The Fun I have as a Stay at Home Dad

This is the longest Hiatus I’ve taken from writing and I must apologize to my fan (assuming there’s at least one left).  I have since travelled back to FL to stay with in-laws on the beach and visit with family that lives in FL.  I actually did a lot of tourist stuff that I never did in the 30 years I lived there.  Nothing exciting except for getting pulled over on a moped for running a red light.  The cop was cool, gave me just a warning but lectured about all the old people who can barely see over the steering wheel and just wouldn’t see a scooter going through a red light.  Now, I was at fault but the brakes were worn and I couldn’t stop in time so sped up to get out of the intersection.  Anyway, not here to write about my crazy Vespa high jinx, I just thought it was funny to get pulled over on a moped. 

Our trip consisted of relaxing on the beach and at the pool.  I’ll go no further on the subject as the title is not How I Spent My Summer Vacation.  The only thing I did want to point out is somewhat obvious; how important family is for support for the kids.  My wife and I were given the opportunity to have a date night but chose not to go out as we were able to spend time with our family. 

Now that we’re back in NC, I just wanted to talk about being at home as a stay at home Dad and a typical day for me.

The best thing about being a stay at home Dad is I know I am seeing things differently than when I worked my normal 9-5 job.  My youngest is now 14 months old and I have witnessed all of his milestones and have more to look forward to.  His name is Andy and the poor little guy is so much like his Dad that I can break out my baby pictures and swap them out and there would be no noticeable difference except that his pictures are found mostly on my laptop and don’t have a hazy flash-cube quality to them.  His older brother AJ, 3 years old, is more like his Mom, too smart for his own good, but there is a mischievous quality developing in both of them that I am familiar with.  Even though I feel that we are the 3 best friends that anyone could have, his older brother is soon to take my place which is awesome, I have been looking forward to them playing together (fingers are crossed). 

 The following events actually transpired today.

“Andy, excuse me.  Would you go to my room and play please.

This way Andy, I have a book.  In my room. “

Today, I witnessed my 3 year old trying to lure his younger  brother into his room to play with blocks.  The book was his bargaining chip.  This is a first, but it’s a sign that they are starting to play together more.  Which can potentially make my life easier (and harder depending on the interaction).   I have explained to AJ that Andy has just learned to walk, given that and that he cannot yet speak, Andy may not be ready to sit down and play, he may prefer to explore the house. 

They are both very happy boys but AJ is taking this too personally, so I’m hearing more and more of AJ looking to turn his brother into a playmate. 

Andy went into his big brother’s room and spent about 2 minutes in there, left, came back for 1 minute and left again.  All the while AJ would change his attitude to fit Andy’s actions.  AJ would enjoy his brother’s company and when time was up and Andy walked away, AJ shouts, “Oh, no!” and tries to drag the little brother back which did not agree with him. 

Now both kids are unhappy.  That’s more like it.  I diffuse the only way I know how.  Take the baby gate down, lure them to the kitchen and offer them a snack (healthy, of course). 

Now they’re both happy.  Their mouths are full, drool is flowing and their hands have something to do.  This gives me another 2.5 minutes of peace. 

They are both quiet and back in AJ’s room just as he wanted.  AJ comes out to see me on the laptop and says “Daddy, look, there at all my stickers.”   I say “uh-huh.”  In the surprising likeness of my father.  I continue typing to see the dog trying to get to her new decorations on her back in the one area she can’t reach.  Andy follows behind giggling thinking he’s finally going to get her tail.  They both look like walking ads for the movie Cars. 

Now AJ emerges from the hallway, “look at me, I am sticker-y!”  He bounces up and down and says “sticker on your head” as he reaches the one body part not covering Andy in stickers. 

Now onto Daddy.  “Stickers for everybody!” shouts my little genius like he’s buying us a round of shots. 

He’s sporting what looks like more tattoos than an NBA star in a biker gang.  At first glance, the stickers over his stomach appeared to form the words “THUG LIFE” as he put them on my leg, I asked for a 13 but he drew a 31. 

Fortunately, the lead paint that China uses to make their stickers shiny also makes them not stick very well and the hair on my leg is spared.  Good for the baby too.  Now, all the stickers have migrated to Andy’s head prompting him to get up and walk away. 

Now we’ve come full circle as Andy walked away from his big brother again and AJ shouts again, “Andy, no! You forgot to go to my room.”

As I see AJ get a little more aggressive, I see that Andy has fallen on his diaper cushion and starts to cry.  Innocently, AJ says “I didn’t mean it.”  I ask “Didn’t mean what?”  Threatening a time out, now I have 2 crying boys again.  AJ says finally “I don’t want a time-out.  Andy knocked himself down and he fell.”  I tell him again, “Go to time out.”  He refuses and runs off to his room.  I follow and shut the door which he did not like.  For some reason, the threat of going to his room versus time-out is worse even though he keeps his favorite toys in his room. 

3 minutes of timeout, 3 minutes of peace for Daddy, now onto the next 15.

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