It’s common knowledge that having children affects the husband-wife relationship. For example, we used to spend our evenings in the pub, whereas now our evenings are spent in the living room: me on the laptop, her watching TV and then having a hot bath. The best time of day used to be a lie-in on Saturday mornings, now it’s the moment all the kids are in bed, and I can go on my laptop and she can…you catch my drift.
I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, of course; I’m merely pointing out the changes children bring. Whilst attempting to get our baby daughter into a routine, we find ourselves in one, and it’s comfortable.
For example: there was a time, before children and marriage, when text conversations with my wife were exciting. I would wait with bated breath for my phone to vibrate and beep, and eagerly tap out a response when it did.
In contrast, here is the text conversation we had today. She is on the right, I’m on the left.
pick up 2 AA batteries and 3 D batteries please xx
if eon come now ill prob be out as leaving for double docs appointment and theyre bound to be running late
i’m sure they’ll ring one of us. let me know how doc goes xx
ok. they said between 10-2 so unless they came when i was getting noah theyve not been yet xx
Eon guy says he’s running half an hour late x
How did docs go? x
Are you still at docs? Eon man at house x
still in docs
No prob i’ll cancel – battery low x
find out when payday is xx
To be honest, I’m amazed you’re still reading. But what can I say? Marriage and children means excitement makes way for comfort; and, instead of each other, attention is focussed on the kids.
Still, I can’t complain. But as a parting gift, perhaps there’s no better indication of how things change than this. Remember the first time you passed wind in front of your girlfriend, how mortified you were? You expected her to backslap you across the face and storm out. Six-and-a-half years of marriage – and three kids – later, and this is a word-for-word conversation that my wife and I had the other night. The time is 7.30 PM, and outside all is dark and quiet. Stars shimmer in the sky, and frost forms on the pavement. Inside the house, the Christmas tree twinkles, and a candle flickers in the corner of the room, throwing a soft orange glow across the wall.
‘Right, now the kids are in bed I’m going to do a poo,’ I say. My wife barely acknowledges that I have spoken, and continues watching TV.
‘Alright,’ she replies distantly, ‘but remember to bleach the loo afterwards.’