DH (that’s Dear Husband) and I have a long-standing conversation about “bad guys” and “good guys.” It’s always the same conversation: we both believe in the underdog, we both enjoy being the “good guy” and helping others whenever we can, and we both think that bullies totally suck.
This conversation changed a bit once we had Pineapple. And now that she’s a toddler – and at a stage where she understands “*no*” and “*I said,* *no touch, please*” and “DON’T TOUCH IT!” – the rules have changed.
You see, often times I feel like *I’m* the “bad guy.” I’m the bully that won’t let Pineapple put that rock in her mouth or eat the dog food. I’m the “bad guy” who won’t let Pineapple touch that nasty neighborhood cat who most likely has some sort of skin condition…probably.
And why is that? Because I’m more vigilant and more conscientious and more cautious and I’ve come to realize that I probably say “DON’T TOUCH IT” to my 30+ year old husband just as often as I say it to the 1.5 year old toddler. I feel like my life is spent running behind my daughter, constantly instructing her on safe ways to play as well as guiding her in which things belong in her mouth (very few) and those that don’t (the majority of all items on the planet).
Although I don’t have to be quite so vigilant with my husband, he does have a tendency to do things that are surprising for someone who should “know better.” Given this reality, I HAVE to be the “bad guy”…which I now come to realize means “*the responsible one*” or the “*someday you’ll understand why I’m being so strict”* one. And I gotta say – it sucks just as much as bullies.
This perception of mine that I’m now the “bad guy” of the family resulted in a new conversation just last week. DH and I were headed to Babies ‘R Us to get some new shoes for Pineapple’s ever-expanding feet and I was thinking about how much she’s growing. I was also thinking about how often I have to admonish her for some activity that isn’t necessarily “bad” but rather “dangerous” and how I wish DH would step up more often. Deep in thought, I turned to DH and said “*I need you to be the ‘bad guy’ more often so I can be the ‘good guy*” and I immediately had a flashback to my childhood:
*…mom and dad are in the other room and I hear mom frantically yelling that she’s sick of being the bad guy and dad needed to punish us more so she could be the good guy and dad saying that he wasn’t going to be a bad guy just so she could be good and maybe she should relax a little and why are they always fighting?…..*
and DH said “*I’m not going to the be ‘bad guy’ so you can be the ‘good guy’…*(I froze for a moment – stuck in that memory from my childhood while DH continued)…*maybe we need to rephrase it so it’s not bad or good but rather what’s best for Pineapple and how we’re helping her be safe*.”
That’s why I married him, folks. And no, you can’t have him. He’s all mine.
So that’s what we’re working on, now. We’re trying to look at things more along the lines of “*what is best for Pineapple*” rather than “*what best suits our immediate needs and geez I wish she’d stop screaming*.” And we’re not looking at it in black and white terms like “bad” and “good” but rather “*we’re a good guy team doing the best we know how for our kiddo*.”
I like it better this way. I like being a part of the “good guy team” rather than thinking of DH as my competition on the “good guy” front. We’re *both*the good guys. And we both still really think that bullies suck.
“Sometimes I HAVE to be the ‘bad guy’…which I now realize means the ‘responsible one’.”