The Pact

ff Note: This post is part of Fatherhood Friday at Dad Blogs, where all the cool kids are hanging out. (Moms are welcome over there!) Welcome to my visitors from DB; thanks for stopping in!

If you’re a long-time reader, you know that Jim and I are equal partners in everything. We run our house like a well-oiled machine about 99.9% of the time. I am “lucky” in that he has no qualms about doing laundry, washing dishes, vacuuming, or any of those “traditional woman jobs”, and he is “lucky” that I have no qualms about cutting the grass, taking out the trash, being his ever-ready assistant with home repairs, or any of those “traditional man jobs”. We run the household equally, and one of us isn’t feeling good or is busy with work or other outside obligations, the other makes up the difference at home.

We even shared the job of talking to our boys about the birds and the bees; it became more like a family meeting. (A note to parents who are scared of having to handle things like that with their opposite-gender kids: if you can get your fear to subside just for that first 15-minute chat, you will be so happy you did it! After you stop the cold sweats, that is.)

There are TWO areas, however, for which Jim and I each took sole responsibility ages and ages ago, when the 16-year-old was still in the womb. We made a pact, a pact that remained intact until the boys were able to handle these two things independently.

It has to do with nails and vomit.

When I was pregnant, Jim had read/heard somewhere that if you’re not careful when trimming an infant’s nails, you could cut the tips of their little baby fingers off. It totally freaked him out.

One day he said to me, “I’ll tell you what. If you promise to cut the baby’s nails, I will take care of the puking. Forever.”

Without hesitation I exclaimed, “YOU’VE GOT A DEAL, BUDDY!”

It was that easy. From that day forward, I cut the nails, and he handled the (rare, thank goodness) occasions when a boy would get *that look* on his face and run to the bathroom to wretch.

Did he get the short end of the stick? Nah, I don’t think so. Luckily Jim and I are both Non-pukers. In fact, I can count on my fingers the amount of times I’ve thrown up in my entire, 40-year-old life. Amazing, huh? Thank goodness our kids are made of the same, strong-stomached stuff.

Now that the kids are cutting their own nails and can toss their cookies unassisted, we’re both off the hook. But it was “fun” while it lasted.



  • Mom24

    Mark and I are much, much more equals than my parents were. I love having that kind of a marriage. I think it’s really important.

    When Jason was little, I remember him getting sick one day and Mark told me if he was around that he would throw up too. I was not sympathetic at all, I told him to get over it, and fortunately, he did. I like your deal better though, especially as Julianna has a terrible stomach bug. 🙂

  • Kat

    I swear we must have been separated at birth 🙂 The hubby and I are the same in our household only we’ve got nobody else’s nails to cut and we gotta do the cookie tossing ourselves but heck if he’d offer me the same deal I’d be screaming that somebody should pencil me in.

  • Sarah

    Ooooooh, I don’t do puking either. For one simple reason: There’d likely be an even bigger mess to deal with if I did. Now if hubby is not around to deal with it when it happens – then I just have to deal – but thankfully he’s been around for most of it. I have a hard enough time dealing with the cat barf. 🙁

  • i am the diva

    Ours is teeth, i’m all over mucous and junk, but B-rad is the one who will have to deal with losing teeth. ::shudder:: i can’t handle loose teeth or teeth that aren’t attached to the mouth.

  • WeaselMomma

    You are definitely a smart negotiator! Even 1 bout of toddler stomach flu, was worth the insurance policy!

  • (F)redddy

    We split the things in our house quite equally too, but I always seem to get stuck with the poopy diaper duty, cuz the FP CAN’T SMELL! He has no sense of smell and can never tell when the boys have crapped, so I usually get stuck with that nine-times-outta-ten. Oh, and now that I’m thinking about it, I have to do all the cooking too, cuz he’s, well, not good at it. Now that I think about it some more I do quite a lot.

  • ciara

    since i’m the sahm and hubs is gone 12 hrs a day all of it becomes my responsibility but i HATE when no one picks up after themselves. over the years my gag factor has increased…having to clean up vomit will also cause me, too. my sense of smell has increased to that of a pregnant lady. no lie. so everything smells 1000x worse. since i’m on 2nd hubs if my girls need something i do it, if his son needs something he does it. we do agree and do a lot of things together when it comes to the kids.

  • Otter Thomas

    My wife insisted that I get in there and help with all the baby duties and I am glad that I did. I haven’t cut finger nails either though. Maybe because I just don’t have a steady enough hand.

  • Mags

    That DOES sound like a pretty sweet deal you had there for a while! Though I’m always afraid to cut newborn nails-so afraid I’ll somehow end up snipping off their soft new skin.

  • seashore subjects

    Great bargain! One day my hubby was talking to a friend and our son had puked (i was at work). Hubby said, gotta go… friend suggested he leave it there ’til I was home! Jeez, makes me glad we are partners in my house too!

  • nonnasnonsense

    we used to be more equal partners, but since i’m a sahl (stay-at-home-lump)right now, i feel it’s my job to do it all. course if i’m lazy and hubby runs outta drawers he’ll just go wash some so that’s cool too.

  • Mrs4444

    That’s awesome. Mark and I only made this deal: You don’t ever throw/push me in a pool, and I will never tickle you. Works well so far…

  • Michelle

    Awww, gotta love those deals. Me? I have my husband handle both those particular duties. I can’t STAND the sound of nails clipping. And I don’t do puke.

    But I do ALL the cooking, and I know Jim steps up for you….

  • Tina

    Couples are really great and loving. We are also a good equal partners but I do Cooking and he does his official jobs but we help eachother and render good support as well.