I woke up alone in bed. Surprising that. He usually sleeps in much later than me on Fridays. I roll over, burying my face in his pillow. It smells of his aftershave and shampoo. Very nice. And it's a little damp - probably because he slept on it with his hair wet.
Eventually my eyes fall on his baby pic on my bedside table. His mother gave me this pic the first time I met her - before we were married. And I mislaid it and forgot all about it until the day after I miscarried. Suddenly I wanted it really badly. I was looking for it everywhere and I fell into hysterics because I couldn't find it. He was trying to calm me down, saying if I wanted it so much he'll get his parents to email it. When I got it I put it in the frame on top of our wedding pic and it's been on my bedside table ever since. I have a feeling he always thought that was a bit weird but he never commented on it. My husband really will do anything to avoid getting into conversations about things he doesn't wish to discuss.
No prizes for guessing what it makes me think of. Today I find myself thinking maybe that's not healthy - having it in my face all the time I mean. So I reach for the frame and I put the wedding picture back on top. It makes me feel a bit sad. Am wondering if today would be a good day to have That Talk. It's hard to decide. If I open the subject and it doesn't go well it might ruin our weekend. But then when is a good time? On weekdays he's too tired and stressed out to handle difficult conversations he says. So if not the weekend then when?
Besides why should it ruin our weekend?Most couples would enjoy talking about their future children. On that thought I fall asleep again.
Next time I surface feeling rested and fresh. A good night's sleep for a change. I get up, have my shower and then go into the kitchen to make my coffee. No sugar. And no sign of him. Curiouser and curiouser.
I make myself a cup of black coffee no sugar. Then I call him. It rings twice. I hear his key in the door so I hang up. He'd obviously been out shopping for groceries. I remember that I had left the shopping list taped to the fridge door. I meant it for myself actually - to remind me of what we've run out of.
I help him carry the bags in and put everything away. Then I start to cook. I like to have fun with breakfast on Fridays. Trying out new recipes and new accessories for the table etc....I get to cook at my leisure and not at the end of a long working day. When I'm done I call downstairs for his newspapers. Me I've never been much of a newspaper reader. I follow the news on the internet, or on the radio when I'm driving to work. But he likes to read them over breakfast. And he'll pass me the good bits to read so now I'm keeping up with most of the local papers - Arabic and English.
The newspapers arrive and I call out that breakfast is ready. He doesn't show up so I go looking for him. He's in the study watching some medical DVD. I point out that it's his day off. He starts going on about how awesome whatever it was he was watching that I'm averting my face from is. My husband just cannot understand that not everyone can get as excited as him about surgeons in blood-soaked gloves playing with people's facial bones.
I tell him the food is getting cold. He switches off the computer, walks up and gives me a kiss. He asks if I'm on the menu. I say that for him, I am always on the menu but he has to eat my food first. That's not usually a problem. Mashallah he has a healthy appetite and will eat satisfyingly large quantities of whatever you cook - no matter what time of day it is. It makes him a pleasure to cook for.
I wait until we're done with breakfast and the newspapers. Then I figure it's as good a time as any. At that point my hands are getting cold and sweaty as I try to think of a good opening. I can't believe how nervous I am!
Me : 7abibi?
He looks at me. And for a second I'm just staring at him.
Him: Fi 7aga?(Something wrong?)
I take a deep breath.
Me : I've been wondering if maybe you have something against fatherhood.
Him: Ya3ni eh?(What do you mean?)
Me : Ya3ni I'm interested in your feelings on the subject.
Him: We had this discussion before. Many times. I told you that when we move away from here if you want to start a family it's ok with me.
Me : Yes you keep saying that. If I want. Don't you want?
Him: In the future, yes I do.
Me : How many?
Him : What?
Me : How many kids would you like to have?
Him : Oh. One I guess. Maybe 2.
Me : And if I want more?
Him : Leh inshallah?Howa ana kol ma abosilik hatgeebili 3ayel?(Why?Are you going to get pregnant everytime I look at you?)
Sarcasm. Not a good sign.
Me : So 2 is your limit.
Him : Inti 3ayza kam(How many do you want?)?A dozen?
Me : No. I just want one.
Him : Tayeb btisa'ali leh?(So why are you asking?)
Me : I'm asking questions to keep you talking.
Him : Ishmi3na ya3ni?(Why?)
Me : Because this is important to me and you're my husband and I like to talk to you about things that are important to me.
Him : Ok so talk to me. I'm listening.
Me : Don't you have anything to say to me?
Him : 7adritik inti illy bit2ooli inik mi7taga titkalimi.Wana ba2oolik ana ta7t amrik. Itfadali. Ana sam3ik.
"7adritik" and "ta7t amrik" in the same sentence. Not a good sign AT ALL. Formality is what he does when he's pissed at me. But I didn't let him intimidate me this time. He said I should talk so I did. It's hard to talk about your personal feelings to someone who isn't showing a lot of sympathy or understanding. But I kept talking -not looking at him.
Eventually he thawed out a bit. And I got a few bits of useful information out of him - although it was like pulling teeth.I learnt that he feels he already has to share me with my job and that if I have a family too then the honeymoon will really be over and I will have no time for our relationship, that I will turn into a 'typical Arab woman' and our marriage will turn into a 'typical Arab marriage' - both of which I gather he does not consider good things. And I learnt that he thinks I'm so obssessive about this baby thing it's not healthy and that if I'm this obssessive now I'll be even more obssessive when the baby does arrive.
Me : And you're not used to me obssessing about anything other than you right?
That made him smile. At last.
Him: Yeah I guess you could put it that way.
Me : Would it help if I promise to obssess about you always?
Me : I will absolutely stalk you. You shall have no rest.
Him: La mish awi kida.
Me : Seriously I think you should trust me more.
Him: What does trust have to do with it?
Me : Well what you're saying is that you don't think I can handle being a good wife and a good mother. That's a remarkable lack of faith in my abilities. Don't you realize you married Superwoman?
Him(smiling): Superwoman mara wa7da? I do have faith in you. I'm just glad I don't have to put my faith to the test so soon after our marriage. That's the problem, isn't it? I mean we both accept that we have to wait. But I'm enjoying the wait, the time I have with you and you're not.
Me : If I didn't enjoy my time with you and if I didn't love you, I wouldn't want to have your children so much.
Him: I don't know. I'd really like to think that.
How can he doubt me?How CAN he?I AM Superwoman. I'll SHOW him!