Sunday, September 8, 2013

Husband Training

I’m not one to sit around and contemplate how Starling and I, as a couple, compare to other couples. It doesn’t take too much thought to recognize we are FAR from “normal.” But just how weird are we? I don’t know exactly. I’m so used to being me, it’s hard to find my actions abnormal. But yesterday, after the fact of course, I thought, “Yes. That was probably quite peculiar.”

I don’t know how other wives discipline/train/punish their husbands, or if they even do. Surely they do. How else do they get their way? But, as with every aspect of my life, I am a WEE bit unconventional. I choose to rule by fear. JUST with my husband. I have a list of Do’s and Don’ts a mile long. And Starling knows them quite well. I need only utter 3 little words to get him hoppin’ like a grasshopper. My magical phrase? “THAT’s A BOOGER.”

This will undoubtedly make you think less of me, but AGAIN, I don’t so much CARE. It works. (And I’m not bandaging a toe that ain’t broken).

Yesterday Starling decided he would purchase a vehicle to flip at 7 pm. (We’d just purchased one the day before).   I meekly and encouragingly rolled my eyes. I didn’t ASK for the specs on the vehicle, mainly because I couldn’t care LESS. BUT, as always, he feels the need to CONVINCE me to WANT to do something he’s going to do rather I like it or not. And I said as much.

“This looks like a good flip!” He said. And all I heard after that was, “New BLA, replaced BLA, something about BLA.” And my concrete expression of, “I.Don’t.Care.” only increased his desire to make this deal appealing. Which, I don’t know why. I’m not going to drive it. If it were for me I’d be all up in the business of getting informed. But, even then, all I need to know is, can it fit my ARMY of children? Does it RUN? Okay. And if one MUST get into specifics, what color is it?

But, none the less, he got carried away and then read further down on the listing to find the catch. (There is ALWAYS a catch). “Oh it overheats at umm… 80 mph.” I yawned. “Good thing you never HAVE to drive 80.”

Starling said, “Okay. Maybe it says 70mph.”

WELL. As in many households, exaggerating, lying, stretching the truth, withholding information, etc is STRICTLY forbidden. For Starling. And, everyone knows, at least everyone that had to learn about Pavlov and his salivating dog every year in Psychology, that consistent reinforcement of a particular cause and effect paired with a completely unrelated correlating factor, will undoubtedly create an associated effect TO the unrelated factor. PHEW! That’s a mouthful and probably makes about as much sense to you as psychology as a WHOLE to me. In BASIC terms, every time Starling does anything on my To Do or Do NOT list, I say the word “Booger” which strikes utter fear in him, because that word ALWAYS comes prior to me jumping on his back and sticking my finger in his mouth.

Now, Starling FIRMLY believes I am trying to stick an actual booger in his mouth. THAT’s the kind of wife I am. (Probably not a good thing). And he PROBABLY thinks that because I tell him that’s what I am doing. (Which is quite hypocritical. I’m lying to him to train him into submission because he had to truth check something I wasn’t even paying attention to or caring about. But, again… I stick with what works).

So, after Starling corrected himself, my eyebrows lifted (the first inclination that I was actually HEARING anything that he was saying). He immediately stood up. When I asked in my loving voice, “Did YOU just LIE to me?” He got into the running position. When I calmly, but resolutely stated, “That’s a Booger.” He took off through the living room, through our master bedroom, out the sliding glass doors, across the driveway, past our barn, onto our frontage lot where cars were passing by on Oak Grove Road.

 Where was I? On his heels.  He may be “faster” than me, but NOONE is more determined than I am to be consistent with my discipline. (AND I’m not wasting all my breath cackling with laughter like HIM).

Meanwhile, a shirtless, giggling Brooklyn with a pink tutu comes barreling around the corner. (She was mid wardrobe change for the 14th time that day when she heard the commotion). She was followed by a bouncing Brighton in nothing but his big boy monster truck undies. (Clothing is optional at my house, so usually no one gets dressed. Besides Brooklyn, of course, that makes it a personal goal to wear her everything in her closet EVERY day).

“I LOVE playing TAG as a happy family!” Brooklyn yelled as she chased after me, chasing after Starling. Brighton, having NO clue what the point of the game was, ran in circles, fell down, laughed hysterically, and ran again. (I can ONLY imagine what passing cars thought. One of Starling’s clients called and said he was going to stop by but it looked like we had a LOT of PEOPLE at our house. And didn’t mention that he thought most must have escaped from the loony bin).  

I hid behind a giant bush-tree and TOLD Eric, who never misses a spectator sport, to SHH, but he told Starling to run. (He’ll get what’s coming to him. Don’t you even worry about that). Eventually, I wore Starling down enough for him to stop and look around for me. That’s when I pounced on his back. He COULD just keep his mouth closed to keep my finger from penetrating his lips, or AT LEAST his teeth, but Starling gets so tickled he can’t keep his mouth closed, which makes it quite simple to get a finger jab in there, which I did, which made him all but wheeze with laughter, all the while sputtering like a drowned cat and gagging. Granted there was nothing ON my finger, but his BELIEF that there was, was enough.     

 And to top off the weird factor, how many couples find joy in photo texting each other from across the room just to see who can make the other one laugh harder? I always win. But that’s because I’m more creative. (And because Starling laughs about anything even remotely humorous or NOT humorous). When Starling was taking too long negotiating on the phone I sent him a video of me giving him “the look” followed by a picture of me pointing to my nose. I knew he got it when he burst out laughing. Ahhh… It’s important to laugh around here. For sanity’s sake.

In between our squeamish fun, I got peed on, puked on, and chomped on. I’m trying to wean Boeing (but not VERY hard. My doctor told me to wean him because I weighed 108 on her scale this week and the last time I was there I weighed 124. Never mind that the last time she saw me was 6 weeks after I had my baby. She said Boeing is draining all my nutrients and yata yata. And Starling says she’s right because I look like a noodle with a head. And the Lasik doctor said I have to be DONE nursing to get my eyes done AND wait a year to get pregnant. And I feel like I’m backed into a corner on getting this dude weaned and I can’t seem to remember how I weaned my last two). Anyway- I’m trying to wean Boeing, potty train Brighton, all the while taking antibiotics for my throat. I hope the antibiotics ward off the inevitable mastitis that is sure to arise. Most of the day, I just want to scream. So intermixing “tag with our happy family” is nice. I need to sleep a month to recuperate, but that’s beside the point.    

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