My husband has never been great around crying women. The minute my eyes well up during an argument, he gets that look. The one that says, “Why are you acting like I’m a serial killer when I’m just trying to say I wish you’d called to tell me you were running late?”
But I can’t help it if the only emotion my eyes can express is sadness! I cry easily. My mother cries easily, and so did her mother before her. It’s genetic, physiological, out of my control. Countless arguments, with countless boyfriends, I’ve found myself saying, through a thick veil of tears and snot, “Ignore the tears! Pretend I’m not crying! Let’s keep discussing this like adults, okay??”
Recently, we had a second kid. Another girl. Now my husband has to contend with three cry babies.
This weekend, our 2-year-old, Ida, shoved her little sister Noa so hard that Noa fell backwards and banged her head on a metal leg of our living room chair.
I grabbed Ida and without thinking, took her upstairs, put her in her crib and left her there for what I guess you could technically call a “time out,” though the term still makes me cringe.
I went back downstairs and was confronted by my husband (he was conveniently in the bathroom the whole time) who wanted to know what I had “done” to Ida and why I was abusing her.
My husband got the look.
And for a split second, I saw things from his perspective. The girls can’t help crying. But I’m supposedly an adult, with other communication tools at my disposal, like words.
Still, it’s a weepy time for me. I’m weaning, hormonal, working full time and genetically predisposed to crying. And I want some goddamn sympathy from my husband. But I’m beginning to wonder if the only chance I have of getting it is to impose a crying quota. Like no crying when the baby’s crying. And if I sense a hormone-induced crying jag coming on, I can quickly slice some onions and blame them. Problem solved.
Photo by Charles Gullung