Seems like my N has a very similar personality when he's at his most...challenging. I'm always sad when people ONLY see this..challenging side.
Quick ! write something to redeem Rob in the eyes of your readers!
GOOD THOUGHT. I know that EVEN THOUGH I understand that someone might only blog about a spouse when the spouse is being awful, or about life when they need to vent, I NEVERTHELESS sometimes get the impression that someone is married to a total pinehole or having a rotten life. And Rob, while he has his pinehole/rotten moments like any other human being, is not ALL BAD.
Rob was 5 when I found out I was having twins, and his response was a sarcastic "Great. TWO of them." He was not particularly fond of his 2-years-younger brother William, so the prospect of EVEN MORE younger siblings failed to please. But then as soon as the twins were born he was affectionate and sweet with them, and started saying things like, "When do you think we can have ANOTHER baby?" He was very happy when I was expecting Henry, and wanted to talk a lot about what did we think the new baby would be LIKE, and he's been affectionate and sweet with Henry too, as with the twins. He'll say, "Hey, Henry, do you want to go PLAY OUTSIDE with me?" and then they'll go racing out together, a 12-year-old and a 3-year-old. Periodically he'll mention that he thinks we should have another baby in our family.
Oh, I just remembered a Rob-related story. After the twins were born, Paul and I weren't planning to have any more children. So when Rob asked when we could have another baby, I said no, there wouldn't be any more babies. I'd have to look up exactly what he said, but he was dumbstruck and indignant, saying something like what about the fifth one, the boy? He said it EXACTLY as if it had been a long-standing, much-discussed plan---as if for years we'd been saying that our family would be boy, boy, girl, boy, boy, and now we were suddenly saying we wouldn't have that last baby after all. So then it was neat when we DID have an unexpected fifth child, a boy.
Anyway, back to the Rob Praise. He's a good talker. He asks questions of the sort a person WANTS to answer, and then he listens, and then he asks more questions of the "Is it like....?" variety that keep the conversation going and show he's been listening. And I don't have to worry as much that he'll be upset about something and won't tell me about it---like William, who will suppress it and cry privately over something COMPLETELY FIXABLE, with me not even knowing he was unhappy about a decision I'd made casually.
He says hello when he comes into a room, and says things like "Goodbye, I'm going to the bus now, have a good day, see you later, bye!" when he leaves in the morning. And when he comes home he'll say "How was your day?" or "Did you have a good day?"
He's naturally helpful, in that he will start pitching in without being asked. If it's a task he doesn't know how to just pitch in with, he'll ask if he can help. If I come home from errands and start bringing in bags, he'll put his shoes on and come out to help without anyone saying anything. And this isn't because we've trained him to do it, which is why I used the word "naturally": it's the sort of thing that, after he started doing it on his own, I thought, "Hey, we SHOULD HAVE been training him to do this. And we should train WILLIAM to do this TOO."
He also says "thank you" a lot. We did train that one, but we also trained the other kids and it's Rob who does it without being prompted or reminded. I'll come home with something even kind of boring, like a new plain shirt I got him on clearance, and he'll say, "Hey, thanks!" with enthusiasm. Or if he's out of some food item he likes, and I go to the grocery store and come home with it, he'll say, "Yay, string cheese! Thanks!"
He opens doors for me, and for strangers.
We passed one of his teachers at the grocery store and didn't recognize her at first because she was out of context, and as soon as he realized who it was, he asked if he could go say hi---and then he bounded over to her, greeted her nicely, pointed me out so the teacher and I could exchange a wave, and then said bye and bounded back. Polite and friendly, but without inundating her with child-interaction during her school-free hours.
He likes to go shopping with me, and is a pleasant companion: chatty and helpful.
He doesn't notice much or care much if other people don't like him. This is a trait I unsuccessfully work on acquiring, and so I'm glad he has it.
Also, he's tall and he has lots of eyelashes.
So. Even though I feel like he will drive me LITERALLY MAD with the arguing and the firstborn justice issues and the ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS HAS TO BE RIGHT, he does have his good points too.