The Baptismal Compromise

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.

No, really.

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.

(silence)

(silence)

(crickets, crickets)

(crickets, crickets)

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.

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27 Thoughts to “The Baptismal Compromise”

  1. I still think the first outfit is better. 🙂

    1. kay

      it’s kinda a little ole man outfit. i say you admit Katie was right. Buy her the boots and be a gracious loser! but have a wonderful weekend!

  2. Yes, Katie! DEF time for new boots!!!

    -Ilana
    http://www.ilanawrites.com

  3. I too feel that I make a lot of comprimises with my husband and scarafice what I think is right…but there comes a time when you have to put your foot down. Actually we call it the foot stomp in my family, and my husband knows when I stomp my foot, I not playing around. Maybe it the little bit of Irish coming out or the hint of red in my hair…either way the foot stomp works.
    Oh and I think the second outfit is cute!! He’s only a baby for such a short time.

  4. courtney

    All so true. I think there is always one person in the relationship that does more compromising than the other. I know I often give in for the sake of peace. At the same time my hubby and I are both very hard-headed, and so this can lead to some wicked fights (nothing dangerous – just a lot of no one giving in). Our son is now two and we are working on working through things together. We love each other and we couldn’t live without one another, but we are both having to learn about giving in sometimes. It’s not easy, but I would rather be open and honest, and I appreciate your honesty. I find it hard to believe when people only talk about how perfect their marriages are. No one’s marriage is perfect.

  5. I totally get the “HE IS A BABY!” thing. The other night, Aaron and I decided to see what would happen if we gave Porter a sippy cup. He is clearly not ready for one as we found out, of course. But Aaron seemed disappointed. “I just don’t want him to be so dependent on the bottle,” he said. My reply was, “He is 8 MONTHS OLD! Why can’t he be dependent on a bottle?!?! He’s a baby!” Ok, I’ve got to stop–I feel my blood pressure rising…deep breaths, Lori. Deep breaths…

    1. Katie

      We let Bean play with a sippy cup, too. He doesn’t get the concept yet of turning it up to drink, so he just chews on it instead. Eh, whatever.

  6. I find myself struggling a lot with when to make compromises and when to put my foot down. I don’t want to be a demanding, angry shrew but I don’t want to be a pushover either. It’s hard!

    I’m going to have to agree about the new boots, though. The old ones are dangerous and could be hazardous to your health. 🙂

  7. We struggle with the same thing around here sometimes. It’s a fine line, which means it’s easy to cross and crush, right?

  8. Ugh. I hate that dance. I guess we had a girl first, so my opinion ruled and then we had the boy and I had to give Rich more decision making leeway.

    But the third one was a girl so I win!

  9. I never go shopping with my hubby because he whines about how he hates “wasting his time at the store” and “can we go know?” blah blah blah. Apparently his time is more valuable than mine since I love spending my time shopping and waiting in lines (especially at walmart).
    Just let Bean run around nakey, that will solve your problem and provide a little extra cash for a slamming pair of boots.

  10. I find it better just to go shopping on my own too!

    Hope all goes well at the weekend.

  11. Tressa

    I think you deserve whatever you find while your putting your foot down!! 🙂

    Hope this weekend goes well. Making memories…that’s the best part!

  12. I am SO WITH YOU! Husby loves to dress Weeb like a little boy and I love to dress him like a baby! Because he will be a little boy much longer than he will be a baby! When we dedicated Levi, I got full reign and even D admitted that he looked adorable. They only get christened once. The outfit is ADORABLE! Perfect for the occasion.

  13. Marlene

    I loved both outfits but you are right (sorry to your hubby). The white outfit for Christening is best – so have Bean wear that for the Christening and then change him into the other outfit, which is darling! Don’t you have family over or go to dinner or something special afterwards? Compromises are hard but worth it. This way, you both win…right? And so does Bean because he has two loving parents who care what he looks like. When he’s a teen, you will wish the compromising was only between you and your dh!

  14. I completely understand what you mean! We don’t have kids yet but I’m always trying to figure out that balance of compromise/sacrifice with my husband too. Hopefully it will get easier in time…
    And I think both outfits are cute, but the second says “baptism” more!

  15. Meghan

    The second definitely says baptism…..I’m a huge fan of little boys in sweater vest outfits, but he can wear sweater vest as a little boy for a long time. They only wear a baptism outfit once. Which is why both our boys have been (or will be) baptized in the same baptism *gown* that I wore and that my Mom wore. Would I normally dress my little boys in dresses? No…..but it’s a baptism, an antique cherished dress, and that’s what you do. 🙂 Good for you for going with your gut and finding an outfit you like better!

    And the longer you’re a mom, the less you’ll want your husband and children to go shopping with you. 🙂 That is part of my “me” time, even if it’s shopping at the grocery store! The kids and hubby don’t really enjoy it anyways, so why make them come along when it can be quiet time for me?!?

  16. Tracy

    When I saw that first outfit, my eyebrows shot up! I agree with you, Katie. There was something just wrong about that being a Baptism outfit! The one you picked out is SO much more appropriate. The other one looked more like something you’d take him to a croquet match in. Sorry, Chris.

  17. Zoe

    That first outfit is very, very cute. But appropriate for a baptism? I’m not so sure. Good on you for putting your foot down. Sometimes you just have to. And surely Chris appreciates his wife being a strong, independent-minded woman, rather than a pushover, right?

  18. Ella

    The 2nd outfit looks more appropriate for a Baptism. Very cute. I love light blue on boys. Have a great weekend 🙂

  19. Mallory

    Yayyy I can’t wait to see Bean!!!

  20. Jayme

    There are times that I think it would be nice to have my husbnd and son go shopping with me…. but it’s just easier to go by myself. Less stress and I can look at what I want to and go where I want to! I say leave ’em at home 🙂

  21. Jeska

    I’m so glad you put your foot down. My first thought was “Really? That doesn’t even look like something to be baptized in!” It is cute though. (: So kudos to Chris for picking it out.

    Also, I say you deserve new boots for demonstrating a penguin slide. Have a safe trip!

  22. dave

    No offence, that Baptism dress looks like a faded clown dress. Chris’s pick is a bit too much with sweater and all, but it is definitely cuter than your pick.

    1. Katie

      Point noted, Dave. And I think Bean might have agreed with you. He cried the whole time I tried to dress him and Chris kept yelling out, “You look like a girl, Bean! You look like a girl!” It was, clearly, the mindset you want to go into a baptism with…

  23. Jackie

    Beanie was beautiful for the baptism. The outfit was perfect for the occasion. The compromise of him changing at the brunch was also appropriate. Besides you don’t want anything the happen to that outfit. You might even want to have it framed as a keepsake so it will always be there to remind you of Beanie’s baptism.

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