My weekdays are invariably like this:
- 6.50am - wake up - shower, shave, put on a suit and quickly
- Stuff back a bowl of gruel (aka All-Bran) and bring Linzi breakfast in bed (tea and toast, and her folic acid tablet). Kiss her, tell her I love her, then
- Drive to work. This takes 45 minutes, but can be done in less than half an hour - depends on traffic.
- Work from 8.30 to 5pm. Go to the gym at lunchtime on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Get home around 6pm, except Thursday, when I play football after work, and don't get home until 7.45pm.
- Get changed out of work stuff. Play with Erin, help Linzi with dinner. Talk to Linzi about her day.
- Clear up dinner stuff, give Erin a bath, put her to bed around 8pm.
- Unless there are jobs to be done on the house, after 8pm I generally just sit with Linzi and massage her feet while we watch shit tv. Sometimes I run her a bath. Sometimes I give her a massage.
- Linzi goes to bed before me and reads - I sometimes go online. I usually end up getting into bed before she's finished reading, and I read for a while too. Sometimes there's sex. There's always sleep.
Most of the time.
I wrote all this to illustrate that I'm not a bad guy. I try my best, as a father and a husband. These days, I rarely drink, and when I do, it's on nights out with Linzi. I'm not the type of guy who leaves the wife and kids at home at the weekend so I can go and play golf and get wasted with the lads. We do stuff at weekends. You know, swimming, walks, whatever. Nothing amazing, but we do it together.
Anyway, yesterday evening was football. (We won, we played really well last night, thanks for asking.) I arrive home around 7.45pm, phone my grandparents to see how my Grandad's cataract laser surgery went (perfectly - he can see again!), then make Linzi dinner because she hasn't had anything yet - she's always neglecting herself in favour of others (ie Erin and I), and at 8 months pregnant, she should not be doing this. But try telling her that...
I'm chatty and generally the same as I usually am. Linzi's had a difficult day - Erin's potty-training at the moment, and she's on and off the potty twenty times a day. Because Linzi's so pregnant, it's difficult for her to manage. Her mother only lives ten minutes away from us, but she's fairly selfish and only comes over to us if there's something in it for her. Linzi wants to go shopping? Fine, she'll be happy to come over and pick her up. Same rules don't apply if the only reason Linzi wants her to come over is because she, Linzi, is dead on her feet and her back is in agony. Her mother really pisses me off sometimes, but that's a whole other blog post.
We have dinner, then I go upstairs for a quick shower. I also have a bath, because my whole body aches after the game. (I don't usually do this. Honest. I'm re-reading 'Filth' by Irvine Welsh at the moment - I read it ages ago but it's worth a second read. You'd be hard pressed to find a bigger asshole in popular fiction than Bruce Robertson. So, it was partly the pain, and partly an urge to read, that prompted me to have a bath.)
The bath drains me - I'm exhausted. I sit downstairs with Linzi for about half an hour watching this shitty American programme called High School Reunion - don't even fucking ask - then tell her I think I will go to bed. Partly because I am wrecked, and partly because I am horny, and since she's just about ready to pop, and she's had a bad day, I know she's not in the frame of mind to do anything sexual, so self-service is the way to go.
Then the tears start.
I scan my recent past, and can't come up with anything too assholey. Shit. It must be really bad, so bad that I don't even know what it is I've done wrong.
Me: What's the matter?
L: Nothing, just go to bed.
M: But why're ya crying?
L: I'm not, just go to bed if you're going.
M: Just tell me what's wrong, will you? What have I said? What did I do?
L: Nothing, it's just that you come home, you're on the phone for half an hour, then you go for a bath, and you're only sitting here with me for twenty minutes before you decide you're going to bed. I've had a shit day, my back is killing me, and after ten hours of babytalk I was hoping to have a bit of normal adult conversation. You're sitting here for twenty minutes and I am sore and exhausted and all you want to do is crawl into bed!
(I feel I should point out at this point that some female subjectivity has crept in in terms of time distortion. I was on the phone for about 15 minutes. I was sitting with Linzi for about 30 minutes. On top of this, she completely ignored the fact that I made her dinner and had been nothing but sympathetic to her plight regarding her terrible day. But apparently none of that matters.)
M: I'm sorry babe, I'm just exhausted -
L: You went up to bed early last night, and then you stayed on the computer until half past eleven!
(This is only because she was bidding for a Cowboy outfit on eBay and the auction was ending at 11.30pm so I stayed up to bid on the item. We didn't win the auction.)
M: You know I only stayed up because I had forgotten I had to bid on that auction!
Suffice to say, she's crying and I'm trying to figure out what I've done wrong. As far as I can see, my only crime is being tired. I understand that she's hormonal and very tired, and she's said as much herself, but my question is:
What can I do?
Yeah, yeah, it's a typical male response to say "How can I fix this?", but I am a guy, so tough shit.