Monday, May 21, 2012

I wanna rock!

I'm guessing the two most common questions asked to a stay at home parent are:

What's you favorite part about being at home with them?

What's your least favorite part about being at home with them?


I hate when people ask me these questions, because honestly the answers aren't that difficult to figure out. I find that the majority of people who ask me are actually working parents looking to justify that they're every bit as good as I am despite going to work every day.

Let me see if I can't clear this up. I don't think myself a "better" parent then working Moms and Dads. I don't even consider myself remotely the best stay at home Dad. Can't we all just admit that there's times with our kids that are amazing, maybe even perfect, and other times that you just count down the minutes till bedtime? We're all on the same team here people. I didn't decide to stay at home to prove I was better than someone. I hope working parents didn't decide to keep working to prove they could "do it all."

The best things? Exactly what you think they would be. I get to watch them grow up. I get to be there to watch them actually learn things like walking, talking, and using a spoon. I get the great big smiles first thing in the morning, because they're so very ready to start the day, and when they were very young, I got all the cuddle time any parent could ask for. Kids are often unexpectedly entertaining, and I get more of those moments than Melissa. I don't know what else I can say here. The best part of being a stay at home Dad, for me, is just being with them.

The worst things? Also exactly what you think. Being constantly with them...all the time. Like any room mate who ever drank your last soda, like any person who sat next to you on a long flight and decided to have a long chat with you about a movie you've never seen, like anyone ever...ever...we get on each other's nerves. I need breaks from them, they need breaks from me, and sometimes that need comes around quick. I get to be there to watch them learn things like, how to take the couch cushions off, how to dump out the toy boxes, and how to draw with poop. It means I'm there for almost all the melt downs, messes, broken objects, and smells.

In my opinion, being a parent (not just a stay at home parent) is one of the most annoying, awesome, enjoyable, horrible, amazing, frustrating things a person can be involved in. The fact that people continue to have kids is almost funny in itself, but we do. Then we complain and brag or perhaps blog (pause for shameless self plug with reminder to share this with friends, co-workers, people you sit next to on airplanes) about it all.

Take today for example. As I've mentioned before, getting out of the house as often as possible has become paramount to the sanity of everyone in the house. Today that outing was a trip to the grocery store.

"Ev? How the heck do you manage to go grocery shopping with both kids, keep them content the whole time, and still have time to be so kick ass and also write funny stories on your blog that I share with all my friends, neighbors, and librarians?"

Another time.

One of my little fake fitness quirks is that whenever I go somewhere, I park pretty damn far away from the entrance. Aside from forcing me to walk just a bit farther, I like to be in an area where most people are not. I, being a creature of habit, almost always end up in the exact same place. It's right by a cart return, but more important to this story, it's right by a little area that has a ton of rocks. William, who seems to understand that Daddy always parks in this place, always jumps out of the ManVan and goes right to the rocks, selecting one that must join us on our shopping adventure. The whole trip becomes about making sure the rock is not dropped or lost. It's a member of the family now. When we get back out to the ManVan I always try some elaborate magical misdirection to get rid of the rock without it becoming a big deal. 9 out of 9 times I fail.

Today I tried some Finding Nemo logic:

"William, this is where the rock lives. We can't just take the rock away from it's family, they'll be so sad. Chances are one of them will get sent on a ridiculous quest to find the rock. It will encounter lots of adverse situations along the way, but will overcome and ultimately be reunited. Also it's Mom died in the first 5 minutes."

2 hours later and he's still pretty broken up about leaving behind Nemorock...Rocko? Nemok? Do I get a new rock and try and pass it off as the old one?

1 hour till nap time.

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