Insincerity and Feelings

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My wife and I do this little verbal tango every now and then–even moreso these days with the new baby. Our little dance goes something like this:

“Honey, I’m going to take the kids over to my mom’s for a little while to give you a break.”

Now, I know that if/when she does this, what will happen is she’ll go over there and since both her parents still work full-time jobs, that they’ll just sit there while Megan watches both kids. Oh, one or the other might hold the baby for a few moments, but after raising 7 kids, they’re not exactly begging to be grandparents for longer than a few minutes. So basically, she’ll just be dragging the kids over there and doing more work. So I say,

“No, you don’t need to do that, I’ll be fine.”

Now what I really wanted to say here is:

“Oh thank you, thank you, thank you!”

We generally go back and forth a couple of times here, with neither of us really wanting to do what we actually say. The outcome is typically the result of whichever spouse puts sufficient emphasis on just how badly they don’t mind doing what they’re saying. So for example, I might say:

“Seriously, you don’t need to do that. You’ll just end up watching both kids and that’s just dumb. I’ll be fine.”

Then I win–or lose–depending on how you look at it.

Do other couples do this, or are we just kidding ourselves here? Part of me wants to be sensitive to her needs too, but the other part of me wants to say, “Damn right! I’ve been working all day and I could really use a few minutes to de-compress. I realize your day has been long, taking care of a squirming, grunting child, but really, how bad could it have been? I mean, he took a couple of naps right?”

But I know that would only lead to hurt feelings; so I play the “good guy” card hoping to score some points that I can cash in at a later date. Anyone else do this?

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