It had been nearly a week since it all started. He continued to act like everything was okay, not realizing that he was just upsetting me even more by doing it. I still didn't trust myself not to say anything so I continued to avoid him. We were barely speaking. We weren't touching at all. I fell asleep every night hugging the edge of the bed and crying quietly.
The first indication that he was acknowledging my anger came about over one of the dogs. He called one over, only to have it ignore him and walk in the opposite direction. Steve said it was mad at him, just like everyone else. Our daughter piped up that she wasn't mad at him. I didn't say a word.
A little later that day we went to a local spring carnival hosted by the recreation department. They had inflatables, games, pool fun and tons of other stuff to do. It was all free. The only thing they charged for was food and drinks.
Our daughter headed straight for her favorite thing, a room full of inflatables. We stood together watching her. Even though we were side by side, it was obvious that we were miles apart.
She kept trying to get him to join her, but he kept saying no, he would just watch. Finally she convinced him to try out one of the things with her. It was basically two side by side tunnels. You strap on this belt that has a bungee cord attached to the back and attempt to run on the bouncy floor and get further than your opponent. It's kind of hard to explain so I found a video for you.
There's something about a man making a fool out of himself for his kid that never fails to make me smile. The expression on Steve's face when he went as far as he could and that cord snapped him back made me laugh so hard I nearly peed myself. He kept trying, as did our daughter, until their time was up. By the time it was, I was laughing so hard I was having trouble catching my breath.
She moved on to another inflatable. While we were standing there, I noticed he kept looking across the room. Finally I turned to see what had his attention. It was a jousting inflatable. Basically it was two pedestals on top of a bouncy mat. You stand on the pedestals and use a big padded stick to try to knock your opponent off of their pedestal. Helmets were provided in case someone decided to smack you in the head. Here's a video so you can see what I'm talking about.
He said we should do it. We, as in me and him. I thought about it for a minute. I'll admit I was tempted. I mean how often do you get to whack the crap out of someone that you're upset with. I didn't want to hurt him, but it did seem like something that would let me work out some frustration. I asked if he really was going to stand there and let me smack him with that stick. He looked me right in the eye and said sure.
Something loosened inside of me. It's one thing to make a fool of himself for our daughter. But he was willing to make a fool of himself, standing there while I pummeled him in front of probably 200 people, just for me. He told me later he would have done anything just to make me smile again.
I leaned into him and his arms went around me. He said he was sorry he had messed things up so bad and that he had missed me. My eyes filled up and I turned my face into his chest to compose myself before our daughter or anyone else saw the tears. The carnival ended a few minutes later and we walked out hand in hand. Afterwards, we stopped at the grocery store for sandwich supplies and headed for the park where we had a family picnic.
Later that evening after our daughter was in bed, we finally sat down and talked for a long time. We haven't talked about the DD aspect yet, but we are talking about us again.