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Friday, May 24th, 2013
2 years, 6 months.
I recently took you by my office on a Saturday morning while Mommy was buying groceries.
After all, it seems a little weird that though your daycare is just on the other side of the red light, you’ve never really gotten to see what it’s like inside that brown brick building where Daddy works.
Once you saw my chair and computer, you knew just what to do… except for that darn “Ctrl+Alt+Del” screen.
It wasn’t long before you realized you wouldn’t have the opportunity to watch any monster trucks on YouTube, so you got bored and wanted to watch me fill a Styrofoam cup with water in the break room.
Then, you were ready to go. So we left. (Granted, it was nice having my co-workers comment on you being a handsome little boy.)
And that’s my story about what it was like taking my 2 and a half year-old to work.
While that random Saturday morning may have seemed uneventful at the time, it wasn’t. It served as a model for you to follow in your playtime.
This week you scooted your new Thomas the Train trike down the hall into the living room and declared, “I go to work!”
You parked your “monster truck” (Thomas the Train trike) near the closet, then stood up, trying to figure out what pretending to work is supposed to look like.
“Jack, what do you do at work?” I asked.
Your response, with a clever smile:
“I play with kitty cats!” You ran over to your favorite plush cat doll and lifted it above your head like Link finding one of the fragments of the Triforce, then announced, “I found one!”
So from what I understand, your job is not only to play with kitties, but more importantly, finding them like Easter Eggs.
I don’t think you quite understand yet what Mommy and I do all day at work. For all I know, I figure you assume it’s like a daycare for adults.
Well, actually… maybe in some ways it is.
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013
2 years, 5 months.
Today Mommy and I asked you what you want to be when you go up.
After 5 sincere seconds of contemplation, you came to a decision:
Mommy recommended you’d probably be happier if you were a king instead.
But then you changed your mind, anyway.
Your new hopeful profession? Butterfly.
Then, a horse.
(It was as bizarre as last Saturday morning when I watched you play at the indoor playground; wearing a dinosaur costume, pushing a baby stroller with two plastic building toys on the front, to make it look like a bulldozer.
I thought it was also an interesting choice that the baby doll in the stroller was face-down the whole time.)
Also, the unrehearsed answers you gave us today for your speculated career choice actually reminded me of one of my favorite songs in the world, “One Of These Things First” by Nick Drake:
“I could have been a signpost, could have been a clock. As simple as a kettle, steady as a rock. I could be here and now. I would be, I should be. But how? I could have been one of these things first.”
Your final answer at the end of the day was “monster truck,” by which I think you mean, “monster truck builder/driver,” like Frank the Monster Maker on All About Monster Trucks on Netflix.
Based on the way you were totally into watching a “how to build a monster truck” video on YouTube with me this morning, I’d say that sounds about right… that is, if you carry out your love for monster trucks for the next two decades.
I hope you have better direction than I did going in to college, not positively knowing what I wanted to do (and be) for a living.
Somewhat randomly, I ended up graduating from Liberty University with a degree in English, only to enter the work force in sales and recruiting; eventually to transition into now more of a customer service and human resources position.
It’s not something I could have planned, but it’s how I help make a living for our family.
Maybe life will make more sense to you at a sooner age. Maybe I can help with that… with all my clever wisdom and whatnot.
But if you want to build and drive monster trucks for a living, I think that could be pretty cool.
Or you could be a horse. Being a horse would be pretty awesome, I think.
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Friday, May 4th, 2012
My wife makes more money than I do. Not to mention, her job carries incredible insurance and benefits for our family.
While that would have been weird for my dad in the Eighties, here in the 2010′s it’s not so unusual. I recently read an article on CNN Money that spelled it out for me:
“In 2008, 26% of women living in dual-income households had annual earnings that were at least 10 percentage points higher than their spouse, up from 15% in 1997, according to the Families and Work Institute’s latest data.”
The article went on to say that daycare costs continue to increase while wages are not increasing.
So it only makes sense for those wives and mothers out there who are worth more financially than their husbands, in a household where it is is more financially suitable for one spouse to stay at home, that the dad becomes a “househusband” instead of the mom becoming a “housewife.”
How do I feel about this, as a lesser income-earning dad?
Personally, we couldn’t quite survive on just my wife’s solid income. But if we could?
Heck yeah. I wouldn’t hesitate at all to be a stay-at-home househusband. Of course, I’m under no illusion that it would be a breeze.
Stay-at-home parents are working parents; as every politician’s wife should know.
It’s just that as a modern dad, I by default am already extremely involved in raising my son on a daily basis. To me, I would view it as a career upgrade; especially psychologically.
Beyond all the formerly-ironic-but-now-cliche dad skills like being able to change my son’s diapers and feed him, I already consider myself his main disciplinarian, sleep trainer, and nutritionist; all of which are very important when caring for a toddler all day long.
And for everything else, I could figure it out. I’m proud of the fact my wife can make more money than I can. It’s cool that her employer sees what she’s financially worth; which again, is more than I am.
Most importantly, I want to spend as much time as I can with my son. He’s awesome! Why wouldn’t I?
I always want to have a close, well-communicated relationship with him. It starts now.
If this were the 1950′s, I would evidently be able to provide enough income for my family; my wife wouldn’t have to be a working wife.
I would come home each day and smoke a pipe while wearing a robe, sitting in my cozy chair, reading over the newspaper while halfway paying attention to my son.
That doesn’t even sound at all appealing to me. I’d rather it be this way, where I’m definitely an active and positively influential dad.
“Househusband” is not an insult; I say it’s an honor and a privilege. But even if I’m not fortunate enough to be one myself, being a dad in the 2010′s still rocks, like a T-Rex playing an orange electric guitar.
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