Mack and I argue. A lot. Not usually blazing arguments but bickering for sure. For the most part, this works for us. We have open communication and sometimes we don’t agree on things but c’est la vie. We are both big believers in constructive disagreements and part credit our 11 year + strong relationship to it. But since we’ve had Mush, we’ve had to up our game and argue on another level.
Can any of you parents recognise these arguing styles from your own experiences?
Style 1: the passive aggressive ‘whilst speaking to the baby’ argument.
Mack and I can have whole discussions with each other without actually even speaking to each other, by way of Mush. For instance, me to Mush:
“Oh look Mush, Daddy hasn’t emptied the kitchen bin and hasn’t put the black bin out for the bin men. Silly Daddy. Daddy’s going to be hopping around outside in his dressing gown again in the morning.”
“If only Mummy had legs of her own to put the bin out herself, ey Mush? Maybe Daddy would do it if he didn’t have to navigate around Mummy’s shoe collection to get to the back door.”
“Well Mush, us girls aren’t in a position to relocate our shoe collection. Us girls have to stay shoe-nited.”
And so on…
Style 2: the hilarious non-profanity, profanity arguments.
When all you want to say is fuck, shit, bollocks but there are little ears about. For example:
When I trip over Mack’s dumbells AGAIN and want to say:
“Shit! My toe! Grr you’re such a knob head!”
“Cheese and rice! My toe! Grr you’re such a knob of butter!”
No word of a lie, we actually say these things. Rather sounds like we’re cooking, doesn’t it? Another example would be when I dance around in front of the TV when Mack Is playing Halo and he wants to tell me to:
“Stop being a dick and move out the fucking way – I’ve got to capture the flag!” (Or whatever the aim of those ridiculous games is).
“Stop being a dick-tator and move out of my clucking way! *gaming mumbo jumbo*.”
Style 3: the creepy manic smiling snipes.
Where we’re both annoyed about something but Mush is sat in-between us, oblivious and we don’t want her to cotton on so we both hiss at each other through forced, toothy smiles which makes us look like Heath Ledger’s ‘The Joker’. In hindsight, this has got to be more worrisome for Mush than hearing her parents argue over who’s turn it is to wash up.
Style 4: the heated arguments that are called off by the parent who’s ‘loosing’ with the ‘let’s not argue in front of the baby’ Get Out of Jail Free Card.
These tend to be the real McCoy arguments. Those little niggles that have really got under your skin meaning you can’t help but argue.
In arguments there is inevitably a ‘winner’ and a ‘looser’ but Mack and I are so stubborn that even though one of us realises they are the looser (Mack!) we still argue to the death. Now we’ve got Mush though, at the tipping point where one of us realises they haven’t got a leg to stand on, that ‘looser’ parent will suddenly pipe up with a, “We shouldn’t argue in front of the baby so let’s pick this up later.” It’s never picked up later.
So there you have it. How to argue around a baby, as advised by pros.
For the sake of completeness, we find apologising with the baby is also a very effective tool for resolving arguments. The ‘looser’ parent just picks up cute baby whilst hiding behind her, dangles her in front of the ‘winning’ parent and in their best baby voice impression says “Soowwy!”