A TIME OF MOURNING
In football, the game is aggressive and intense. But even on the hardest drives there are flags, timeouts, and commercial breaks. Some of these “pauses” in game play are short in duration and some are are long. During these pauses teams strategize and fans retreat to relieve their restless bladders, grab hotdogs, and load up on a few beers. These breaks help one to regain their senses, update the world of Facebook, or catch up with the person sitting next to them.
Now instead of football lets imagine its a 2 year old, hour upon hour you body mind and soul gets tackled by screams, demands, snacks, doo doo, and constant needs of stimulation. No commercial breaks, no long sits on the toilet, no water cooler talk. Months ago I could fight the good fight with Rhye knowing that a nap was on the way. That hour break in the game where I can nap, read, Netflix, work out, or just sit in the corner in the fetal position rocking myself back to sanity. Naps, are what I worked towards every day. There are times I feel moments of calm are far more restorative to me than it’s ever been for Rhye
Naps, for the most part have become a distant memory. Sometimes I dream about the time I could rest on the toilet and see what “CRAP” Trump was incoherently blabbering about. Now I look forward to 10:00pm where I get to sleep for 8 hours. There was something undeniably blissful about those naps, every now again she will gift me a nap but they are rare moments and I now find myself at a loss when they do occur.
HANGING WITH THE LADIES.
Most small towns have libraries, most libraries have a “Children’s Story Time”, most participants or 99.999% of the time mothers with theirs children, whom all listen to a women librarian read books and sing songs. The first time I attended one of these readings, I had to do a discrete sniff test on my shirt, I smelled quite nice I thought. The looks I get from the mothers made me think I had just walked into the womens bathroom. It was weird. But Rhye loved it. We go to them all the time. Every library, in every town it’s the same experience. Either women have never seen a dad at these, or there is an unwritten rule - Like yoga pants… they are for women only. For you single dads out there, looking to date, this is a gold mine to find someone - just an FYI.
SAHD (Stay At Home Dad)
I feel sometimes like people judge me, judgement for not working, judgement that my wife makes more money than me, judgement for making dinners, doing laundry, and knowing which direction to wipe my child bum. Having said that, SAHD was easy at the beginning, I felt it was like vacation, but as Robyn tasked me with more SAHD duties that would be typical of any stay at home parent, it really started to get difficult. It’s a full time job.... and I only have one kid!
Being a SAHD isn’t emasculating but sometimes I feel it is. Being an engaged father that wears pink nail polish isn’t emasculating but sometimes I feel it is. Changing a diaper full of shit, in a grocery store bathroom isn’t emasculating, but it feels like it is. Singing a baby shark at a red light is just embarrassing- that song is devil music. I am learning to enjoy these skills, in fact I am embracing many “mom” qualities, and it feels good. So I don’t care. I like story time and dancing like a princess.
I travel with a purse, I am a bag lady. I have diapers, wipes, wallet, chapstick, dog bags, snacks, sunscreen, cell phone, bandaids, cell phone charger, and binoculars. I never leave without my purse, don’t judge. I need a bigger bag. Yes I loose things in it all the time - it’s my purse.
We live in a 12’ by 25’ box. Three humans and one dog (and recently a mouse). The trailer can smell bad, just five toys on the ground make moving around the trailer a death defying feat, you can not hid your farts in the guest bathroom, if you have loose bowls… yea everyone can hear. Garlic is not allowed in the trailer – you know why. The outside of the trailer can look like a donation center for the homeless. If you want a late night snack, grab a glass of water… everyone wakes up, because you have to step over the dog, the toys, the baby, the dog bowl, a rogue iPhone charging cord…
IT’S A SMALL PLACE.
Rhye has about 10 toys, I have four shirts, 7 boxers, 7 pairs of socks, two coats and a hat. We have four plastic plates, 2 cups, and minimal cooking equipment. We don’t have room. We are limited by weight. Fully loaded the trailer weighs just under what is allowed. We cant have many extras. We have to be creative, but mainly we have to be outside - all of the time. I have not played with as many bugs for entertainment since I was a kid. I have never found rock throwing more fun…. Ever. We hike. Everyday. Its. AWESOME! We find bones, we poke cactus’s, and yes I am trying to teach her to pee outside as apart of potty training.
So, there you have it. No more quiet time reading the news, no more tiptoeing around a sleeping ticking time bomb. No more frantic typing as I try to compose a creative blog post or plan the direction of travel. From the moment Rhye wakes, to the moment she lays her head on the pillow, I feel defeated but yet never more thankful and appreciative that my wife makes it possible to be a SAHD.
In conclusion, I want to talk about Pinterest. For those of you on it will get it. 2 years ago I used Pinterest as a way to communicate with my wedding clients (typically the bride). It was full of bridal pictures, flowers, dresses, sexy kissing pictures, and dramatic wedding shots. Now…. Its full of recipes, child arts and crafts, mommy advice memes, and self care tips. I bet you couldn’t tell the difference between and 60 year old grandmas Pinterest board and mine… that’s the one things that really makes me feel emasculated. But don’t worry my Pinterest is set to private so no one has to know. Its our little secret.