Hubby believes he can train us up. We believe he will give up and chill out eventually! Don't tell him but, as he sits outside in the car, revving the engine to indicate that 'on time' was 10 minutes ago, we plod leisurely round the house, gathering the last bits of essentials, amused that he thinks the pressure tactic will work in any way, shape or form. Truth is, if he rushes us then we forget important things and then he flips out when we have to do a U-turn 20 minutes later for things like shoes, coats, purses, a child (only forgot him once)... etc.
Whilst on the car subject. Parking. Why does a squaddie drive round the car park / street/ cul'd'sac passing a number of spaces, in order to ensure the car is facing the 'right' direction at leaving time? Me - I see a space, I park in it. Done.
Now, my fella left the army nearly 20 years ago (yes, we have a bit of an age gap) but surely by now he would be past the Meerkat phase? Every single noise makes him bolt upright and stand to attention like a Meerkat in the terrain, listening to see if its friend or foe; usually its nothing more than the dishwasher changing cycle. It's amazing how he can hear a pin drop and with lightening reflexes take on full Rambo-face shoot to kill expression but he cant hear bum all I say to him when I get home from work
Hoping for sympathy from fellow Veteran's wives at the annual Chester Races event is non-existent. Yes, I'm 20 years younger than my man but the quiet acceptance of the wives proves me to be 20 years naïve too. As I listen to the fascinating stories of these men's years in Belize, Northern Ireland, Hong Kong and further, it reminds me that Hubby's pedantic, get on your nerves regulations are not simply him trying to 'fix us', nor is he out of touch with 'Civvie chillaxing'. The training is ingrained in him and his comrades. This mentality of Preparation, Perception and Order is what kept him and his fellow soldiers alive!
Although the regiment is no longer, having been amalgamated into One Mercian regiment, the pride and respect for this regiment stands proud. Acknowledgement for the 22nd's Commander in Chief Prince Charles resolutely displayed.
On the drive home, I thought about how the kids and I rejoiced at the subtle changes in Hubby's behaviours recently. No freaking out about a lack of tent poles during a camping holiday, ironing pilling high without causing heart failure, cars looking like kiddie battlefields and gardens overgrown. These no longer seemed like victories in our favour!
As much as I feign irritation at the horrified look on his face, each time I reach into the wardrobe and rob one of his precision ironed t-shirts from his folded, stacked so neatly you could balance a perfectly measured spirit-level on them pile, I'd be gutted to have to go back to ironing my own clothes myself! In all seriousness though, my man is who he is because of the Army. The life he lived before us is one to be proud of! If he did finally do as we hoped and just "chill out dude" then he would be a completely different man; and that would be our loss!
I love the man he is now, squaddie humour and all, and more importantly, as my daughter pointed out the other day, "we are never late for school anymore and we always know where are shoes are now".