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When A Father Attacks: The Catch-22

Part 2 of When A Father Attacks

My wife is a beautiful, gregarious, headstrong, outspoken woman. When I first met her, her energy was electrifying. She was a nice balance to my mellow and sometimes passive ways. My wife is goal-oriented. The workplace is her domain where she thrives, fearlessly speaking her mind, pushing forward to get results, even as recently as yesterday when her comments to a vice-president contributed to the yanking of a potentially offensive ad campaign. My wife is a planner, at work and with our kids she plans things out from top to bottom, making sure no stone is left unturned.

My wife is a control freak. Her picture is next to the definition of Type-A personality. Family has told me she’s been this way for a long time.

In seeking out goals and outcomes before process and expense, my wife, on several occasions has broken the bank and physically exhausted me in her efforts to “get the job done.” My son has gotten nearly everything he’s ever asked for. And now that we’ve been married for a little more than six months I’ve watched her focus heavily on the premise that “we” aren’t having fun because “we” are bogged down with being parents, and being New Yorkers. But this sentiment is based on her assumptions, not ascertained by actually asking me.

So my wife makes plans, whether feasible or not, in the name of doing what she things we should be or are not doing. I don’t subscribe to playing dead, but I do know that the first three years of marriage are the hardest and this writer would argue the first might possibly be the worst of the three. We paid for our wedding, out of pocket. So things are skimpy, but never sparse.

In the name of having a month to ourselves and in the name of rekindling love anew, my wife began to plan. She got my parents on-board with the idea of taking my daughter for July. She told her friends and her parents. I was the last to know. I can hear the thought process in my head:

Tada!!! Baby, are you surprised?

In actuality, I was pissed. My parents don’t see my daughter often and they’re aged, so why wouldn’t I want them to spend time with her? My wife and I don’t spend much time alone, so why wouldn’t I want to dedicate quality time to my new bride? We live in an apartment and my parents own a home with a large front and backyard with a beautiful lawn and tall maple trees. Why wouldn’t I want my daughter to experience that versus running around the sitter’s house?

Why would I want to stand in the way of all of the above?

Because I’m her father. When I met my son he was five so I missed out on his early development. Last month when I began to have a meltdown, my wife, my parents, my in-laws and our collective friends had no idea the position they put me in (the idea of missing a day of my daughter’s life, the way it was handled, the thought that I would stand in the way of her having a nice time with my parents).

All this in the name of enjoying a month off, even though I never asked for month off and never thought I couldn’t enjoy my new bride with my baby being a part of the picture. After all, we’re the ones who brought her into our picture.

I was stuck…between a rock and a hard place.

For what happens next, check in tomorrow for When A Father Attacks: Man At War...part three of this four-part series running through July 3.

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