On July 4th, my daughter Tessa turned 15 months old, which means that I've been a stay-at-home dad now for 13 months. I was home for the 8 weeks of maternity, but I don't consider that my official start date as a stay-at-home dad. That was more like the training program or boot camp so to speak. Let's call it boot camp, since I was basically systematically broken down into a shell and rebuilt into the man I am today.
Over these past 13-15 months, I've learned a lot about myself. Since I'm so unbelievably blessed to have been asked by the Godfather of the Dad Blog to write a guest post on The Lunchbox, I'm going to show off some of the things I have learned over that time.
* My daughter would rather play with the toilet paper on the roll, than play with the hundreds of dollars worth of toys she owns.
* Poop can go airborne. The positive of this is if successfully dodged, it allows you to think you might be Neo from The Matrix.
* Sometimes you really don't want to know the answer to the question: "What's in your mouth?"
* A few things which can cause a huge meltdown in our home: closing the dishwasher door so a certain little person can't pull out all the silverware, putting up the gate to keep said little person out of the kitchen and asking if Tessa wants cheese only to find out we're out of cheese.
* I really like depriving myself of things! (Per doctor's orders I have to say 10 repetitions of this 3 times a day)
* A house with a baby/toddler is impossible to keep clean. Think Sisyphus pushing the boulder up the mountain.
* I didn't think it was possible, but there is someone more obsessed with boobs than me (although for different reasons I would imagine).
* Taking pride in one's personal hygiene is vastly overrated.
* When mommy is happy, everyone is happy (Again, I have to repeat this daily per doctor's orders.)
* The bathroom is no longer a sanctuary, but a maelstrom of subterfuges meant to emasculate and demoralize you.
* I can throw tantrums too when I'm tired, hungry and/or wet. Wet? Don't ask.
* Contrary to what you might think, getting kicked or hit accidentally in the stones on a consistent basis over an extended length of time will not cause you to develop a superhuman immunity to that kind of "attack."
* Reading is not always fundamental. Repeated aloud readings of Goodnight Moon may be enjoyed endlessly by your little one, but could cause one to participate in self-mutilating activities like eye-gouging or head-banging.
Now for the obligatory cute and adorable item to close out these kinds of lists...
* There's nothing better in the world than reading Goodnight Moon to your daughter for the umpteenth time only to be surprised at her looking up at you with a big smile and saying her first, "Dada Dada!"