A few days ago I posted about how Chris wouldn’t pitch in and help me shop for his family’s Christmas presents. And about how because I had to shop by myself on my lunch break in a frantic craze, I had slipped and fallen in Macys. And about how then Chris proceeded to Twitter about this episode as if it was the funniest thing on earth.
But I’m over all that now.
After much thought and contemplation, I have decided that I must have been drunk when I insisted that Chris go shopping with me. I have discovered that life is actually much simpler when I can just do what I want, buy what I want, and shop when I want. And I think this is the way that it is supposed to be.
I think this because God told me so.
Well, not directly. But indirectly, God said to me, “Katie, leave your husband alone and just take care of things yourself because when your husband gets involved things get screwy and when things are screwy its harder for Me to do My job.”
(God speaks in run-on sentences.)
This coming Sunday, Bean will be baptized in our hometown church. Its the church that Chris and I grew up in. The church where we both sang in the choir. The church where I dragged him Sunday mornings through high school. And the church that we were married in. I’m so excited about this. Not only will he be baptized, but he will be joining the church that holds so much history for our family.
We decided on the baptism several months ago. This gave me plenty of time to find the perfect baptismal outfit for Bean. I knew I didn’t want to do a gown, but I did want traditional attire. Something sweet and pure. Something that was tasteful and beautiful, but that didn’t distract from the meaning of the morning. So, I enlisted the help of my mom and we set out on the hunt for the perfect outfit. Mostly we looked at Feltman Brother’s rompers and jumpers for boys online. I found just the one that I wanted. It was boyish, while still being simple and sweet. I was going to order it and have his little monogram embroidered on the cuff of his sleeve.
But when I showed it to Chris, he about had a heart attack. He violently objected to the romper. His reason: It looked too much like a baby.
Yeah, I had no response. Mostly because HE IS A BABY. We try to dress him as much as possible like a little boy and not like a baby, but its a CHRISTENING. But I wanted Chris to be part of the process. I don’t want to make all these decisions by myself and I’m always glad when he shows interest in Bean’s life, so I decided that instead of arguing and insisting, I would take Chris with me and we would go find a suitable Christening outfit together.
This is what we ended up buying:
At the time, I thought to myself, “This just isn’t right.” But I pushed that thought from my mind and told myself that this was what Chris wanted and I needed to be more flexible.
For weeks I thought about that outfit. For weeks it ate at me. That outfit just wasn’t appropriate and I knew it. So, here we are – days away from the Christening – and I had nothing for Bean to wear. I went out to some stores to find something but the little outfits they had for boys looked like little white satin tuxedos and that just wasn’t the look I wanted for him. I ended up going back online and trying to see if I could have something over-nighted to me since we were supposed to leave town on Saturday, but the cost of shipping that quickly (when I could even find companies who offered that service…) was ridiculous. Eventually, I turned once again to my mom who was in Atlanta and visited several baby boutiques and finally found this perfect little romper:
Now, I know that the Christening isn’t about what Bean is wearing and that’s not actually what is driving me crazy at the moment. What is driving me crazy is finding that balance of encouraging Chris to be involved and sacrificing things that are important to me. What is driving me crazy is that fine line between compromise and sacrifice. Sometimes I find that I want Chris to be involved so much that I put my own preferences aside in an attempt to be flexible. And that is happening a lot lately. I know that compromising is part of a relationship, but I don’t think its fair when one person is the one who is making all the compromises.
I struggled with this balance even before we had a baby. How to be flexible without giving up things that are really important to me. When to put my foot down and when to let things go. Now that we have Beanie, I think this is an issue when we parent, too. Maybe that’s something that couples struggle with at all stages. I’m not real sure yet what the answer is, but I do know that I’d rather go head to head in power struggles with Chris than try to do any of this without him. But I do think I need to be more conscious of the fact that Bean needs my input, too, and that when I know the appropriate way to handle a situation – be it a Christening outfit or otherwise – I owe it to Bean and myself to stand up for my point of view.
So, I think I’ll go exercise my point of view right now by running up to Target and picking up a cute pair of shoes for Bean’s baptism. And actually, now that I think about it, maybe I’ll put my foot down and buy me a new pair of boots, too! Yeah! And maybe some new make up! Yeah! And maybe a new purse, too! Yeah!
Wow, this putting your foot down thing is powerful.