Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Five reasons why I couldn't be a stay-at-home dad

I took some vacation time this week and that means staying at home (for the most part) with my nearly two year-old daughter. Anyone out there with a child knows how much of a handful a child of that age can be. For whatever reason, mothers seem to be able to handle the kids better. Maybe it goes waaaaaaay back to the stone age where women raised the brood and the men hunted and gathered. While The Youngling is still very much alive and happy, I know that her mother would handle things far better than I do. Which brings me to the five reasons I've noticed thus far (one day in) that I couldn't be a stay-at-home dad.

5.) This reason just walked in to my office and piled its supporting evidence on me. I can't get much done because this week The Youngling has an obsession with cereal and as I'm typing this she has just piled two boxes of it on me and another two boxes alongside my keyboard. I don;t know how children seem to survive for days at a time on nothing but cereal but The Youngling is walking that line right now.

4.) Showering is a problem. I like to sleep. It's a necessity for all and a burden for some but I flat out enjoy it. I slept this morning until about 7:15 when I heard the all-too-common whining coming from the adjacent bedroom and knew it was time to get up -- which I did. But I still needed to shower. Even though I'm not going anywhere where anyone would care about my funky odor I still feel the need to bathe. So what's a guy to do?

3.) I don't understand "The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" but it captivates children. It also allows me to tend to item number four. I've done it more than once. I sit The Youngling on the big bed and flip the TV in the bedroom to The Disney Channel and she will sit motionless but laughing and talking for a half hour at a time and that's more than enough time for me to remove said funk from my body. While the electronic babysitter is a wonderful aid to my morning routine I cringe every time I hear that Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog song at the end of the episode.

2.) I miss people. Oh sure, I've talked to some random strangers while pulling The Youngling around in her wagon during out outings but I miss real conversation about things I care about and things I can relate to. Yeah, the weather is an excellent topic of conversation because it's non-offensive, safe and sure to be a short conversation but for once I'd love to strike up a conversation with someone I meet on a sidewalk about something controversial or even offensive like racism or same-sex marriage but most people would quickly resume walking and while I was stopped The Youngling would probably jump out of her wagon and dart off in to the street.

1.) It's tough taking photos while holding a child. Photography is one of my hobbies and I like partaking in it while using my vacation time. That has changed, though, with a child latched to my side. Sure, she can walk just fine but she rarely walks -- it's more of a slow sprint and that means she can get to places where she shouldn't be in very little time and I don't want to be that guy who has to call in a report of a missing toddler and explain how I was too busy taking photos to keep a close eye on The Youngling.

With all of those excuses out in the open I hope that my gracious employer will welcome me back on Monday because while I don't mind dealing with a plethora of dirty diapers and hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse I'd much rather be in my cubicle where there are surprisingly few diapers.


spleeness said...

My sister has said that working in an office was actually easier than raising kids because she could do amazing things like... go to the bathroom whenever she wanted! And talk to others. I hear you, it's not easy.

Jules said...

Stick her in the playpen in the doorway to the bathroom, keep one eye open and on her and try not to let shampoo get in it. Allow yourself just 2.5 minutes to shower. Odor problem solved.

Put a lock on the pantry door. Cereal problem solved.

Conversation: pick up the phone and call your regulars, agreed, it's not the same as face to face, but it keeps you sane. Problem solved.

Photogrpahy? Go get a back loading Snugly so she rides on your back, facing behind you, like a backpack. Unless she's really heavy... then that won't work. But then you can buy one of those kid leash things and hook her to your left ankle, thus freeing your two hands for your hobby. HA! Problem solved!

Takes a mom, I guess. ;P