The Standoff

It happens in households across America every day.  It often starts early on in the relationship. Maybe even pre-marriage.  But as the relationship grows it becomes more and more prevalent and once children are added to the mix it hits epic proportions.  It’s the standoff. 

You ALL know what I’m talking about.  Waiting it (insert your most dreaded household task here) out until one of you caves and does the dreaded task while cursing the other.

In our house there are a few tasks that have clear assignments of responsibility. If it involves a tool, an automobile a grill or anything related to our yard my husband is on it. If it involves a shopping list, a cleaning solution, a school project or home decor it’s mine.  I obviously don’t pretend to be a feminist even if I have breastfed in restaurants.

But then there are all the little things that aren’t always as clear. These include but aren’t limited to:

  1. Emptying the dishwasher
  2. Emptying the dish rack
  3. Changing a diaper
  4. Turning on the mute button (aka inserting binky) into a fussy baby
  5. Wiping a big kid bum

In our house last night it went a little something like this: I was busy in the kitchen chopping peppers and onions for fajitas, in between loads of laundry and making lunches for the next day.  Husband was on the couch watching TV.

“Wipe, please.”

I ignore. He ignores.


I ignore. He ignores. I *sigh* heavily and make lots of busy sounding kitchen noises for good measure.


He mutters something like, “Hon, can you get her…” I pretend not hear.

“Can SOMEBODY PLEEEASE wipe me !!!!!”

Jake, bless his soul, gets increasingly nervous and informs me that his sister needs help. And that’s it. I cave. I wash my hands and off I stomp loudly to the bathroom to wipe my daughters little bum. Then I wash my hands again, stomp back into the kitchen and sigh loudly enough for him to hear me over the TV.  Then I lose the ability to think straight because I am so mad.

I know, it’s just a stupid little thing. No need to get so worked up over it.  But I’m steaming.  And don’t get me wrong, my husband is great. Amazing even.  He is the one that feeds, dresses and carts three different kids of in two different directions each and every morning long after I’ve left for work.  And he is the one to pick them up, feed them dinner and often even start their bath each and every night long before I return home from work.

But I can’t help myself. I’m steaming.  Not because it was such a difficult task or because he never even budged. I’m steaming mad because I’m the one that wiped the bum.  I lost. I lost the standoff and I never even had a fighting chance.  And so it goes, in households across America. Certainly in mine at least twice a week. 

But trust me, my friends, this is one I am NOT going to lose:

How do ya like that?

So whats on your standoff list? C’mon we all have one to share.

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9 Responses to The Standoff

  1. Ilyse says:

    Love it! So funny because it’s so true.
    And since you asked….
    here’s ours:

    1. Baby crying at night (both of us pretending to be sleping while hoping the other will actually get out of bed….

    2. Child needs his room “checked” after cleaning it

    3. Picking up toddler toys strewn about the room at night so we won’t trip in the dark on them (see number one)

    4. Taking out trash. Sometimes it defies the laws of physics…

    looking forward to more Mommies Time Out!

  2. Herbie says:

    My wife never puts anything back in the same place .Like keys,cell phone,purse. I have to actually watch where she puts them down when she comes in the house so i can tell her where they are the next morning .Hey , Herb have you seen my keys and cell phone.Like a good husband I answer,they are right where you left them.Then I purposely wait till its getting late for her work,and then I tell her.This punishment never works and the same thing happens the next day.C’est la vie.

  3. Sherry says:

    You are an incredible writer. Each of your blogs is better than another. They are all so good. So good.
    And such a genuine slice of life.
    I think we are all mesmerized waiting for your next installment. Ann and I are really loving them.
    The Standoff – with the dogs. Waiting to see who will actually respond to them in the middle of the night if they need to go out. Sometimes I really am sound asleep, sometimes just waiting. Hoping someone else will wake up (like there are lots of others in our house just waiting to let our dogs out)!!
    Funny how we couples are,
    again, these are wonderful blogs.

  4. Marcy says:

    Are you sure you were not at my house last night writting about my home (minus the wiping bum or course)…The Standoff…it happens in all of our homes. Thanks for sharing this. Nice to know it is not only me who seethes from my ears and then just goes and does “it” anyway.
    Thanks for your story!

  5. Tanisha Lyon Brown says:

    Sadly, your words are so true!

    Our stand-off is putting folded laundry away.
    My perspective: “I washed it, I folded it, YOU (oh beautiful and wonderful husband of mine) should at least put it away.”
    His perspective: Alternative #1 -“If you started the job, see it through to completion by putting the clean laundry away.” or Alternative #2 – “Why can’t we leave it in the basket, and empty the basket as we wear the clothes?”
    In general the laundry stays in the basket and becomes a wrinkled mess until I empty it because I need the basket for more laundry (sigh)

  6. Jonathan says:

    This is hilarious!! Ohh, the little joys I have to look forward to w/starting my own family…

    Hope everyone is doing well and in good health!!

    My Best,

    ~ Jonathan

  7. Lauren says:

    I am currently in a standoff with my husband over emptying the dishwasher. I refuse to do it because I always do and he says he will but then doesn’t. I had to share though because I wouldn’t have even thought of it as a standoff without your blog. Now that it is in mind, I really refuse to budge so the dishes are piling up. Will keep you posted on how long it lasts but I am determined to win this standoff. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Waiting for perfect | Mommies Time Out

  9. Savannah says:

    Yes, I’m still reading these, enjoying the updates on your and your beautiful family 🙂 Our main standoff is over washing plastic baggies. We tend to reuse them until they get holes (we’re green enough to wash them out but ziplocs are just too functional to stop using all together).

    We stack the dirty ones up beside the sink, and they should be wash during the nightly dinner washing cycle. Except he doesn’t. I tend to cave when we start running out, which takes awhile considering we started with an entire box. But you’ve given me the strength to stand my ground, this time…

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