Tuesday, May 18, 2010
At-Home Dad: Mediocre Man
by Nathan Bright
During the course of this blog I’ve established I’m a stay-at-home parent. Although at-home parenting isn’t a new concept it is difficult for some people to imagine a man doing. I’m not complaining – I have a hard time erasing the conventional from my own brain (Johnny Carson is on at bed time, right?).
While trying to come up with a topic for this blog it hit me… I’m not that different. At all. From a woman, that is.
People want to get my perspective on being an at-home dad. They genuinely want to believe I make blow torch grilled cheese and mop the floor with my daughter’s pj’s while she’s inside.
The reality is far from glamorous. I, like any stay-at-home parent, wake blearily to a schedule full of diapers, cooking, cleaning, planning, playing, instructing, yelling (from me) and crying (me again). I don’t see how it’d be possible for someone to do it any differently. Who would have time to build an erector set sweeping machine when boogers are stuck in their kids’ hair (and the dog’s, although I don’t know how exactly). It takes every second of the day to accomplish stuff… in a standard, non-sensational way.
What I’m saying is that when asked for my perspective I can’t imagine it being too far off from what my female colleagues would say. If there are things to cook… I cook. Things to clean… I clean. I can say I’m rather quirky, so I do put a little flavor on my day to make it interesting. Next time you have your children for the day try communicating mostly with movie quotes. Here are a few to get you started:
Forrest Gump “Lieutenant Dan. Ice cream!” Used when giving child ice cream. Or asparagus – it just sounds better to call it ice cream. Kids love being fooled like that.
Taxi Driver “You talkin’ to me?” Use this phrase when child demands something of you without saying please. Or just recite random lines from “Taxi Driver” to telemarketers. It does wonders for your morale.
Fight Club Tyler Durden: “Did you know if you mixed equal parts of gasoline and frozen orange juice concentrate you can make napalm?” There is no need to quote this other than to watch your two-year-old’s face try to figure out what the hell you just said.
Pulp Fiction Marsellus: “In the fifth, your ass goes down. Say it.”
Butch: “In the fifth, my ass goes down.” When appropriately modified to reflect time, this quote can work wonders for naps.
But I digress. Hey look, a job’s a job and you do what ya gotta do to make it all come together, whether male or female. Unfortunately, the only alluring side to what I do comes from my quirkiness, not my manliness.
Now it’s time to welcome my wife home from work with another movie quote I’m sure she’ll love. “Frankly my dear…”
Nathan Bright is a 30-something stay-at-home dad who resides near St. Louis, MO. He is a husband to an amazing woman and father to a doubly amazing 2 year old little girl. His blessed home is scheduled to be even more blessed in March, as Nathan and his wife will welcome a second daughter to their family. When Nathan is not blogging for OurMilkMoney.com's The Daddy's Den, he writes and illustrates his own children's books. Available for purchase immediately is Maddi Patti and her Stay-at-Home-Daddy.