Typical Scenario, Maman Loup Household, 6:30 PM:
Mama has spent the day keeping Cub active and engaged, all the while working in the yard, getting groceries and keeping up with house work.
Papa has spent the day driving to and from Quebec City (7 hours on the road in total) to deal with staffing rearrangements for work.
Mama hears Papa come through the door. She thinks, “YAY! An adult to talk to!”
Papa walks through the door. He thinks, “Finally. Peace and quiet.”
Papa says, “Are those our buckets outside?”
Mama says, “Yup! I was out working in the yard today gathering up the branches and I have to wait till the green waste pick up next week to put them on the side of the road but I’ll bring the buckets inside after Cub is in b—-“
[Mama’s thinking: “I don’t want him to think he has to pick up after me so I want to make sure he knows I plan on bringing everything in once Cub is in bed. I want to make sure he knows I wasn’t sitting on my butt eating bonbons all day so I want to tell him how we spent the morning outside cleaning up the yard, plus, I haven’t spoken to anyone except a 19 month-old today and boy does this feel great!”]
Papa, visibly agitated: “Can you stop? Why are you justifying yourself? It was a yes or no question.”
[Papa’s thinking: “All I wanted to know was if they were our buckets. Why is she telling me her life story? I’ve been dealing with employees and customers all day, I just want to be alone and have some peace and quiet. She doesn’t understand what it’s like for me all day at work.]
Result: Mama’s hurt and Papa is angry.
Next time, Papa could say, “Good job, sounds like you had a busy day!” Mama can remember not to bombard Papa with chatter as soon as he walks in the door.
Typical Scenario, Maman Loup Household, 7:30 AM.
Papa Wolf is busy getting ready to go to work. Mama Wolf is drinking her coffee while Cub watches cartoons.
Papa Wolf says, “Don’t forget to transfer the money into our chequing account!”
Mama Wolf says, “I did it last night, you were lying right next to me and I showed you. Why don’t you ever pay attention to what I say? Don’t you remember?”
[Papa Wolf’s thinking: “Well obviously I don’t remember otherwise I wouldn’t have mentioned it. Why does she have to go on about it? Why can’t she just say she’s already done it, end of story.”]
[Mama Wolf’s thinking: “Why doesn’t he listen to me? I want to make sure he knows I talked to him about it last night so I can point out that he never listens to me and it hurts my feelings.]
Result: Mama and Papa are both annoyed.
Next time, Mama could respond “I did it last night, but thanks for reminding me!” Papa can try to listen more attentively to Mama.