2005-10-20 - 12:32 p.m.

I can't imagine what it must be like to have to babysit your spouse.

No, wait, that's completely untrue.

I can very easily imagine what it must be like to have to babysit your spouse. What I can't imagine is why anyone would want to do it.

No, I'm wrong again.

I can imagine why some people would want to do it.

Let's go back and clarify this. Let me give you the readers digest story of the Dobie's.

We've talked about coworker Dobie before. We've even talked before (whether you remember or not, and if you don't why aren't you taking notes?) about how Dobie married young and his young bride was a preschool teacher (re: glorified babysitter) until Dobie and his young bride adopted a stunningly gorgeous baby girl from Africa whom I would gladly eat with a spoon.

In the begining it was only Mr. & Mrs. Dobie starting out their young married lives together. They were buying a home and Mrs. Dobie would call Mr. Dobie at the office approximately every 3 hours to make sure he knew what time an appointment was or to ask him some question about money.

After they moved into this new home Mrs. Dobie started having problems at work with one of the other "teachers". She would call Mr. Dobie every 2 hours and Mr. Dobie would say things like "Have you talked to the supervisor?" and other things that men think are helpful because men look for solutions when women just want to hear "You are right dear, she is a bitch, and you are so much more right than her its amazing she hasn't burst into flame yet."

After the third or fourth call Mr. Dobie would start to lose patience. "Okay, but can't you just ignore her? You're all there for the kids right?"


He never hung up the phone without saying "I love you." Ever.

Eventually the Dobies added a Dobiedog. The Dobiedog was a cute little thing and not much trouble really. Still Mrs. Dobie would call Mr. Dobie approximately every hour to hour and a half all morning to discuss her anxiety about leaving Dobiedog home alone. Then she would call in the early afternoon and remind Mr. Dobie to go home and let Dobiedog out to Dobiedoodoo.

Understand, Mr. Dobie works about 45 minutes from home. Mrs. Dobie worked about 10 minutes from home. But Dobiedoggiedoodoo was Mr. Dobie's CHORE and he was by god going to be a part of this DobieDoggie raising experience.

When Mrs. Dobie got home from work in the early afternoon the calls would become more frequent, she would need to speak to Mr. Dobie urgenly to bring him up to date on the Dobiedoggie's afternoon antics or if the Dobiedoggie looked pale, or had a warm Dobiedoggienose.

We all exchanged looks. We knew the omen.
This was going to be a bumpy ride.

Eventually The Dobie's adopted the tasty little Dobiette and the phone calls came, as you can imagine, like fastballs.

No one was surprised. We did however expect them to slow as Mrs. Dobie became more secure in her position as MommyDobie and found ways to occupy her day that did not include phoning DaddyDobie to give him a full technicolor description of the morning's spittle.

There was a "say hi to the baby" phase that we thought might never end.

It did and things slowed. Somewhere in there, one very dark day,there was an arugment. I wrote about it because he hung up the phone without saying I love you and this, for them, was groundbreaking.

Today he was working outside.

His phone rang from an outside line and it was clear that it was Mrs. Dobie.
I didn't know he was outside right away, I waited for him to answer. When he didn't I went outside to find him.

I hadn't seen him all day and needed to be certain he wasn't dead.

I'd hate to miss a good corpse siting.

He was fine, but kind of far away. I let him know I was just doing corpse check and went back inside.

I checked his voice mail (he never does) and there was none.

His phone rang again. I ignored it. I was NO WAY gonna go chugging all the way back out there make him drop everything he was doing so that he could come in and hear what happened today on The Squiggles or whatever kids shows are called these days.

It stopped ringing and started right up again. Every time she'd get voice mail she'd hang up and start calling again.

Eventually I took all the phones off the hook. We've been having phone issues lately anyway, what's the difference?

He came back maybe an hour later and put his phone back on the hook. RING!

I couldn't hear the entire conversation. It was clear from his tone and cadence that this was another of her meltdowns.

I caught this line "You've been going to the library a lot lately."

And then, "Are you going to be okay?"

"No, you don't have to lie. Can't you just be okay?"

I didn't hear 'I love you' When he hung up.

Why would someone stay when the Mrs. needs constant babysitting?

someone would stay because they need to be needed. Because they could be afraid that if they weren't needed, if their mate were emotionally stable, then they might get left.

I don't see Dobie feeling that way. Dobie is goodlooking, smart, funny and kind. He is self confident without ever making the leap to egotistical.

I think he genuinely cares about his wife and loves her deeply. I also think he is the type of man who would put up with a lot.

I just don't know if he can stand to be a daddy to his wife AND his daughter.

Mrs. Dobie tells me that he doesn't tell her how much he loves their little girl.

I will tell her things that he's said to me about the baby and she will nearly break into tears and tell me, "I'm so glad to know he feels that way, he never says that stuff to me."

Maybe if he weren't changing your diaper he'd have more time to feel emotionally safe for a conversation.

I'm just sayin.

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