Reflections on Two Years of Being a Stay @ Home Dad
I figure it’s time I reflect, a little, on the two years I’ve been a stay at home dad.
It’s been a wonderful experience, and I’m grateful that we are in a position where we can make it work. We don’t get to travel as much, or practice American consumerism as much as we would if we were both working, but we haven’t really missed it all that much. OK. A little. But it’s been worth those small sacrifices.
Emma continues to be the quiet, observant little girl we’ve seen from early on. Bouts of pensive observance are interrupted by joyous running and laughing. She is sugar and spice and everything nice. Though, as my friend Todd’s sister told him, “Remember this, because this is what will get you through them being teenagers.” That’s pretty funny, and, it seems to me, darn good advice.
She’s been going to pre-school since last fall, and we can tell it’s really helped her. During our Christmas visit with Margaret’s family, she didn’t cry when her cousin Andrew made noise – only when he really got in her face – and even that she tolerated pretty well. Although she still isn’t interacting with other kids so much. That’s pretty obvious at the stay-at-home dad playgroups we attend about once a week; Emma tends to hang out with me, rather than playing with the other kids, or on the playscapes.
For everything that is going so well, I still have little doubts. I wonder what little neuroses I’m training her for, without even realizing it. Are there things I’m doing that cause her to be reticent at the play dates? I suspect not, as the more intense interaction she gets at pre-school hasn’t really changed her behavior significantly. But still, one wonders.
Around home, she continues to delight and surprise us. The other day, she got upset when a refrigerator magnet wouldn’t stay on the refrigerator. I turned it over and pointed out that it wouldn’t stick because the magnet was missing. She took it over to the coffee table, where the actual magnet was, and tried to put it back in. I helped her a bit with that, and then she happily placed it on the ‘fridge. I was surprised that I didn’t have to make the connection for her (indeed, I didn’t necessarily remember the magnet was on the coffee table.) And, just yesterday, I mentioned that a dirty towel need to go into the laundry. So she took the towel from the bathroom into the laundry room, and dropped it into the laundry basket. I didn’t realize she was making those connections already, but she is, and it’s pretty cool to see!
I suppose that’s about enough. I’ve sort of made a New Year’s resolution that I would post a photo a week here, and I’d write a little something every week. We’ll see how that goes.