Day 340: Going Native

Lindsay and I barely have any time to talk, much less explain ourselves to each other, so when I heard her upstairs singing the Strawberry Shortcake song, I just yelled, “No!” and she replied with a cheery, “Sorry!” and we went about our business. She wasn’t offended, and I didn’t feel the need to compliment her singing in spite of her choice of material. There was no time to say, “Babe, love your voice, but I can’t hear the goddamn Strawberry Shortcake song again.” I only had the energy to yell, “NO!” as if someone had asked if I liked bleu cheese salad dressing, or the cat was trying to eat my burrito.

Lindsay is completely immersed in kid culture. She’s even started dressing like a child – not a toddler – more like Pippi Longstocking or Punky Brewster. Yesterday she had on a purple hoodie and orange jeans tucked In to long colorful flowery socks. She’s also been wearing short pigtails, eating children’s food, and on numerous occasions I’ve spotted her taking long drinks from one of the kids’ sippy cups.

There’s a term in anthropological research called “going native,” and it’s used to describe a situation where a researcher comes to identify so much with his or her subjects that she gives up her “real” life to live amongst the people she’s been studying.

I’m worried my wife is going native. For the last few nights, Arlo hasn’t gone to bed until past 10:30, thereby preventing us from having any adult time. We woke up with him and went to bed with him. In between, while I was working, she sang songs, read board books, made play dough pizzas, and said, “Really great jumping!” four-hundred times. Without small doses of grown-up reality, I fear she may embrace the culture of our children a bit too much, and lose her already tenuous grip on womanhood. When she has time to herself during the afternoon, she’s frantically organizing our extensive online catalog of family photos like a manic CIA agent desperate to prove a far-fetched theory.

Thankfully, my parents are coming today for 3 weeks which should help relieve some of the potion making, pillow fort building, and fake leaf raking duties, allowing us to concentrate on her re-entry into adult culture. I suspect it might take a few days; she’s coming off a long boat trip to toddler island and will require some time in isolation to shake her sea legs. The first step will be tonight, as I’m sure my father will cook a meal suitable for humans over the age of 11. Tomorrow, I will force her to go hunting and then to a death metal show in the evening. Life is about balance, and it’s my responsibility to load up the other side of the scale for a few days before both of us start wearing velcro shoes.

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27 thoughts on “Day 340: Going Native

  • Thanks for this! Not only did I have a good laugh, but I remembered this months after originally reading it and am going to include it in my Anthropology field research paper on Motherhood. If that's ok with you?

  • When you start doing raspberries on each other's bellies, there may be no going back until the kids go to college ;)

  • I thought what I was wearing was fine until my husband said, "It seems like alot of your clothes look like pajamas lately." I guess mothers of toddlers don't realize they are going native until someone is brutally honest…. BUT I have caught him singing from Dora and Diego, and that shit has got to stop.

  • This is hilarious…and so true. My husband and I have found that we've started talking to each other in toddler-speak. The other day, he wanted to use the iPad but I was using it. He tried to grab it and I held it to my chest yelling, "No! Mine! Mine!" while he hollered, "All done! All doooooone!" Mind you, we have 14 years of post-high school education between the two of us.

    We're turning into the child, instead of the child turning into us. It's scary.

    We need a vacation.

  • 'It's a hundred and four days of summer vay-cay-shun, and school….' Wait, what?

    This was me last weekend. I knocked about in my capri-length pastel flower-printed jammy bottoms, a red t-shirt from work, and my grey Uggs. With a side-ponytail and the spider ring my middle son had gifted me with on Friday. It happens to all of us.

    My husband had the presence of mind to open a cheap bottle of wine and bring it to me in front of the computer once the kids were asleep. It was a short, lovely trip back to adult-hood, until I caught him watching Phineas & Ferb in the other room!

  • From the look of yesterday’s post, it seems that you might be a little closer to being fully native than she is, kid songs and colorful clothes notwithstanding. Unless…wait. Has your wife peed her pants yet?

  • you guys didn’t do it right, when I found this blog I knew I loved it too much to read it all at once. Pace yourselves, I’m reading a month a day and not the whole month either, this way I can click on a month and get a surprise post. I have my methods. I’m still doing average 2-3 posts a day thank God. I’m only allowing myself this one today, it’s like a punishment for going a bit overboard yesterday I read TWO MONTHS and forwarded most of them along…..

  • I am stupefied that you have continuous adult free help for a full 3 weeks…we have two sets of grandparents within a 40 minute drive and the thought of more than 8 hours of independent thought is beyond us. We only have one kid. Wow. Enjoy every freaking moment while I jealously await your posts about all the fun I'm not having. *Sigh* Seriously I love your blog.

  • I did the same on the return trip from the Thanksgiving from hell. Six nights on the road, four different hotels with my husband and four boys ages 6, 4, 2 and 7 months. I read it in the darkened hotel room and tried not to wake the kids with my snorts of laughter.

    Thanks! I really, really needed it.

  • Yes. Yes, my husband and I do this ALL THE TIME. One of us starts humming "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" or "My Little Pony" and the other one, with reflexes not unlike those of a trained soldier in heavy combat, instantly screams "NO!" in an effort to stop the assault on their brain. Invariably the accused cheerfully apologizes, then not four minutes later while peeling every last bit of pith off single orange slices, begins absentmindedly humming again. It's a terrible thing. A terrible, terrible thing.

  • Jason can I go with her to the spa? And to the death metal band… anywhere? I considered buying Footy pajamas at target the other day… I was so excited! Then my mom looked at me like I was kidding… I wasn't kidding.

    Scared me a little. At least she has you to help… some of us are stuck on the island alone :)

    THANK YOU for the laugh and there needs to be a support group.


    • Jenny, I did the same thing at Target with my boyfriend on Sunday. I saw them and gasped, "Oh footy pajamas!" He just looked at me with a pleading kind of "Oh god please no" look on his face. I fear if he weren't there, I may have bought a pair.

      • My husband wanted to buy the footy pajamas for me, and I admit I wavered for a moment. The thought of what I'd look like at 6 months pregnant was the only thing that stopped me. And it's the only reason my husband wanted me to get them, so he could laugh himself to death at my expense. Between the two of us, I don't have much hope of remaining adult-like.

  • NO!!! I reached the end!

    Sorry. I've just spent the last several days at work reading through the whole blog (after clicking a Bloggess link), forwarding like crazy, and enjoying it a ton. But I'm all caught up now, and will only get to have one new post to look forward to daily…

    Oh, well. Thanks so much for a super fun 6 days!

  • Haha I totally agree with the short-communication thing… We need half a word to know what the other is saying.

    Want to re-enter your wife to her womanhood? I'm with April! SPA DAY!!! Incl massages, peelings, healthy drinks and a nice restaurant dinner. <3

  • "I only had the energy to yell 'NO!' as if someone had asked if I liked bleu cheese salad dressing, or the cat was trying to eat my burrito."

    Hilarious. Golden. Because its my every day…

  • You just described my life with my 2 year old and the two 1 1/2 year olds I babysit. ;-p. I wore punk pajama pants with green apples on them as pants around the house Friday ;-)

    Thanks for the great posts!

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