Last night I sent my wife out shopping. She needed a break and I was happy to do it. However, toward the end of the evening things got rough. We’ve had sick kids, and last night they were all feeling pretty rough. I was trying to balance the needs of 5 boys when the baby got a stinky diaper. I went to change him and discovered that he had a very bad rash. The diaper was ugly, stuff coming out the sides and back, etc. All the while I’m messing with the baby, my broken legged boy is needing to be moved, the other kids are fighting, so things are pretty hectic. My wife picked this time to call.
My son brought me the phone. I was trying to keep the baby from rolling over and spreading ‘stuff’ all over the place, and fiddling with the wipes and dirty diaper.
“I can’t talk right now,” I told my son. He turned around and left, passing the message onto my wife. 5 seconds later he comes back in.
“Mom wants to know if you want the white sprinkler, or the beige sprinkler.”
I was at the end of my rope. My first instinct was to grab the phone and yell, “I’m a guy, to me white and beige are the same color! In fact, I don’t even know for sure what color beige is! Why are you bothering me with this!”
But in the 11 years of marriage, I don’t think I’ve ever yelled at my wife, so I said, “Tell her I’m fine with either one.” He passed on the message, and luckily didn’t mention that I had said those words through gritted teeth, with my brow furrowed.
Well, when my wife came home, I found out that the messenger (my son) had messed things up. She was calling to find out if I wanted a spiked sprinkler, or a base sprinkler. We had a good chuckle. In the back of my mind I made a mental note that any time I feel like yelling, I should probably take a step back. It’s never quite what you think. We’ll remember last night because it’s funny, not because feelings were hurt.