Friday, June 29, 2012

There's a right way and a wrong way to do things

Here I am in week 4 of my full time parenting experience, its just before 10 in the morning, the little one is asleep and I should be doing some folding. Meh! I can do it later.

The wondrous wife has long tried to instil in me that there are two ways to do things; the right way (her way) and the wrong way (any other way). There are no shades of grey, just right or wrong. Pretty simple. Even a mere male with a tendency to be rebellious and somewhat difficult could understand that, right?

Well, maybe not. You see towels should be folded in a particular way so that they economise space in the cupboard and look nice too. Apparently there aren't two ways to fold them, just the one. The baby should have growsuits as pjamas, not as going out wear, and she should have a new outfit everyday as well. Whites and lights are not the same thing when washing clothes. Quiche should use 4 eggs and 1/2 a cup of cream regardless of what the recipe says. You see recipes are only right when the beloved sanctions them to be right. Most recipes are wrong. Unfortunately the apprentice full time parent who is not the magnificent cook that the beloved is needs quite specific instructions, sort of like what a recipe provides, to be able to produce something new, different and tasty (because apparently pizza, nachos, burgers, parmi and meatballs can't be on a rotating menu, that's not the right way to feed a family). However after many, many, many years spent watching (apparently) and learning (apparently) from the master I should have absorbed at least some of her brilliance. For example I should know about the 4 eggs and 1/2 cup of cream for quiche and ignore the recipe that says 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of cream and 1/4 cup of milk, because it is wrong.

The expectations about doing things the right way have caused me a fair bit of stress, and I often feel like Commander Jerjerrod to the beloved's Vader:

I shouldn't feel like that, but I do. When she comes home from work having an asthma attack and wearing a black suit with imposing black mask and helmet I get a little intimidated!

Expectations are interesting things, and everyone's are different. Lord Vader expects that I WILL do everything the right way, I expect that I won't. Partly because I don't have the experience or knowledge that that Lord Vader does when it comes to full time parenting, and because frankly I'm the sort of person who not only doesn't like to be told there is only one way to do things but enjoys being irritating and doing them the wrong way. I suppose those two aspects of my personality just make me a glutton for punishment. But I think I'll soldier on, because I fundamentally don't believe in right or wrong, I believe in adapting to circumstance. I figure as long as the kids are happy and healthy then I'm most of the way there.

I hope that in late January when my journey as a full time parent is going to come to an end that I'll be able to apply the immortal words of ol' blue eyes to myself:

I'm going to start right now, by folding the towels my way!

NOTE: The quiche I spoke about earlier, was a sweet potato quiche served with a green salad. The eldest daughter loves quiche and promptly gave it 10/10 (a standard for any quiche she is served), the littlest one chomped it quickly and was very pleased, and the boy, who dislikes quiche at the best of times rated it an 8/10 and said it was the best quiche he had ever had. Oh, and I did it the right way, 4 eggs and 1/2 a cup of cream. I call that a win-win scenario, the beloved accused the boy of bias, but she too liked the quiche.


  1. You are in so much trouble when Darth gets home!!!!

  2. So if she is Darth, you are Jar Jar Binks? Yes?

  3. There's some fight in the old dog yet. Well done Kim, stand your ground. We'll try and overlook the fact that you are not only eating quiche...not just cooking quiche...but now discussing the merits of quiche recipes.

  4. I'm all for ignoring the recipe, but I think it's madness to ignore a recipe by using someone else's ignoring of the recipe. I find when I cook something brand new, I follow the recipe as much as possible first time, and then slowly start experimenting with it till I learn how to actually cook the thing (which probably won't be the exact as-written recipe). You need to work out for yourself which bits are important, and which bits you can mess with. You need to work out which bits are just plain wrong, and which bits aren't. It's a feeling thing. You can't inherit someone else's feelings (and I believe, under that mask, Darth does have feelings).