Friday, June 10, 2005

Beauty and the Beast

So around 5am, after changing the baby and passing him to me to feed, Matt went off to get dressed. I was sitting up in bed, eyes closed, trying to sleep as I nursed. I get no sleep so I'll try to catch a nap when I can. Matt comes back in and says, "Uhhh, did you... uhhh do you... oh nevermind." I know he was wanting to ask about the pants but probably seeing me nursing the baby while trying to sleep sitting up, he weighed the value of asking the question and decided against it. Besides, I think he knows the answer but Matt is the type of guy who in the morning realizes that his sleepy evening self did me wrong. This makes him more willing to accept his punishment in return for the unsaid argument just being over. So as we were both satisfied, it was.

I have a history of doing odd things like this for revenge now and then. But too much revenge would be a very bad thing. It must be sporadic and odd and at a matching level. Janie doesn't know about these little things (couldn't know), but I don't know if that way of thinking is learned or just genetic. The other night Janie got mad at Matt. He told her to put away her toys or he would put them away in the garage. She then told him that if he did, when he was at work she would get some of his underwear and throw them away. He looked at me as this was my fault, and I tried to hide my smirking as I told her that we don't throw each other's underwear away, put your toys away. Is it my fault? I think as she matures she will learn not to warn what she will do, just do it. At least that's what I do.

On another subject, yesterday Janie had a big dentist appointment. I had to hold her while the anesthesiologist put her under. I can only describe it as feeling as if I was helping them suffocate my kid. She fought as I held her, then gave up and whined a little until she was out. It was probably a quick 10 count, but it felt much longer. After she was out, they laid her on the table and as I walked out I looked back and saw them taping her eyes shut. I could have gone my whole life without seeing that. I hope that section of my memory is erased and written over by something more positive. I still have that picture in my mind and it really bothers me.

I don't think I could have held her without crying except for all I'd recently been through with Jack. I've been desensitized. She was out maybe 20-30 minutes for her crown and fillings, which compared to his 3 surgeries was a flash. When she woke up she was really upset. Matt carried her out to the van, and after we got home he laid her on the couch. I put on Beauty and the Beast and got her some juice. For the next hour she cried and complained while Jack also cried (because he cries a lot), and since Matt went back to work, it was all on me, a woman with very little sleep and on a diet. Somewhere there was someone having my opposite life; laying on a beach with only the sound of the waves, slightly drunk, and looking forward to an evening out of fine dining, dancing and great sex. I hope she got sunburnt.

So watching Beauty and the Beast, I came to the conclusion that it is not a good story for children. The heroine Belle starts off great with her love of books and spurning the opportunity to marry the town stud to spew out his 12 strapping boys. She wants something more. Good. On the way to a fair, her father gets lost and ends up at the Beast's castle. Beast discovers him there and locks him up. Belle rushs to her father's side and takes his place. (Sure he's sickly, but what father would let his daughter take his place in the dungeon of a Beast's castle?) Anyway, Beast is a beast in not just looks. He's mean and gruff to everyone and everything (which in this case means the same thing but you'll have to see the movie to know what I mean. Basically his servants have become objects literally and figuratively). While living with him, she believes that she can find the nice guy within him. While he looks like beast and acts horribly mean, deep inside he's really kind. Only she can see it. Eventually, he does turn back into a prince because she falls in love with him.

Many things wrong with this. It's like grooming young girls to think that men who are mean are really nice inside. If only they were loved they would turn from a beast into a prince. Be forgiving when they are mean because really they are so sweet deep inside. Try harder and you'll reach that prince inside. Right? Wrong! If a guy is a beast to you, he is really a beast and always will be one.

Of course he was turned into a beast by a witch - I think must be how he refers to his ex-girlfriend because we all know it's a woman's fault. And after he turns into a prince I'm sure that we're supposed to believe that he will never be mean again. And living with him in this isolated castle is what we're supposed to accept was the better life that Belle was wishing for back at the beginning of the story. Forgive me if it all makes me a bit ill.

A lot of fairy tales are like this. They present horrible models to young girls. And my daughter LOVES them. She wants to be a princess, mainly for the dresses and dancing and castle-living, and I try my best to tell her she can have all of that and a career too.

Now I'm not telling you this story of Beauty and the Beast to wrap up my discussion of myself and my husband. He's not a beast, really. He's actually a very good guy, he's just terrible at household chores. And I've tried training him and have made some progress, but there's still miles to go. It's really the only thing we've fought about continuously for all these years. We've tried chore lists and nagging and messiness, but in the end the best thing has been our cleaning ladies. The division of labor on cleaning is still hugely uneven, but having their help has improved many things. That and an occasional dirty deed as teaching tool.

Jack is sleeping (he sleeps well during the day) but I've got to wake him up so that we can go for a walk. Today is the last day of my maternity leave and I don't want to spend it indoors. Besides, maybe if he doesn't sleep so well during the day he can sleep better at night. Is that mean?

(p.s. Would it be wrong if I started referring to my kids Colon and Semi-Colon? Just wondering.)


Blogger chris said...

The colon thing? That's just wrong. But also very funny.

I think you need to get your blankie and take a nap. You certainly deserve it.

And I really do hope that woman got a sunburn.

BTW, whatever happened to your sister and The Doctor?

Take care.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

That last line? Hilarious! (I'm not sure I've commented, but I've been reading since your son was about to be born.)

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Kim said...

I like the names. They made me laugh outloud. I am glad everything is coming together for your family.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I am so glad you can still have a WICKED sense of humor. I'm still chuckling.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Meh said...

Hahaha! V v funny.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous lisa said...

Salon piece on the princess thing. Apparently ALL little girls go through that.

And when Janie's a teenager will you call her Period? ;) Hope she feels better- I hate the dentist too.

12:32 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...

You're hysterical, and so is Lisa!

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Janice said...

Pazel, how did your first day back to work go?

Lisa (above commenter), I just spit my drink across the room. V. funny!

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This ain't in the same league, but when I was last going to the dentist every week (ouch), they had some kind of purple rubber gunk that sets to take a mould of my mouth, and it got all through my moustache. It set. It took an age of private pain to pick it out in small pieces. I mean, I know you had kids... this hurts too. ;-)

Later they had to do it over. I insisted they had to find tape to cover the 'tache first.

So I guess I wish I had your dentist.

I also should have gone in earlier for a check, so I encourage you to do everything you can to encourage your kids take a responsible attitude to dentistry as well as oral hygiene. Having said that... did I miscount Janie's age? Surely these are the teeth that she isn't going to keep for long anyway, how much fixing do they need?

7:13 AM  
Blogger Jack Naka said...

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about beauty salon minneapolis. It pretty much covers beauty salon minneapolis related stuff.

4:43 PM  

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