Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shot Himself in the Foot

Husband shot himself in the foot, and he is not liking it one bit. After much arguing, I resigned myself to DH hunting last weekend. He asked which was better, last weekend or this and I said last weekend. I had a strong feeling that things would shake out like they had in the past - that he would want to go again this weekend.

I decided that I was going to try something new. I wasn't going to yell, scream, rant, rave or anything. I was going to calmly express my feelings and leave the choice up to him. I would pray for him and encourage him to do the same. I saw him off on his hunting trip last weekend with smiles and welcomed him home with the same. It was a good time for him and my positive attitude made the whole weekend more enjoyable. (the hole in my tongue wasn't too painful).

Husband gets into a deep funk the day after Christmas every year. I've gotten used to it and know to just let him do his thing. His parents were up yesterday and of course his dad and he start talking hunting. Husband really wants to go shoot his new gun. Last night he mentions that if Baby is doing well, maybe he would take Daughter into his folks. I just stayed silent.

Baby is not doing that well. He was wheezing more today and coughing a lot and getting choked. So we still need to stay up with him. I was hoping that tomorrow we could take turns napping and get caught up on sleep a bit. I mentioned napping today and he told me to go nap. I knew from his tone that he was trying to butter me up to agree to the hunting trip.

I took Daughter to see a movie with a friend, while Husband stayed with Baby. She was so thrilled to get out of the house. She is having a tough time being restricted to the house. I began to wonder if she would enjoy going to her grandparents more than staying home tomorrow.

On the way home as we were sitting in the drive-through chatting, she asked me what we were doing tomorrow. I told her that Daddy wanted to go to Grammy & Pop-Pops hunting, and asked her if she wanted to go. She said no.

Daughter went on to explain that she doesn't like hunting. Daddy takes her in and then leaves her. He won't play with her. He takes her out hunting but makes her be quiet in the deer stand and won't talk with her. One of her favorite things is to tell stories and play imagination type games. I asked some open-ended questions to see what she liked and what she didn't like about the trips. I don't want her dragged there all the time if she's truly unhappy. One of the reasons I'm slightly laid back about Husband hunting so often is that he does take Daughter with him. That gives me a break and gives them time together. I know he and she both enjoy the drive time when they get to chit-chat and talk. I also like her spending time with her grandparents. But if she's not enjoying herself then I have to reconsider.

I found myself trying to change Daughter's mind. I found myself trying to talk her into going and enjoying herself. WHAT WAS I DOING? I was trying to give her an opinion instead of letting her form her own. I heard my mother's words coming out of my mouth and I hated it. So I stopped. Right then and there I stopped.

Over dinner I brought up our plans for tomorrow. Daughter mentioned the gun show in town. (secretly amazed at her ability to remember dates and events). Husband said he didn't want to go to any dumb gun show - he wanted to hunt with his new gun. (said in a 3-year old pouting tone). I asked Husband if he wanted to go hunting around here, not knowing deer season was out in this county. He mentioned going at his folks (different county) and I told him that Daughter didn't want to go. I encouraged her to explain why. I heard Husband start to do the same thing - well what about this and what about that? Daughter had told me that Daddy tells her she can have a treat if she goes hunting. Husband saw it as giving her a special snack while they sat out in the woods. Daughter saw it as a bribe.

Husband was really down about not talking her into going. I have been saying for years that he needs to be aware that neither of the children may enjoy hunting. We may both find ourselves attending activities that neither of us particularly enjoy. If Baby wants to wrestle (blech), I will find myself sitting on the bleachers cheering, when I really don't like wrestling at all. That's what good parents do. Husband didn't think it was possible for the children not to enjoy hunting and fishing. In his insistence to make it happen, he has tried everything including "buying" Daughter's love with food, treats and other things.

Husband asked me why I thought Daughter didn't want to go. I told him that what she really wanted was time with him doing things she liked. His insistence that she do things he liked had shot himself in the foot. His trying to shove hunting down her throat had been the death of her desire. He was not at all happy about that comment. But maybe this experience will help him put hunting into perspective. I know the talk with Daughter helped me realize that she is one opinionated girl and I LOVE IT.

3 comments:

dm said...

when I first saw this one...I thought..oh-oh...he really did shoot himself in the foot w/ his new gun :-( ...I LOVED the way you talked w/ your daughter asking open ended questions and she feeling free to communicate what she's actually feeling...good stuff here..enola.

jumpinginpuddles said...

i thought the same and also like the way you interact with your daughter, kudos to you
have a awesome new year, we have a year in review sitting on our blog if you want to read it :)

Kahless said...

Cool.....

He'll probably learn and make sure his son enjoys hunting!!!