The night before we left Missouri to return home to Alabama, a 12+ hour trip, thankyouverymuch, both of my children decided that sleeping was for sissies and that screaming their lungs out was what all the “cool” kids were doing. Tate took the first shift with Carson, trying to calm him. After over an hour, I reluctantly went in to rescue Tate since I could hear the tone in his voice getting angrier by the minute. He seemed both relieved and irritated by my rescue attempt, but I think just my presence helped to settle both Tate and Carson.
I was able to return to bed, and Tate finally got Carson to sleep about an hour later and returned to bed. Literally within seconds of lying down, Ella started fussing. I heard Tate mutter “DAAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMIIIIITTTTTT,” under his breath, and since he’d just spent the last two hours with Carson, I got up with Ella to calm her. She finally fell back to sleep after what seemed like four hours, but was probably something like 20 minutes.
Being a person who desperately needs her beauty sleep, I was so incredibly pissed when after about 30 minutes, Ella decided to wake up again. This time I muttered something (NOT under my breath) about throwing her out the window and letting her fend for herself.
“At least it will be quiet in here and we can finally sleep,” I huffed.
Sensing my obvious frustration (Tate is quick like that), he offered to take this shift with Ella. Unfortunately, she wanted only Mommy and Mommy’s boobies to fall back to sleep. I ended up feeding her and getting her back to sleep around 3 AM, an hour before our alarm was set to go off.
Both Tate and I were exhausted on our drive home. Even the tiniest of irritations could have sent each of us over the edge. Somehow, we were able to take turns having our own tantrums while the other remained calm, cool, and collected.
Tate and I seem to know how to balance the other’s mood. He (usually) seems to know when I’m at my wit’s end and ready to snap. Even when I adamantly deny needing a break, he’ll take over kid duty or cooking duty or whatever duty, and let me simmer down. The same thing is true when he is obviously about to lose it. I sweep in, take over, and give him the much needed break. Often, I feel somewhat resentful when I have to be the sane one, since I spent the majority of everyday attempting this sane facade. I suspect he feels the same resentment when he’s just returned from a stressful day at work and immediately has to take over when he walks in the door and finds me teetering on the edge of chaos.
Somehow we maintain this completely necessary balance. We’re a good team, Tate and I.