Friday, October 29, 2010

Husband Training

Two days ago, my friend Pushpa called me sobbing her heart out.

"What happened?", I asked her deeply concerned. Pushpa was a very level headed woman and in all the years we knew each other, I had never seen her crying."Ravi is going for some adventure trip with his friends this Monday", she sobbed.

"He's taking a day off from work for an adventure trip? That too a Monday?", I asked incredulously.

"No no", she sniffled, "its Gandhi Jayanthi, its a holiday".

Now it all made sense. Ravi, the incessant workaholic who spent his evenings and weekends glued to his blackberry was spending this rare day off away from his wife and daughter. And Pushpa, full-time mother and wife would be spending the public holiday at home with her one-year old daughter performing such appealing tasks as diapers and potty and naps and feeds.
"Did he talk to you beforehand?", I asked.
"No, he just called and informed me about it. And when I protested, he said he never does this so I should be supportive. He said, if I wanted to do something like this, he would support me. So I threw a fit and we had a big fight!", she wailed.

I can imagine how the fight would have gone.

Ravi would have used the staple husband's argument: "My work is in office and your work is looking after the baby, we are both working and in fact, my work is tougher than yours. You get to sit and chill at home while I have to go and face the corporate jungle." Its remarkable how all husbands think this way, its almost as if they all attend some sort of secret cult ceremony in which their already feeble minds are brainwashed to the brink of such stupidity.

Pushpa of course would have used the staple housewife argument, "At least when you come home, you don't have work. My work is a 24/7 job which has no holidays!" Women of course don't need any sort of initiation into such kind of thinking. One month of nursing a new born with minimal sleep coupled with the neverending nappy changes and unforgiving colic is initiation enough.

Almost every couple I have met has faced this issue to some degree once a baby joined them, the degree depending on the type of couple. At one end of the spectrum is the Type A couple: Fiercely independent wife determined not to play the conventional role and grudgingly understanding husband who really has no choice but to understand. At the other end is Type B couple: Fiercely conventional husband who views parenting as primarily the wife's responsibility and weak wife who has reconciled herself to a life of full-time parenting..
Now I have to mention that there is a Type C. Fiercely uncoventional husband who wants to be more involved in fathering and insists on taking over all the parenting tasks once or twice a week. Personally I think such a dad falls into the "Gay but doesn't know it" category.

Now if every couple is going through this, why didn't our parents warn us beforehand? We all knew our lives were going to change after the baby but we never imagined we'd fight so much. Our parents probably never fought at all, because in their day, the dads did nothing and the mothers didn't know any better. Today's women do know better while our husbands have not really moved much on the evolution chart. Worse, their idea of the perfect wife is their mother!!

A week later, I called Pushpa to see how things were going. She sounded bright and cheerful, vastly different from our previous conversation.

"So how did your issues with Ravi turn out?", I asked her.

"Oh Ravi didn't go finally", she answered.

"How did you manage that?", I asked shocked.
"Simple, he was supposed to go on Monday, so on Saturday I took him up on his offer. Told him I was spending the day with my friends and left him at home with the baby all day. By the time I got home, the house was in complete shambles, the baby was howling, food was splattered on the walls and toys scattered everywhere. Ravi, still unshaven in his pyjamas had just one thing to say, "Point Taken", and handed me the baby. That was that, he slept in on Monday and we had a wonderful day together all three of us".

I guess there's one more type of couple. Type D: Smart and slick wife married to newly reborn husband who has realised that there is no job as tough as a full-time mother's.


  1. outstanding choice of words sunehra :D :D :D hilarious stuff! LOL

  2. Loved it. Witty and hilarious.I am lucky to have a type C husband(minus the gay part ;-))).

  3. Rupa

    Glad you liked it! And you are reallllllly lucky to have a Type C. The gay comment i think comes from sour grapes :)