It’s Not All Mary Poppins

The Truth, the Whole Truth, You Didn’t want the Truth…

“You didn’t get out with the kids today? It’s a beautiful day!” Disapproval drips from every syllable.

Well, yes it is, Mr. Outdoorsman, Mr. I-Bike-for-Fun-in-the-Gatineaus, Mr. Winter Camping Guy. It’s nice if you’re on your own, if you can stride out at a pace sufficient to generate any heat. But you see, I don’t get to stride. I have to toddle. And stop every ten toddled paces, take off my mittens, and wipe a nose or three. I will freeze my not-as-pert-as-it-once-was butt off if I go out there. In another month, ten below will be a nice mild day, but today, it’s COLD!! I have not yet acclimatized to the dropping temps.

I don’t say that, I just agree and try to deflect. “It was a lovely day, wasn’t it? All that sun! Here’s the craft your son made – isn’t it great?”

“And you didn’t get out with them? Was someone sick?”

“A couple of sniffly noses, nothing serious. See how he’s mixed these colours to make a third? He did that on purpose, you know.”

“I think it’s important that the children get out every day.”

“Yes, I know.” (Sigh. He’s not about to be deflected, is he? It doesn’t work all that well on his son, either…)

“It just doesn’t seem like there was a reason they didn’t get out.”

“I wasn’t feeling well today: headachy, maybe a lowgrade fever. I didn’t have the energy.”

He subsides, somewhat mollified. I could have said that right up front, now, couldn’t I? Why the coyness? Well, mostly because it was a lie.

I could’ve said it’s because I didn’t feel like it – I’m entitled to a day like that once in a while, which would have been partly true. I could’ve said it’s because it felt too cold to me. I could’ve said that others of the parents prefer I keep their child in when the temperature drops (which is true – I get parental flak coming and going over this one.) I could’ve told him that it’s my business, and remind him that I take good care of his child.

But how satisfying it would have been to have given him The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth. I imagine the scenario with relish.

“Well, you see. My period came early this month…”

He flinches. I knew he would. Mr. Outdoorsman is such a guy. He can’t bear the topic, even though he’s been married for years and years to a real, live, menstruating woman.

“And the first day for me is really heavy…”

He winces, opens his mouth, but I would continue, inexorable.

“So I need SuperPlus tampons…”

I said the T-word! He blanches at the very thought.

“but since I wasn’t expecting it so soon, so all I have in the house are regulars…”

A strangled noise escapes his throat.

“So I can’t get more than twenty or thirty minutes from a bathroom, you see.”

He grabs his child, turns to flee, and I call gleefully after his departing figure:

“Which is why we didn’t get out today.”

He is gone. Bet he won’t be asking any more pushy questions. I didn’t, but one day, one day I just might. Even if it’s a lie.

November 25, 2005 - Posted by | Mischief, outings, parents, power struggle


  1. OMG. Hilarious!!!

    I would love to see his face if you should ever be so bold that is. Think he’d stand still for a picture? Probably not huh?

    If he wants his child outside daily in the cold-let him be the one to spend some time doing it. It’s just getting too cold……

    Comment by kimmyk | November 25, 2005 | Reply

  2. LMAO!!! There are hardly words!!! I needed a good laugh!

    Its so funny because while some men are scared to death to discuss this subject… others (like mine) aren’t. I could send him out on a tampon run, he sees to it that I have chocolate… and that he’s extra nice! Then there are things men talk about we don’t care to discuss… bowel movements, size, strength of smell, and frequency…ICK!!

    As for Mr. pissy pants… I wish you had acted out that scenario…priceless!! Who knows… maybe he will find your blog!!

    Comment by Nancy | November 25, 2005 | Reply

  3. ROTFLMHO (did I get them all in there?)

    It’s amazing what turns these he-men into wimps, isn’t it?

    That is too funny. My boys’ dad was sent into the store many years ago for a box of Kotex while I waited in the car. He came out tossing it up in the air and catching it as it came down. I was the one that time who wanted to crawl in a hole. “Who – him? Never saw him before.” Of course then I started laughing.

    Comment by Granny | November 26, 2005 | Reply

  4. Kimmyk: It would have to be a sneak picture. Maybe I could get my sweetie to stand behind me with the camera!! (You’d enjoy the snap – he’s tall, dark and reasonably handsome, even if he is a big macho wimp…)

    Nancy: Oh, he’s not so bad, just a little fixated on the merits of fresh air and exercise. But it’s very, very tempting! 🙂

    My sweetie has no trouble buying this stuff, either – he does it every month as part of the grocery run (though I have to remember to put it on the running list we keep on the fridge, which is what happened this month!)

    Granny: (Wonder what was the blogger glitch you happened across this morning??)

    It is the “guys” who have trouble with this topic; “men”, like Nancy’s husband, mine, and yours – do not!

    I once read a very funny anecdote (true, too) about a reporter who’d gone to an African country, and while waiting an interminable time to get through customs as the customs agents went through their luggage piece by piece, she was mortified when one of the customs agents got into her boxes of tampons!

    He clearly had no idea what they were. He fiddled with one for a bit, and then discovered they did this neat thing, and then he was hooked. For the next twenty minutes or so, he passed the time pushing up on the plunger, making one little white nugget after another appear – Pop!! – and fall to the counter.

    Wouldn’t he have been mortified if he’d known?

    Comment by Mary P. | November 26, 2005 | Reply

  5. How funny!

    I am sure there was time for Mr. Winter Camper to take his little one out for an evening stroll…

    Comment by Misfit Hausfrau | November 26, 2005 | Reply

  6. Hausfrau: Lots! Dad comes by about 4 or shortly thereafter.

    Comment by Mary P. | November 26, 2005 | Reply

  7. I’m happy buying “female stuff” of all manners. The only problem I have is finding the right ones. Even at our small and pathetic local Walmart, there is a whole aisle length of tampons and pads. The Queen has to be very specific on her list of what she wants … wings or no wings, overnight or day, heavy flow or regular, generic or brand name. The list goes on. It’s not unusual for me to break out my cell phone and call her and have her walk me through the choices while I’m in the aisle. I find it hilarious!

    Comment by Simon P. Chappell | November 26, 2005 | Reply

  8. LOL!!!
    Oh, I wish you’d shared that truth with him!!!

    Comment by LoryKC | November 26, 2005 | Reply

  9. Simon: You obviously know what you’re talking about – rhyming off all those options. Good man that you are!

    Lory: I may never, but it’s a fun fantasy!

    Comment by Mary P. | November 27, 2005 | Reply

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