Third Party Faux PasI have been (mis)using ILIASM as a sounding board for parenting in a SM, because I could not find any group close to IPIASM (living is overrated, parenting is everything) on EP.
Today we went to our son's pediatrician, you know, the woman who's a great doctor but in the habit of slapping me on the back whenever I make a feeble joke. After checking on our son, she starts chatting about toddler behavior, because my wife complained a little what a hard time she has managing our son. The kid is bored, so my wife takes him out of the office. The doc asks me a couple things about my babysitting hours, and I reply truthfully.
After five minutes of this conversation, she blurts out "You are doing an excellent job. Could you please call your wife back so I can tell her to follow your strategy about behavior control?" I am already quaking with trepidation at this point, but I call the wife.
As the ped moves ahead, I can literally feel my wife turning into a porcupine. The atmosphere is electric. At some point she says, "ah, but on a few occasions he has shouted quite loudly at [the kid] --- I can't do that, especially when the child is not well." Then the ped patiently says, "First, everyone loses it once in a while with their children; keep yourself in control and of course don't hurt the baby, but why be ashamed of feeling or expressing frustration? Second, well or not, the child is not allowed to hold you at ransom. When the child is not well, give extra comfort, not indulgence."
This is why I love the state of mutually assured refusal so bloody much. If this happened during the years when I was an abject beggar, I would be assured of the couch for months. Oh the outrage that I might do some things competently, or --- heaven forbid --- better than her.
But hey, I am pretty sure I am not a great dad; I just get by. And I am glad the ped is happily married with no ulterior intentions. She probably does read the situation a bit by now, though.