Monday, February 6, 2012

Drippy Harps, part two

We're examining ourselves for the evidence of being "drippy harps," which is the term we're using to describe the contentious woman. Let's look at another way that we can stray into this zone and what to do about it:


2. Problems with children can make women very drippy and harpy.
"A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping." (Prov. 19:13)
This verse can be taken two ways: as separate situations or as related. Whenever I read this verse, I see a woman who has had it with her foolish child, so she let's loose on her husband with a continual stream of complaints. The man knows that there's a problem, but the wife wants to make sure that he knows how this problem is making her life miserable, so she goes into a monologue with plenty of details! (Note to women: Men have an automatic fogging device in their brains that activates anytime a person goes on and on. If he's looking at you but his eyes are glazed over, you've tripped the fog switch.)


This reminds me of the time when Norman came home, whistling a tune as he came through the door to ask me in his calm, carefree way, "How was your day, Sweetheart?" He asked me this while standing over me as I was on my knees cleaning a spot out of the carpet; a brown spot. A very smelly, brown spot.


I looked up at him from my humble position, screwed up my face and started to cry! How was my day? Well, it was simply splendid until our son found the refastenable tapes (blast those diaper companies and their big bright ideas from childless scientists sitting in labs somewhere making six figures and driving home in their convertibles top-down in warm climates)! So when this nameless child of ours made his little discovery, he removed his diaper, dropped it into the crib, took the organic "brown chalk" and started doing some Picasso on the yellow walls. This was supposed to be nap time.


After a suspiciously long nap, brilliant son threw his little body out of the crib (we birthed an Olympic high-jumper who had no problem clearing the side rails of any crib), he walked his chalk down the hall to come and greet me. "Nap all done, Mommy," he proclaimed as if he was in charge. His "chalk" was stuck to the bottom of his little footed pajamas. Oh bliss. Oh shoot me now. I could smell him before he got anywhere near my airspace.

If you think this is funny, I'll send you some new diapers with refastenable tapes, toddler and chalk included.

What I just described was a small problem and it had a simple solution. After I told Norman through frustrated tears about our gymnastic artist in residence, he handed me his car keys and ordered me to go out and take a break while he cleaned up after his "little fella." I really think he rushed me out of the house so that he could let out the GUFFAW that he was holding back. I saw his mouth twitching as I told him the story of the day, but my eyes said "Laugh your way to your funeral," so he managed to swallow it until I got out of the house. It was not a good time to have a twitchy lip.

You could hear the tires as I peeled out of our driveway, making my clean getaway to the only place I could think of at the moment: the grocery store. Ah, the bliss of wandering grocery store aisles without a list, without children, and without that smell! It's a good thing our store stays open for 24 hours. I'm not sure how long I was there, but I came home with a rotisserie chicken for our very late dinner, so at least I was productive in my wandering. 

As children grow, so do the problems. To use a math analogy, young children's problem are addition and subtraction; older children are multiplication, long division and Advanced Trigonometry. A woman runs the risk of becoming contentious because of the multiple problems that stem from the  foolishness that Scripture says is "bound in the heart of a child." Chewing on your husband over the foibles of the children won't improve anything. All you're doing is alienating your closest teammate and adding another problem to your already complicated situation.

How can a woman keep from becoming drippy and harpy over the misadventures of children? Refuse to engage in "friendly fire." You and your husband need to stay on the same side. Change your tone, change the timing of the discussion, and bathe the entire situation in prayer. If you are having a particularly difficult time with a child, you may need counsel to navigate your way through the situation. Seeking counsel is a sign of spiritual strength. If you need it, get it, but don't take the misbehavior of your children out on your husband.

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2 comments:

  1. Oh my! Just realized I'm guilty on point #2! Something I must work on stopping. Thank you for sharing this lesson!

    Your lil CA sis :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are so welcome, Lil CA sis Jen. It's a common temptation for mothers to "pounce" their husbands over the transgressions of the children! Most men are tough enough to handle it, unless it becomes chronic, then it needs adjusting. Don't let it become drippy, and you won't become harpy!

    ReplyDelete

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