god bless my wife, or give her the will to live
april first marked the 10 year anniversary that we've been living together. we started as platonic roommates (which lasted for nearly two years) before the magic happened. but still, my then-future wife should have intimated that there was a reason i was moving in on april fool's day.
tomorrow it will be another anniversary: four weeks since my knee surgery. at last count, i could bend my knee 50 degrees and haven't put any weight on my left foot in a month. i am not looking for sympathy here -- my point is that i am (even more) worthless (than usual) around the house. i can't really stand up to cook a meal and the one time i tried, it was nearly impossible to take stuff out of the fridge and carry it about. by the time dinner was ready, my knee was extra swollen and sore and i was exhausted. so, cooking is out. i can't carry my daughter anywhere -- i can just barely hop with her in my arms from the crib to the changing table. so, i can 't cook. i can't take care of my kid. you realize what this means, right?
for the past month my wife has been a single working mother of two infants.
it gets worse (for her). a key member of her department has left and she has been doing the work of two management-level people at her firm. so, she has been putting a ridiculous amount of effort into work, but then she has to come home to do laundry, change the cat box, feed her two whiny children and change my socks. she has been doing every single morning shift with the daughter and putting her to bed every single night. she has also been coordinating with home depot and sears and various other folks who are delivering stuff to our house for the kitchen that her parents are going to be here for the next two-to-three weeks installing for us (more on that later).
on saturday, for example, our floors arrived. we are putting bamboo floors into the kitchen. we bought them at home depot. they will be coming to do the actual installation at a later time, but first the floors had to get here. they arrived at 8:30 in the morning on saturday. they arrived on a huge flatbed truck in nine 50-pound boxes, three 60-pound boxes and about 20 giant planks of plywood, plus tape, "liquid nails" and the like. the guy required two trips with a forklift to get them to our front door from the truck.
then he put them on our sidewalk and proceeded to leave. "we don't take them in," he says. "policy."
so picture mrs nice guy, holding our squirmy daughter, and me, on crutches staring back at this guy who required TWO TRIPS WITH A FORKLIFT to get our floors to the front door. we ask him: "how are we supposed to get that inside?" he shrugs. "people do it all the time." then he leaves.
oh, how i wanted to pump him full of liquid nails.
mrs nice guy stares at this mount everest of bamboo flooring on our sidewalk. sighs. puts the toddler down and says "i'll do it. i do everything."
and then she lugged nine 50-pound boxes and three 60-pound boxes into the house all by herself. the neighbors, who were awoken by the deliveryman's forklift, were peering out of windows and outright gawking from their stoops. then mrs nice guy wrestled with a giant slab of plywood on our stoop. and fell down. i didn't see this because i was watching dora the explorer with my daughter.
a benevolent neighbor came over and offered his help, which she almost declined in her true steely new englander fashion. but ultimately she folded and accepted his aide. they got all the flooring and attendant materiel inside. the neighbor left. i congratulated and thanked her.
then she emptied our kitchen cabinets, which are coming down this week, and put their contents in boxes.
i think i had moved on to sesame street by this point. or maybe we were playing with choo-choos. i forget. i do recall that when my daughter pooped i called to my wife and said: "can you take a break from doing everything and take her upstairs to change her. i would, but i can't carry her."
you know what i can do, though? i can carry a beer while i crutch around! taught myself that trick this week--you just hook your index finger around the bottleneck and pinch it with your thumb while the rest of your hand grips the crutch. for some reason, mrs nice guy wasn't impressed when i showed this to her as she was taking the garbage out.