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'Husband Time' Is Nothing Close to Real Time

Photograph by Twenty20

“Honey, what time is it?” I ask my hubby.

“I don’t know.”

My husband can’t tell time. I’m assuming he missed this class at school, along with classes in cooking and throw-pillow placement. I’ve tried to teach him how a watch works, but clocks are to my husband as a spin class is to me: all sweat and confusion.

I’ve been scared to overwhelm his brain with mind-blowing concepts such as “time,” so I’ve resorted to keeping our family on a schedule all by myself. Now, I’m the one that’s about to have my head explode.

Over the years, I’ve noted that “husband time” runs differently than all normal time. Lost in his own time zone, the hubs wanders around, eating breakfast at midnight and taking showers five minutes before rushing out the door. While his schedule works well for him, it doesn’t always work for me or our 5-year-old.

When Dad’s in charge, eating breakfast at midnight leads to an overtired kid using a broom to pole vault so he can paint our ceiling in Fruit Loops. (OK, that didn’t actually happen — it was Apple Jacks.) This is why I am the keeper of our schedule.

As the only person that can tell time in the house, I make sure our kid stays happy, well fed and arrives at school on time. These are all brilliant reasons to stick to the clock. The biggest obstacle I encounter here is my husband.

Sometimes, trying to get my husband out the door with us is what I imagine it would be like to herd zombies.

To keep him running in our routine, I find myself resorting to such clever tactics as hovering or giving him a countdown of how much time we have until departure. I end up feeling less like a loving partner and more like a tense cruise director — or worse yet, a nag. As a result, this strategy starts grown-up battles that begin with adult phrases like, “You’re not the boss of me.”

But how can I keep us on time and keep the peace?

There have been occasions I’ve tried to slip into my husband’s free-and-easy lifestyle. It seems like it’d be super fun being my own boss, until I remember that I have a 5-year-old to feed and to keep from eating glue. No schedule at all means a hangry kindergartener who could be in mortal danger, and that’s enough to scare me right back into my love affair with my watch.

The only time my hubby’s devil-may-care lifestyle truly works is on a vacation. Those are the times when time doesn’t matter. I’m reminded how freeing it feels not having to keep track of any time while I’m scraping crusty Fruit Loops off the ceiling. I wouldn’t mind some more of that free feeling, too. It’s exhausting trying to keep everyone on task 24/7. Sometimes, trying to get my husband out the door with us is what I imagine it would be like to herd zombies.

I’m tired of feeling so pushy all the time.

Yes, the time has come for my husband to learn how to use a clock! There’s room for two cruise directors aboard this ship and this is one task I’m happy to share. Walking around barking out orders has turned me into a person neither of us enjoys listening to. I’m ready for a good plan, so that change can begin now ... or right after date night.

“Honey, how long ’til the football game starts?” I ask my hubby.

“About an hour.”

Ah ha! He can tell time.

There’s hope.

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