When husbands take charge

As the clock started its inexorable journey towards the nine o clock deadline the frantic pace of activity increased. Between wrapping up dinner, clearing the table and doing the beds I was trying to get the kids to brush and wash up before bedtime. “How I wish they would sleep on their own”, I complained.
My normally taciturn husband shifted his attention from the telly for a millisecond to comment on my tirade. “U haven’t trained them well,” said he, “They should have been sleeping on their own by now. You need to be strict.”
That was the fuse for my already frayed nerves.
“Train them yourself. Get them to sleep on their own,” I shot back.

Not one to refuse a challenge my husband retorted with a, “You just watch”. He proceeded to drive the kids to the bedroom while I walked off to my long untouched laptop.

I opened a half finished article I was working on as I heard him launch on a story starting with a, “One story and then I will go out and you sleep on your own, okay?”
I strained to listen to the response, which seemed certainly lukewarm. I firmly pulled my attention from the kids’ bedroom back to my laptop.

I had barely managed to get the thread of what I’d been typing when two tiny hands waved at me from the doorway, “guess whose hands are these,” said a pretend gruff voice and was followed with a bellow “Come right back Naisha.” The hands disappeared instantaneously.

Silence prevailed for some time and was then followed by sounds of loud thumping (apparently my husband was ‘patting’ the kids to sleep, which they’d long outgrown). Predictably enough then came sounds of crying. I blocked out the sounds and doggedly continued to sit at the computer. But not for long.

H was out with the complaint, “papa is smacking us.”
“Tell him not to,” said I as I ordered him back to bed.
Five minutes and it was N's turn. “Mama can you please put us to sleep?” That, with the sweetest smile ever.
“Sleep with papa, today” said I.
“Papa has ‘germs’ on his face and I don’t like it”, she reasoned, referring to dad’s stubble.
“Well don’t cuddle then, sleep in your own bed,” said I trying to be ‘stern’.
She walked away… then back she came.
“May I give you a huggie before I go, please?” she queried.
“I like your smell,” she pronounced as she extricated herself from my hug. Then with a forlorn look she walked away to the bedroom blowing kisses all the way, which I was supposed to catch and pocket.
From the room I heard H threatening me, “Katti mama.. I’ll never ever talk to you.”

She the ‘poor girl’ he the ‘angry young man’, her pathos his anger – lethal combination. Too much to resist. I put the computer on standby with a sigh. Another year maybe, I promised myself. By five I’ll have them sleeping on their own.

No sooner was I was in the room and daddy was out. As I started on a story I could hear him happily tuning in to his favourite channel.

Back to square one.

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