Dad is from Mars, Mom is from Venus

This morning was an anxious one for our family, but I won’t get into the details since it involves one of the kids and I’m not into airing the kids’ personal stuff (unless of course they tick me off).  Anyhow the morning began with visit to a doctor and while everything isn’t perfect the diagnosis ended up being a relief.  What made the rest of the day interesting was the difference between mine and my wife’s perceptions of the doctor’s words.

Basically what I heard was that the doctor had run a battery of tests, found a small anomaly that was nothing to worry about and that he also suspected a related issue he was going to refer us to another doctor to check out, but that issue wasn’t very serious either.  On the other hand my wife heard that there’s an anomaly and our child is headed for a lifetime of appointments with specialists.

It would probably be easier to explain how we might come to such different perspectives if I did go into details, but that’s a no-go so what I will say is that this is a very common occurrence in our house.  We joke all the time about what an optimist I am and what a pessimist she is, and we also joke about how she is so detail oriented and how I can forget three items from a four item shopping list.  If we spend ten minutes in a room she can tell you how many pictures are on the wall, the color of the furniture, the color of the carpet, etc. and I could tell you it had four walls and a ceiling.  On the other hand I can tell you which TV show is based on an Elmore Leonard short story (Justified- a show I highly recommend), give you a quick rundown of the day’s news and perhaps even tell you what was trending on Twitter, but Celeste couldn’t give a tinker’s damn about any of that.

The plain and simple truth is we’ve been married for over 19 years but I’ll be damned if I can figure out how we get anything done.  Actually that’s not true; I know that our strengths and weaknesses are complementary and that means we’re quite effective at getting stuff done, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say it also means that we’ve had our moments of non-Zen.  I can drive her to distraction with my distraction, and her determination to do things systematically can make my eyes cross.

What this means for the kids is that they have to deal with a two-headed monster made out of Kevlar.  When I’m left to my own devices with them (happens a couple of times a year), things tend to break down around the house.  In layman’s terms life becomes a crapfest.  Children subsist on Pop-Tarts, dogs eat cat food and no one sleeps for more than four hours.  On the other hand if I’m out-of-town the household runs fine, but the kids end up telling tales of the house being invaded by a mad (mad as in pissed off) woman who can’t understand why they won’t do what they’re supposed to do.  Put the two of us together though and we’re one well-adjusted parent.

Back to this morning. After the fun trip to the doctor was over we both updated our Facebook statuses (yeah, I know). Mine basically said, “The kid’s all right and now we just have to see another doctor and we’ll be good to go.”  After reading that my wife wrote, “I wish I could be as positive as my husband. My glass is empty – not even half full.”  I read that and called her so we could compare notes and make sure I hadn’t “misremembered” what the doctor said.  I hadn’t, and neither had she, but our interpretations were polar opposite and that’s just how we roll.  What that means for our son is that he’ll have one parent keeping an eagle eye on him to make sure nothing goes squirrely and the other telling him to relax and eat a Pop-Tart. I think that’s a good thing.

Jon Lowder

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Jon Lowder

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