We had a ritual back in the day. On payday, we would either go out and eat pizza at our favorite place in town or I would call and order the pizza, then pick it up.
This particular payday, I ordered the pizza and planned to go pick it up 40 minutes later, when they said it would be ready. CP was home, sitting on his ass as per the norm. It was the only night of the work week he didn’t go to bed at 7:30 pm. If I’m being honest, I much preferred the nights he came home from work and went directly to bed.
My daughter was hungry and my son was just a baby, so I’m sure he had been fed already. My daughter (aged 3) always liked to go bye-bye with mommy, as most daughters do. I had no problem taking her with me because she was always a good girl. I thought, however, that my lazy, good-for-nothing partner (now ex, thank goodness) would at the very least offer to watch the baby while I went after the pizza. I wasn’t about to ask him because he always acted like I was inconveniencing him by asking him to do any freakin’ thing. Of course, he didn’t even bat an eye. No offers to pick up the pizza, no offers to watch the baby.
I got the kids ready and headed out the door. When I got to the pizza place, I got the kids out of the car. I carried my son in a carrier and held my daughter’s hand. I believe I used a fanny pack back then because I didn’t have enough hands to be carrying a purse! We went inside, and after a bit of a wait, paid for our pizza and headed out the door.
But before we got out the door, I realized I had a baby in one hand and the pizza in the other. How was I to hold my daughter’s hand? I was, at that very moment monumentally pissed at CP. I stopped just inside the door and asked my daughter to hang onto mommy’s shirt and to not let go for any reason until I told her to. I also explained why I couldn’t hold her hand. Thankfully, she was smart and understood.
We got to the car, and I strapped the kids back into the car. I was fuming mad but hiding it from the kids. Why the hell couldn’t CP have offered to watch the kids, or at least the baby? Well, the answer is simple. He was a thoughtless and inconsiderate SOB!
When we were almost home, I told my daughter how proud I was that she held my shirt like such a big girl, just like mommy asked her to. She said, “Thank you, Mommy,” and she smiled so big and bright it almost made me forget what an asshole her father was.
When we got home, I helped my daughter out of the car, put my son in the carrier, and grabbed the pizza. My daughter was already in the house, holding the door open for me because she knew my hands were full. As I entered the door, CP was just sitting there with a look on his face that I was familiar with. That look indicated to me that he was irritated for some reason.
I thanked my big 3-year-old, thoughtful helper for holding the door. She said, “You hands are fulled up, mommy.” Even a 3-year-old can think! Why couldn’t her father? About that time, CP piped in and said something about how long it took. I don’t recall his exact words but it pissed me off, whatever they were.
I said, “For your information, it was a bit crowded there tonight because of a boy’s baseball team celebrating their win. And to top that off, I was struggling with full hands -baby in one hand, pizza in the other – all while trying to keep your daughter safe because I couldn’t hold her hand in the busy parking lot!”
CP’s face changed to a more angry look and he started to speak – but stopped, thought about what he was about to say – and said, “All you had to do was ask and I would have gone for the pizza or watched the kids.” To that, I replied, “I shouldn’t have to ask you to do things to help me or to watch your own children so don’t even give me that crap!”
CP grabbed a few pieces of pizza and went outside to sulk. When he came in, he went to bed without a word. I felt like I was raising 3 kids, instead of 2! He must have scarfed that pizza down like a starving dog because my daughter and I were still eating, and enjoying every bite! Of course, hers were tiny and mine a bit bigger.