My Lovely Bride warned me over breakfast yesterday –ironically, just before we left for church – that she was feeling a certain emotional surge that happens about 12 times a year, if you know what I mean. Over the years, we’ve abbreviated that sentiment and placed it in code: she feels like ripping heads of off of bunnies.
(As we laughed about it later, she actually encouraged me to share this with you.)
Her feeling of anger this month coincided with a surge in concern as to the whereabouts of Eddie’s dear snuggly Lammie, given to him by my mother-in-law when he was a baby.
Lammie has seen us through countless sleepless nights, road trips and games of hide and seek. With a stuffed lamb’s head and short blanket body, he became a she and got married to Froggie one day. Lammie’s seam across his squared-off bottom end finally gave way, and Lammie became a pillowcase-like transport device for smaller stuffed critters. Despite countless washings and bleachings to within an inch of his/her life, Lammie has taken on a permanent, dingy grey-white hue.
Now Lammie is on the lam.
I freely admit that I hate looking for things. (What’s the point, unless you know they’re there to be found?) Yet being an at-home dad has forced me to get better at it. The problem Sunday morning during my Lovely Bride’s “emotional surge” was that she thought I don’t care about Lammie being missing. While I may feel it serves Eddie right to lose Lammie, as it proves he doesn’t take good care of his things, I had actually looked. A little. I just wasn’t willing to halt the entire day to tear the house apart over this, especially when we needed to be out the door in 10 minutes.
Sometimes we blackmail the children into cleaning up by setting a timer and telling them everything on the floor will go into a trashbag when the beeper goes off. Thinking Lammie had gotten swept up in that way, I looked on top of the armoire, next to the washing machine and in my wardrobe – all the places the Trashbag Of Toys usually ends up. No luck. I hadn’t bothered to tell my wife I had even considered looking, so she thought I just didn’t care. (She must have forgotten that my two favorite bears from childhood are still stored away in a chest in my parents’ house.)
I’ve been reading “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs, and the author’s basic premise is that men above all want respect from their wives. That could mean not second-guessing the husband’s decisions, for example. Women, Eggerichs writes, want frequent communication and loving behavior from their spouses. So, I was unloving when I didn’t communicate my concern about lost Lammie or that I had in fact been looking (when it suited me). It didn’t help that on the way to church, I (calmly) asked my Lovely Bride if she wanted to get out and walk. We later both apologized and discussed.
Meanwhile, we’ve looked under the sofa and beds, in the back of the closet, in the car and in the dress-up box, where Lammie could have gotten stuffed as the kids scurried to beat the threat of timer-and-trashbag. My wife even looked in all the suitcases. No dice.
So if you’ve seen Lammie, lemme know.