Conversations with my wife: Interpreting motherhood

Our baby saves his crying almost exclusively for when he is tired. But when he does cry, he really belts it out. He’ll play and play, then suddenly start to wail. This means it’s time to help him drift off to sleep.

One night, when my wife was out, the baby turned on his tired siren. My wife came home as I was rocking him in my arms. He hadn’t gone to sleep yet, which means he was still bellowing his sleepy woes at me.

WIFE: What’s wrong with the baby?

ME: He’s ready for bed.

WIFE: Poor thing. Give him to his mother.

(I hand him over, which is always easier to do when he’s crying.)

WIFE: (To the baby.)My sweet baby, always crying for your family when you get so sleepy. You’re just like your mama.

ME: That’s not like you at all. You yell at your family when you’re tired.

WIFE: That’s how mothers cry.

wife scolding husband

American men have been misinterpreting motherhood since the days of the Founding Fathers (and Founding Sons). The poor, misunderstood mother in this scene is only crying at her family. Maybe it is her horribly dislocated elbow that is causing her such sadness.