Saturday, December 31, 2011

Whee, that's fun. NOW STOP THAT.

I was thinking today about how confusing life must be for toddlers.  As a parent, I spend half my time encouraging my son to play with stuff and throw stuff and eat stuff, and the other half trying to get him to not play with stuff or throw stuff or eat stuff.  How much can an 18 month old really understand about that?  This cookie is delicious, but no to the unidentifiable thing I found on the carpet?  Yes, let's play catch with this ball, but no, I can't chuck around rocks from the driveway?  Yes to this fun blinky toy but no to Mom's much more fun blinky iPhone?

I concluded at times he must just think I'm a colossal asshole.  But he's getting to the point where he can communicate, and that has been pretty fun.  I always try not to rush development, ever since I kept saying "When is he going to crawl?"  and then he did and I've spent the time since then chasing him and remembering fondly when he was immobile.

But the language thing is good, because he can finally tell me what he wants.  Generally it's a snack.  Sometimes it's Dad.  Sometimes it's a long string of things that I can't really understand.  But he's sitting there playing with his toys and having a conversation that he certainly understands, and I am kind of anxious to find out what it's all about.

He also busted out his first curse word, which I was less proud of, though he used it appropriately.  He turned too quickly and tripped over the dog, and said "DAMMIT" in a tone identical to his father.  (Seriously the delivery was identical, he can't even try to blame me).  I glared at Ben, who made a credible attempt to blend into the couch like a chameleon.  Such a proud moment.

I'm also about to be an aunt again, which is really exciting, and from hearing my brother talk, one more little one won't be too far away.  My mom and I had to laugh when he said they were going to "start trying" in the spring.  In my family, there really isn't any "try".  For the most part, that's one medical problem we don't run into.  We have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines, and premature gray hair on our genetically unavoidable giant domes, but fertility is not an issue.  Pretty much as soon as you say "we're going to try" and then get within two feet of your partner's genitals, congratulations, in forty weeks you're going to be a parent.  My ladyparts are completely scarred and broken and it still only took us one try, my dad is one of nine and I'm sure that number would have been higher, but my grandfather died.

So it looks to be an exciting new year.  I will continue with the resolutions I've already started-healthier living to try to avoid the above-mentioned genetic problems so I can be around to laugh when Henry's kids say dammit for the first time.  Happy New Year to all-I hope this is a great one.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

WARNING-this post also contains stuff about sex, so don't read it if you're under 18 or related to me END WARNING.

I've figured it out.  After five and a half years, some of them difficult, some of them great, I have worked out what makes life easier and marital relations run smoothly, 99% of the time.

And it's having lots of sex.

That seems to be the first thing to go when you get too busy and you're working and/or have kids or just have a lot of stress in your life.  In my brief surveys on the topic, I find that women are more likely to hold back than men are.  This may be because women need to feel some emotional connection, and that needs to be a good emotion.  Men don't seem to have that need as much.  You could probably cut off your partner's toe, admit that you did it on purpose, then say "So, you want to go at it?" and he'd say "Sure, let me cauterize this thing and get my pants off."

I guess I can give credit to (or blame) these Dan Savage podcasts for my change in thinking.  He made me realize how important that connection with your partner is.  I mean, if you're not having sex you might as well just be roommates.  And lack of it makes people crabby.  Unless you're in one of those crazy swinging non-monogamous relationships (and good luck with that if you are, but hell if I'M shaving my legs for more than one guy) then it's something you share exclusively with your partner, and you need to remember how special it is.

So even if you don't really feel like it, get in there.  I've found that it doesn't take long to change your mind, even if your thought right now is "He hasn't done dishes or bathed the kids in three weeks, he can go fuck himself, and so can you, for giving me this advice."

But here's the secret-a guy getting a lot of sex will do ANYTHING to keep getting a lot of sex.  So if your sex life has been kind of slow, and it picks back up in a major way, you will both be in a better mood, and he will start doing the dishes.  He will start doing anything you want just to keep that door open.  The secret has been in our pants this whole time!

And I won't get too graphic here but ever since I embarked on this plan, I have a happier husband, a happier me, I've had dishes done, and the other day when I was heading downstairs with a basket full of laundry, he said "Allow me, my lady" and took it down and started it for me.  You get to enjoy yourself, AND chores get done!  (If you don't enjoy sex with your partner, I'm not really qualified to advise you on that.  Come to think of it, I'm not really qualified to advise you on anything.)

So give it a shot and see if it doesn't work.  And guys, if your wife/girlfriend reads this and you reap the benefits, I DO have an amazon wishlist if you want to thank me.