Henry. It was great spending every minute with you. Even our worst arguments were never quite that bad.

Here’s to a fresh start in 2010. Much love… xoxoxo

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1 Comment

  1. the Rab

    I will remember this one. Great story Caroline.

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