Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Ghosting in Babyland

Have you heard of ghosting?

It's a dating practice where one person just suddenly disappears with no explanation. It seems inconsiderate and more than a little shady.

  1. 1
    the appearance of a ghost or secondary image on a television or other display screen.
the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.

I'm not sure if I've ever been ghosted. There was that time right before college when my boyfriend started avoiding my calls, but he eventually had the guts to show up on my front porch and break up with me, probably prodded by his mother into doing the right thing.

As parents of a newly minted toddler, Tim and I both feel the pull toward ghosting. No, we can't leave our home or relationship with no explanation, but we do disappear without a word sometimes.

A few weeks ago we were in the small living area of our house. Tim and Andrew were playing on the floor, with Tim clearly in charge of childcare. I had my back to them as I sat at the dining room table a few feet away.  At some point, I heard whiny cries from Andrew, turned around, and saw no one. Tim was gone. I soon found Andrew stuck under the couch.

Later, I was like, "Dude, what happened to you?" Tim said he had gotten really, really tired and withdrew to take a nap, saying nothing to me.

I'd been ghosted!

Now before we judge Tim too harshly, I'll admit that yesterday I said, "I need to run and go pee," before Tim drove Margaret to school. I deposited Andrew in Tim's arms and ran up the stairs. Once in the bathroom, I started thinking that a quick shower would hardly take any time at all. By the time Tim hunted me down to hand back the baby, I had peed, showered, and dressed.

One of the biggest challenges to having a baby at this stage in life is that we have experienced at least 10 years of some degree of personal freedom and now it's gone. I feel the pinch the most when it comes to my writing and personal hygiene. Tim feels it at work as he must rush to come home and relieve me, and he misses running and playing on a soccer team. Oh, and sleep. We both miss sleep.

I ghosted Tim recently when, after pulling into the garage after an errand, I just stayed in the car. And stayed. I may have dozed off a little. It's just so tempting to try to carve out a little more alone time when we can find it.

After almost 25 years together, our relationship has a lot of give and take. These days we just have to be able to find the other person in order to give back the baby and take a break.


Jenni said...

I am cracking up reading this! I've been ghosting my husband lately when I hand off the baby to do x, then just keep on going until y and z are also done. Granted it's usually things like loading the dishwasher and taking out the trash, but the times I don't have a baby in my arms are so few and far between that I have to take advantage! Glad to give him an official term to use!

Penny said...

I know that your post is addressing you and Tim and parenting, but I thought you might be interested to know that It's not primarily a dating practice, it's actually used more in the context of a friend dumping you over a period of time with no explanation (you usually don't even realize it's happening at first). At least with a boyfriend/girlfriend you feel like that's somewhat normal (not a good way to end it, but some people are bad at breakups), but with a regular friend it feel more personal and painful.

Unknown said...

When my kids were small, after I put them in bed one night, I went looking for my husband and discovered his car was missing. Called him..and the dude was sitting in a theater waiting for Star Wars (Episode II I think?) to start. That was ballsy ghosting! said...

As a mother of grown children gone off from home, and as a person who lives alone with no one to"ghost" or be "ghosted" by, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your antics to keep Andrew covered and somehow get the peace and space you need. Wishing you lots of sleep and time. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this post was hysterical! :) Is it possible to "ghost" yourself? I have DEFINITELY driven into my garage, turned off the car, lowered the garage door and just stayed in the car for probably 20 minutes (maybe 30!) or so before going inside and facing the chores that I needed to do or getting out of the car to unload the shopping bags I needed to take inside and unpack. It's like cocooning inside a leather-lined womb.