Miss me yet?
In the past couple weeks, I’ve been
stalking lurking around getting to know some other internet dad-types in the new Facebook Dad Blogger* group. (You should like the page. And mine while you’re at it.) I got invited into the group by DorkDad, and just as I was thinking about ditching my personal Facebook account again. I get out and he pulls me right back in! It’s been a lot of fun getting to “know” other dads, though, especially since in the actual world (because I’m definitely an actual person and definitely not an internet spambot here to sell you fantastic Target coupons and Johnson & Johnson™ products) there’s exactly one other dad—albeit an awesome one—that I know in close enough proximity to hang out and make dick jokes talk with. Overall, I’m not really bummed about not getting to leave Facebook because of this.
*The group is where dad bloggers hang out and give great parenting advice and talk about good tips—totally not just jokes about genitalia or Charlie Capen bagging on everyone because he’s
more famous less unknown. But I guess rule one was not to talk about Dad Bloggers group. Oops. (Strangely enough, rule seven is about not making cliched movie references.)
Something you might notice if you’ve ever looked around at dad bloggers. Is that the Stay-at-Home Dad (or SAHD, for the uninitiated) is fairly well represented in the group. It’s actually quite a larger proportion than the actual SAHD-to-WIABOWILD* ratio. Chances are, I’d bet you’d see the same if you polled mom bloggers, too. I’ve known some SAHDs in my real, non-internet life.
*Work-in-a-Building-Outside-Where-I-Live Dad. They really need to come up with a better acronym.
This semester, I got a pretty sweet deal in my teaching schedule. Since I have to drive an hour into school, they worked it out (to not completely blow my gas budget) so I only have to come in three days a week to teach, and I work from home Tuesdays and Thursdays. This has afforded me the opportunity to be alternately the WIABOWILD and the SAHD every week. It’s like when the Pevensie children get to go to Narnia, only I know when it’s happening and I don’t have to walk into a damn closet.
Throw in the weekends, and I’m actually a little more than half Stay-at-Home Dad. Nonetheless, I’m one of the rare few who gets to straddle the line between two different Dad Worlds. I’m almost like my own little social experiment in microcosm.
There’s actually quite a bit of discussion out there on the SAHD front. A lot of them love it and are proud of it. Some of them hate it. Believe it or not, in our supposedly enlightened age, some SAHDs have to face questions about whether being at home with the kids makes them feel emasculated—a question so loaded with chauvinism that it requires a whole different discussion. In any case, however, there’s a lot to be said for the
Thug Life Stay-at-Home Dad Life.
I’m pretty psyched about my opportunity to stay home with Squatch. I’m one of the lame-o guys who finds it fun to hang around with a kid. Because I’m here more often than I’m not, it means I have a 4-in-7 chance that I won’t miss out on the things that happen—if teeth start popping in or he starts crawling or finally gets the hang of that rolling-over thing. I can be there for the good stuff, which—really—is one of the only tangible benefits to having kids. It’s what we’re all in it for, amiright? Unless you’re one of those parents who’s in it for the awkward sex talks and finding something to do with all that extra money, of course.
On the other hand, three days a week I leave the house and get to have grown-up conversations with grown-ups*. Don’t get me wrong, I love my daily discussions with Squatch over irony in Flannery O’Connor, but I certainly also appreciate them with someone whose response to every point isn’t to blow a raspberry or bear down on a difficult poop. Most of my students satisfy that requirement, so adult conversations can generally ensue.
*Student excuses for why they don’t have their work done notwithstanding, that is.
Also worth noting is that on days that I go to teach, I don’t have to change any diapers. This has not passed unnoticed by either me or Karli. Which is why I can’t get too bent out of shape when she sends me pictures throughout the day like this:
I’m totally getting the best of both worlds here. Part of the week, I go plug away at the Daily Planet, then the rest of the time, I swoop in as SuperDaddy. I get to be with my kid, go talk to adults, pull in a full-time paycheck, and I actually like my job. Dads, feel free to hate me. Quietly, to yourselves. I have feelings, you know.
I’m only on week three of this arrangement so far, which means I’ll have plenty more to say as we chug along. Maybe my mind will change when he’s mobile and into everything. Or when he learns to talk back.
Oh my god, WHAT HAVE I DONE?