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Dad's-Eye-View: Married to the Mob

My wife, Jackie, and I were very careful to lay down ground rules before adopting our son, Henry, now 10 months old. Whenever possible, we would decide things together. If we couldn't agree, I knew I'd win some arguments and she'd win some, but we'd have an equal say-a fifty-fifty partnership. I just never counted on the mob.

"We have to change doctors," Jackie said one day.


"At the checkup, they only let me see the nurse-practitioner. Our doctor won't get to know Henry if we get a different person every time."

"That doesn't seem like a big deal. How much can a busy doctor really know an infant? I'm sure Henry'll get good care."

Okay, that's one vote for changing doctors, one for staying put. Enter the mob.

"Carrie said she'd never take Bella somewhere she couldn't see the same doctor every time." Carrie is my wife's friend who has two kids and seems to be consulted on every parenting decision -- which doesn't mean her neuroses have to be mine.

"Wasn't the nurse practitioner good?"

"She was fine. That's not the point."

I don't see the point -- at least I don't think it's a big deal, and I wish I didn't have to answer to my wife's friends every time a new parenting issue arises. When Henry had colic and I let him sleep in his car seat at night, the mob attacked me for setting a dangerous precedent. Personally, I had trouble imagining Henry at college still sleeping in his Graco. Perhaps if my wife's friends had listened to Henry wail for two hours straight, they might have felt otherwise.