To paint the scene:
We talked in the car on the way home from church and I said something along the lines of, "So this afternoon, I'm thinking at some point today a trip to Target or Costco or the grocery store is due, we need some crap. Yeah, and we definitely need to get going on some laundry, the kids are out of pajamas."
To which Dan said (something like), "Yeah, and I was hoping to get some of that yard work done today that I keep talking about."
So we've cone home, eaten lunch, and Dan is outside doing yard work, I know he keeps talking about the yard work he needs to do before winter up and surprises us all like it sometimes does in November, so all I really know is that he's doing that stuff.
I have little knowledge as to what specifically needs to be done, how long it will take, and what his expectations are for what gets done today.
As soon as I get the boys down for their naps, I head downstairs, straighten up the kitchen a little from lunch, and then take 25 minutes to pound out a blog post because as we all know, I'm doing that every day this month, and since Gus is napping I know he'll be up late and I won't end up with any kid-free evening time to do much of anything. (Sad face.)
Louie is awake and pissed almost immediately after I've hit publish. ARRGH!
Oh well, I try to stay zen, and decide to take Louie and run that errand for that crap we need. Dan can listen for Gus on the monitor, and he must be nearly done with his yard work by now.
I get Louie bundled up and we head out, and Dan and I have this conversation as I'm getting Louie in the car and he is working on something in the garage:
Me: "I'm going to Cub or Target for groceries, and then I was thinking of going to Kohl's to return that shirt we didn't end up using for Louie's Halloween costume."
Dan: (Says nothing.)
Me: "Is that okay? Have you gotten a lot done? Do you mind waking Gus up at 4:00 if he's not up yet?"
Dan: "Well, I was hoping to mow the lawn, that's not going to happen now."
Me: "I had no idea you even had to mow the lawn. You can still do it, I'll skip Kohl's, I'll try to be quick at Target."
Dan: "Do whatever you want Alicia. I don't care, I just was hoping to get all this done today."
Me: "Would you rather I just didn't go? I guess I could wait until Gus is up and go with both of them? I'm just trying to take advantage of the fact that only Louie is awake. It'd be much easier to just take him."
Dan: "Whatever. Go to Kohl's. I don't care. Go wherever you want."
Me: "Are you sure you're not mad? You seem mad? Are you sure."
Dan: "Yes, I don't care. It's fine."
This is paraphrasing, obviously, and I'm sure my personal bias is influencing the way I'm remembering the conversation.
Admittedly, part of my motivation to run this errand was that I really wanted to get out of the house after we spent all of Saturday getting $hit done at home. Yeah, we had been at church that morning, but still. I don't do well being at home too much. Dan is much more of a homebody, and has much less of a desire to get out of the house just for the sake of getting out of the house
Anyway, I went to Target. Skipped Kohl's, knew that was unnecessary and wanted to try to make this trip short and get home around when Gus woke up. But then got a call from my mom saying she needed a ride home from work.
I arrived back at home within 50 minutes, truly.
Of course I walked in and Gus is downstairs just having one of his epic "You woke me up and I didn't want to get up and I am going to make you PAY meltdowns."
And Dan does that thing we all do (or is just Dan and I?) when you're pissed about something. He won't make eye contact with me and speaks curtly, sort of ignores me.
I call him out on it, and then we get into a screaming match. This doesn't happen very often, we're both PISSED. The details don't matter, who said what doesn't matter, but we were doing this in front of our children. Like right there in the basement family room, I was holding Louie, Gus was sitting on the couch. There was swearing and it was an embarrassing display of stubbornness on both of our parts.
It all boiled down to this: Dan wanted to complete everything that needs to get done outside, TODAY. It was going to take a long time. The two hours he got before he had to go inside and wake up Gus were not enough. Probably the remaining 40 minutes of daylight he had at that time was not enough.
He was frustrated because he hates doing that stuff and hates having to spend his Sunday doing it, but even more, he didn't want to have to spend another weekend dealing with it.
I had no idea. Truly.
Ugh. If only we had just talked about this. If only he had just told me, when he went outside, "See you at dinner, woman." (Just kidding, he would never say that.)
Or, since that communication didn't happen then, it should have happened in the garage when I was leaving.
Whatever. Poor communication. Stupid fight. And after we both took some space, I went upstairs and made dinner while Dan folded laundry and hung out with the boys downstairs, he actually came up and apologized and we made nice, talked about what went wrong.
Still, our children had to witness us freaking out on each other, which is just the absolute worst.
My parents had a good marriage when we were growing up, still do, but of course they fought every once in a while, and they were loud about it. They had ridiculous fights where my dad would use unnecessarily gross language and my mom would be super stubborn, and then one of them would say, "LEAVE! I'm not even going to talk to you when you're being like this. I can't even be around you right now!"
I haaaaaated when my parents fought like that. In front of us. I remember how much anxiety it gave me, I'd go to bed that night praying to God that they didn't get a divorce. Yelling like that is just terrifying to a child, even though it didn't happen very often, and would always blow over, I was legitimately scared every time that my family was falling apart.
And that's what we did to our kids last night, and I hate that. I talked to Gus about it, told him that I was sorry that daddy and I were yelling, and that it is never okay to yell like that, but sometimes we argue and that doesn't mean we don't love each other.
He didn't really respond, I don't know if I got through to him at all, or if he even was feeling nervous about it, but I guess I'm glad I talked to him about it. And that's all you can do right? And hope to do better next time?
Stupid stupid stupid fight. MARITAL COMMUNICATION 101. Like seriously. Ugh. Marriage is hard, no doubt.
We're guaranteed to not always get it right.