[Baby Watch: Day 215]
20 Things Every Stay-at-Home Dad Doesn’t Want You to Know
- All I really care about is making sure the mailman can’t hear my kid crying. I’m doing my best here. But I’m still pretty sure that I’m one misstep away from a well-meaning stranger calling Child Protective Services on me.
- I enjoy his toys as much as he does. Especially the puppets. Those things gets me every time. And, when he’s thinking, “Boy, I sure hope dad gets out the kiddie pool today,” I’m usually thinking, “Boy, I sure hope I get out the kiddie pool today.”
- My wife is very open about how excited she is to get our son his first hair cut. She has extensive plans on how and where she’ll be storing his first lock of hair. It will be a momentous occasion for all . . . except . . . she doesn’t know that I already cut his hair a little bit. He had a dried booger in it, so I had to. This I take to my grave.
- I bought a bag of candy that I have hidden from my wife. Every time I successfully get our son to calm down from a tantrum without losing my patience, I reward myself with a piece of chocolate. I realize that this is crazy, but it helps me cope. And no, I will never reveal where I have hidden the bag. It is mine forever. (It’s behind the paper plates, please don’t divorce me.)
- When my wife asks if we had story time, and I say yes . . . I was really just reading aloud from the Al Michaels biography while he played with toys. It still counts.
- I have no idea where he got that bump on his head. (I totally know where he got that bump on his head.)
- I am not ashamed of being a stay-at-home dad . . . but I’m probably not going to wear that World’s Greatest Stay-At-Home Dad t-shirt in public any time soon. It was a nice gift idea, but I’m trying to retain some level of false coolness.
- Sometimes I go get the mail while my kid is screaming, just to get a break from the madness. And I do it verrrrrry slowly. Better quadruple check to make sure I didn’t miss anything in the back corners of the mailbox. Cause you never know. Nope, nothing there. Well, back to my screaming child. You know, I should probably check that mailbox one more time.
- We have farting contests. His are more unencumbered, so he usually wins. This makes me proud.
- At least some of the times when my wife comes home to find our son napping on me and I say, “I just couldn’t get him to fall asleep in the crib” . . . yeah, I just wanted to watch TV.
- I keep my guitar and / or sports memorabilia and / or DVD collection in full view in the hopes that my son will one day see them and think I’m phat. (Wait, is the word ‘phat’ still being used? Oh geez.)
- Yes, stranger and/or employee in the store, I can feel your uneasy, questioning gaze, and no I did not kidnap this child, and yes I have all my shots and clearances and yes his mother both knows we’re here and approves of my care-taking. Dads are perfectly capable of raising a kid and I don’t need your judgements and no I did not know I have vomit running down my shirt.
- What’s that, dear wife? You want me to play classical music to make the kid smarter. I assume you mean classic rock? Done and done. I think Quadrophenia is
my favoritehis favorite.
- At least once a day I forget I have a child in my care. Whether it be during a relaxing
poopshower or the climactic scene of Taken 3, which I rented from Red Box and is probably the most exciting part of my week, I definitely zone out at least one time per day. Sorry, not sorry.
- If my son is alive, clean and not crying when my wife walks in the door, all manners of disaster are forgiven from throughout the day. This is my motto, which I consistently repeat to myself throughout each day.
- I have two emotions each day, and only two: bored and overwhelmed. If I’m not feeling one, I’m feeling the other.
- It bums me out when my son loses his cool and won’t let me finish reading a book to him. I really wanted to see if the Lorax was gunna turn things around. (Side note: I may or may not have looked into buying my wife a thneed for her birthday.)
- Every time my friends who are not stay-at-home dads criticize me for “not having a real job” . . . it makes me want to be friends with them less.
- Any time it is windy or stormy or the weather is even slightly inclement, I take my son out on our (covered) front porch to watch it rain. As crazy as it sounds, a love for severe weather is an important thing that I want to pass on to my son. That and a healthy distrust of clowns.
- Sometimes, when my son is giggly or smiley or wants to give me a hug, I get a little misty. It’s things like this that really make me appreciate the opportunity to spend quality time with him as a child. I think these are my happiest moments. Of course, I’m always quick to cram these feelings into a tiny box in the back of my brain, lest I be confused with anything less than a manly man.
Okay, Mini Indy, back to rough-housing we go!