Dad of All Trades, Master of None

Domesticated, Not Demasculinized

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Archive for the ‘Being a Husband’ Category

I watched a man shave his balls …

Posted by doatmon on September 14, 2009

Okay, not really.  But made for a fun subject didn’t it?

That’s from a Patton Oswalt stand-up bit…hilarious stuff.  Can’t be written.  All about timing.

So there was no manscaping voyeurism going on, but there was some shaving.

I shaved my head.

It’s a move I have been contemplating ever since I realized that it wasn’t that I was dipping my neck a different way every morning.  It wasn’t the angle.  My forehead really was getting bigger.

I’m not a real vain’s hard to be vain when you look like a cross between Doogie Howser, MD and a large bowl of flesh-colored jell-o.  But seeing pictures time-lapse my hair loss has been getting harder and harder.

Giving my girls a bath at night, I would consistently push what was left of my “bangs” up and envision myself with the proverbial chrome dome.  And I kind of liked it.

But I couldn’t really do it, could I?


Honestly, it was the pictures of myself at our vow renewal this summer that finally pushed me over the edge.  I literally had hair on only half my head.  I looked ridiculous.  Can you imagine a hairless cat with hair on his back half?  Yeah.  It looked that ridiculous.

So I began growing a beard.  That was step one.  Facial hair.  I went a little crazy.  It grew and grew.  It was approaching Chia proportions when I finally went in to get my head shaved.  Why I scheduled it the morning of the OSU-USC game, I have no idea.  Maybe somewhere in the deep recesses of my muddled brain I felt like if I took a desperate step, the Buckeyes might take one too.  You know.  Like beating a top-10 team.

Whatever the reason, I abandoned the barber-follicle relationship I have been fostering for well over half of my life and booked an appointment at “Modern Male.” No.  Really.  I did.  The place appears to be everything I’m not.  Hip.  Trendy.  Effeminate.  The triumverate of male salons.  But if I was going to shave my head and artistically manicure my facial hair, I wanted an expert.  And in the absence of an expert, I’ll just over-pay for someone as IF they were an expert.

And so I did.

They were actually great with me and they even had ESPN on.  I don’t know what I expected.  Project Runway perhaps.  Stereotypical, I know, but get over it.

In 1.5 hours, I walked out with a goatee and, well, that’s about it.

On the ridiculously long drive back to home-base, I have to admit I hit all the cliches.  I looked at myself routinely in the rearview mirror.  I rolled down the window to feel the smog-ridden wind on my shorn scalp.  I shed a tear for the wispy, straw-like hairs that had tried unsuccessfully to creep down my forehead.  Larry and Steve…I will miss you.

I was actually kind of a wreck over the whole thing.

At least my family was supportive.  My wife turned whiter than my “new” scalp.  French Fry actually screamed and begged Coke not to leave me alone with her while getting the mail.  And Chicken Nugget woke up from her nap long enough to laugh.  And laugh.  And laugh herself back to sleep.

So I had their support going for me which was nice.

My parents, grandmother and Starbucks barista were equally “supportive.”  As was my mother-in-law who expressed her feelings on my decision in conjunction with her feelings on my decision to stay home with the kids.  “Well, I suppose men who are in stressful and strange situations do radical things.”

But guess what.  I actually like it.  I really do.  I like that I don’t have to worry about hair product.  Or bedhead.  Or a receding hairline.  Or ANY hairline for that matter.  I like the goatee.  I like the thought of opening the door to my daughter’s dates and have them do a double-take.

And I have to say.  It’s not really all that radical, people.  Everywhere I look, the bald mafia is representing.  So there.  It’s the new me.

I’m not going to, as Chicken Nugget requested, put my hair back on.

Then again, I probably won’t be finding myself in a Patton Oswalt skit like the subject line.  That might require a return trip to Modern Male.  Or the emergency room.  Either one would render me a eunach once and for all.


Posted in Being a Husband | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

My first sex post…

Posted by doatmon on September 2, 2009

Did that get you reading?  Then you’re going to be disappointed.

I give you what is undoubtedly going to become the new tantric sex for old, married parents…Snuggie Sutra.

Posted in Being a Husband | 2 Comments »

Happy Birthday, French Fry.

Posted by doatmon on August 27, 2009

Today is the fifth anniversary of what I consider to be my greatest accomplishment.

French Fry.

My greatest TRICK might be the miraculous hypnosis that has forced Coke to remain in my presence for over 12 years.

But my greatest accomplishment is French Fry.

And today is her fifth birthday.

Half a decade ago, my life was just a bit different.  I lived in a ramshackle Clintonville abode which devoured half of my wife’s childhood and half of our wardrobes in intermittent flooding that plagued the basement.  My biggest concern each week was what days (yes, plural) I was going to Crosswords to work diligently on what were then my TWO greatest accomplishments: my Golden Tee game and my reputation as an “active” member of the Winking Lizard Beer Tour.


I was married and I had been for seven years.  But I don’t think I was yet a husband.  Check that.  I know I wasn’t a husband.  Fantasy football consumed my weekends.  In June.   I don’t think I had cleaned a toilet or dusted an end-table since puberty.  And the only thing I wrote those days was e-mail re-caps of various weekend shenanigans involving digging large holes in my backyard, exploits at high-end establishments in town (i.e. Ruckmoor) and consuming copious amounts of meat in a given time-period.

Now, those days are gone.  And I couldn’t be happier.

It is weird when I look back on that time in my life and realize that I was 26/27 and essentially still a collegiate bachelor who happened to be employed and married.  I was embattled in a Sisyphusian struggle for “happiness” and yet I had no clue what I was aiming for.  At the time, all I knew what I was struggling AGAINST.

With increasing frequency, Coke and I were entering into arguments about the next phase of our lives.  She wanted children.  I did too, but I mean, good lord, not then.  Life was FUN.  Car trips that had once been among the centerpieces of our relationship, were now miserable.  They had turned into rolling battlegrounds with opposing forces holding ground on opposite sides of the parking brake.

As is so often the case, the ongoing argument was taken out of our hands.

Following a particularly raucous December 23rd outing together, Coke informed me that there was an OFF chance that she might be eating for two.  We didn’t yet know for SURE, but as I sat in a bland Methodist Church last night where I didn’t know a soul that didn’t share my last name, each hymn began to embody the internal struggle I was feeling.  Good lord did the annual cheese soup taste odd that Christmas Eve.

The next day, Coke’s entire family was coming to Clintonville for Christmas dinner.  A dinner I was cooking.  Turkey and all.  My plan was to inject eggnog with enough Holiday Spirits to make them ignore the trichinosis.  First I had to drive from one end of Columbus to the other looking for an open drug store.  I can think of better days to try to find a pregnancy test.

I remember the confirmation.  I remember being huddled in my closet talking to my mom on the phone about an un-done turkey and her un-done son.  I remember telling my in-laws.  And driving to tell my family.  But I wasn’t as excited as I was frightened and completely overwhelmed.

And I don’t care about the clichéd nature of this next statement, but I genuinely remember very little of the next nine months that weren’t related to the birth of my child.  Without looking at my now irrelevant resume, I couldn’t even tell you where I was working.  I went through the motions of OB/GYN appointments (hers, not mine), registering at the formerly foreign Babies R Us and even of selecting and moving into a new house for the new baby.  One without a basement.

On August 27th, following a Fujiyama feast, French Fry was born.   And so was the man I am today.

We grew together.  I wasn’t immediately a man and she wasn’t immediately a brilliant princess.  We had our ups and downs.  I was a better sleeper than she was.  We were both solid eaters.  I cried more than she did.  We both relied on Coke for our very existence.  But we grew.

She graduated pre-school and at the same time, I feel as if I graduated life.  I had gone through job after job.  I was sometimes successful.  Sometimes not.  I now had a Chicken Nugget as well as a French Fry and life logistics were more complicated than ever.  And yet, after years of searching and despite a life with more moving parts than I had ever experienced, my search for happiness became simple.

My happiness was inextricably linked with my family’s happiness.  It sounds so simple.  I assure you, it was not.  It was a painful and arduous process and yet as I type, I have never been more confident of anything.  This decision to stay home with my children has provided peace that has long eluded me.

Today, on this fifth birthday of a present I first learned of on Christmas and received in August, I celebrate the life of my French Fry. And I celebrate the life she has given me.

Happy birthday, stinky butt.

If interested, here are a few other blogs focused on my French Fry.

Wishes for French Fry via Marc Broussard lyrics.

Her first buffet.

Her trip to see the Wiggles.

Posted in Being a Daddy, Being a Husband | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

As of today, I am the father of a school-aged child

Posted by doatmon on August 20, 2009

I’m the father of a school-age child.

That’s right, Kristen and others who repeatedly remark on my self-centeredness.  French Fry went to Kindergarten today.  And yet it’s still all about me.

I have a child in school.  I’m not going to lie to cyberspace.  Wasn’t handling it well.

Okay, okay, okay…let me start by saying that she’s fine.  Got it? No problems with her.  She is even more talkative than her father.  As beautiful as her mother.  And as intelligent as the two of us put together.  She was in an all-day preschool last year where she was a “peer model” for children who were developing at a slower rate.  She’s fine.

This is my blog and I’m going to talk about me.

This may shock you, but I’m not exactly an emotional rock.  I know, hard to believe.  But it’s true.  I bawled uncontrollably when Sidney was born.  Most sports movies leave me in a state of allergic agitation somewhere toward the end.  I am also a sucker for milestones.  And cameras.

“Look honey, she just spit out her first spoonful of peas. [snap]”

“Oooh, oooh, I think she just laughed for the first time. [snap]”

“Oops.  Nope.  Not a laugh.  But she just snorkeled for the first time. [snap]”

So if I react that way to those major/minor milestones, you can only imagine that the batteries literally died in the middle of the photo session this morning.

But my issues started well before this morning.  On the first day of daycare, back when I was employed, I remember strapping the little peanut into her car seat and heading the five miles to Enchanted Care.  Approximately 45 minutes later, I had stopped twice to re-adjust her fragile skull to ensure it was safe and twice to unzip her jacket further to ensure she continued to inhale and exhale appropriately.

I cried all the way downtown.

Then there was her acceptance into the preschool.  It was all-day for God’s sake.  Coke got to take her to school every day, but it was my privilege to pick her up every day at 3:30.  I all too often gave in to her wishes of McDonald’s nuggets and sweet teas because that quick drive-thru stop allowed me to pry details of her day while she was sugar-drunk and stuffed.

She was interviewed on Channel 10.  Her name was up in lights.  At the ripe age of four.  To this day, I’ve been only on TV twice.  Once was completely forgetting King and Jackson when interviewed on the names of the “Fab Five” by an Ann Arbor station at the Michigan-OSU game in Lexington.  The other, well, it was closed-circuit television.  And I was giving out handicapping advice.  Not something you want to share with your children.  I was so proud of the little devil I bugged one of my many media friends multiple times a day before she caved and sent me a CD of French Fry’s debut.  Thank you again, Lindsay.

Did you know the child actually had a graduation for pre-school?  There were songs, emotional videos and slideshows.  Processionals and recessionals.  And she tied Coke for most bunches of flowers purchased by me in the year 2009.  Damn that Columbus School for Girls and their budget cutbacks.  There was so much dust in that auditorium, my eyes wouldn’t stop watering.

And that brings us to this week.  I was somewhat prepared for today.  I had gone over it in my mind for weeks.  I had properly ignored her need for a first-day of school outfit.  I had sufficiently put off thinking about the logistics of today.  I had been able to successfully repress any memory of my mom’s opining on what I could expect.  See?  I was dealing well.

This week, I was ambushed by “Meet the Teacher” day.  I was not prepared.  The sickeningly sanitized smell of the school, the prowling PTO Nazis, the loudly, color-emblazoned bulletin boards accosting the eyes, I was overwhelmed.  Yes, she was fine, but remember, this is about me.

Coke, Chicken Nugget and French Fry strolled down the “Green” hallway to her classroom while I stalled, shuffled and stifled a sob.  Okay, there were a few sideways glances at the potential MILPs, I’m man enough to admit it.  But mostly, I was miserable.  Her teacher is brand new.  The school is relatively new.  Can they possibly comprehend the precious person now under their care?  Her old teachers did.  Maybe I could pay them to come be Assistants in this classroom.  I know, I know…stupid.  I’m WAY too broke to afford that.

Then there were the kids.  Some looked ornery.  Some looked like straight out of “Mean Girls 2020” casting.  One might have been an undercover cop.  I think I saw a beard.  Regardless, all were suspicious.  Judging the teacher, the staff, the kids and still trying to check-out the scrub-clad redhead who looked to have a little one about Chicken Nugget’s age.  If we hadn’t left, hyperventilation was imminent.

Last night, each well-wisher dialing our phone number almost put me over the edge.  I finally had to turn off the ringer in the den and fire up the computer.  I couldn’t deal.  This morning, I begrudgingly got up with Chicken Nugget. She helped make sister pancakes.  Just like my dad did for me.  We were dressed, showered and ready 45 minutes before it was time to walk over.  So we waited.  And we waited.  And I sweat.  And I tapped my foot.  And I bounced my knee.  And I checked Facebook.  And I drank coffee.  And I checked Facebook.

Then something happened I wasn’t even remotely prepared for.  I was at peace.  We walked her over as a family and joked and laughed and beamed at our “little” girl.  Her confidence, willingness and readiness put even a neurotic father on an even-keel.  She disappeared into the school, pink backpack covering everything but her shoes.  I waved goodbye to the backpack, gave Coke a knowing hug and was shocked to realize it was more for her than me.

Yes, this was another milestone.  One which was as visceral and painful as the others.  However, these milestones, they’re not my milestones.  They’re not about me.  They’re her milestones.  And I’m privileged to witness them.  And to share them.

I’m the father of a school-aged child.  I couldn’t be more proud.

Posted in Being a Daddy, Being a Husband | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

I’m back…and with minimal Brett Favre references

Posted by doatmon on August 18, 2009

I’m back.

But, no, I will not use the obligatory Brett Favre reference.  I’m above that.

I’m just back.

And suffering from monumental writer’s block.

No, that’s not true.  Not writer’s block as much as writer’s motivation block.  I’m sure someone with a PsyD could explain this to me, but I have a real difficult time getting back into something after taking a little break from it.

I never have a hard time starting something.  And even keeping it going isn’t an issue.  Once I’m in a routine, I can drone on mindlessly with the best of them.  But throw a little break in there, whether it’s vacation or an illness or the release of a new content patch in a video game…and I immediately lose all motivation to go back to my routine.  This is what happens with me when I start a workout regimen, a new “diet” and what inevitably happens when I start a new writing project.

And that brings us to this moment.  I cannot remain focused, put together a coherent sentence without getting distracted or even “SQUIRREL!” make clichéd jokes pertaining to recent animated features.  Okay, maybe I can still do the last one.  So maybe that gives me hope for the previous two.

Let’s give it the old college try.

We returned from North Carolina’s Outer Banks on Sunday after almost 10 days away.  I have been going down there since my hairline was intact and Reagan was in office and it oddly never loses its power over me.  I’m not going to try to do it justice at this time, but trust me.  It is a mesmerizing, inspiring and captivating locale.

A few thoughts from the trip:

  • Coke and I renewed our vows on a dock at sunset with (almost) every immediate family member and it just may have meant more to me than our first wedding with hundreds of guests.  And I KNOW the vows did.  How could they not?
  • Minivans are God’s gift to parents.  Really.  I can no longer pretend to have testosterone-induced issues with this boxy yet utilitarian masterpiece of vehicular engineering.  Remove the backseat, load with 33 tons of beach toys, processed food and sunscreen, insert multiple Madeline DVDs and go.  Instant success.  Now, if I could just figure out how to make the soundproof driver’s bubble thing a reality …
  • I had my first conversation with non-family and friends about my decision to stay home with the kids for the time-being.  My brother’s wife and parents came down with us.   It was wonderful getting to know them and to see them enjoying my kids and undoubtedly projecting images of their own grandchildren.  But across the dinner table, I found myself stammering to explain my decision and qualifying it over and over again.  Perhaps it was their initial reaction.  They skipped right over the parenting and the writing and focused immediately on the real estate.  And for me, that’s third on the agenda right now.  I’m chalking it up to generational.  But I’m a little disappointed in myself.  What’s new?  I take self-flagellation to Opus-Dei levels.
  • Sierra Nevada’s Summerfest is the Nectar of the Gods.
  • It is absolutely incredible how much children grow up over a vacation.  I think both Chicken Nugget and French Fry aged five years while we were gone.  I can only imagine it’s the additional time with parents and grandparents and it helped reinforce my confidence in our decision to have one of us home with them full-time now.
  • I am too fat for MANY types of kayaks.  I am not ready to tell this story yet.  But I assure you, it’s a good one.  It involves me, a lost fishing rod, two-mile walk through a large body of water and a chest-to-crab encounter I wish not to relive.
  • I still can’t tan.  Especially the parts of my head that haven’t seen the sun since birth.
  • I took the week off from writing in the theory that it is sort of my job at the moment and that is what I used to do when previously employed.  And yet, unlike with previous employment, it was hard to NOT write.  And now I CAN’T write (well).  Oh, Alanis Morrisette, explain the irony!
  • Hearing your brother’s Mother-In-Law tell your father that he better do SOMETHING with his peanut is priceless.
  • Seeing a fawn 10 feet away and watching a mother otter swim in a salt pond with her baby otter right next to her makes it difficult to explain to your wife why we SHOULDN’T have another item off the extra value menu.

In an homage to Madeline and her inane DVDs, for the moment, “That’s all there is, and there isn’t any more.”

Perhaps we should send a copy of one of those DVDs to Mr. Favre.

You didn’t REALLY think I was above that, did you?

Posted in Being a Daddy, Being a Husband, Being a Writer | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A few random thoughts

Posted by doatmon on August 6, 2009

What? You expected all the posts to be funny and well thought-out?  Please.  Lower your expectations.  This ain’t Mssinglemama here.  It’s not even Postcards from Yo Mama.  And that’s saying something.

Been an interesting couple days with Coke partying working up in Put-In-Bay.  It’s weird to have the girls by myself over night and weird to have her come back.  I was prepared for the issues with the kids following this decision, but I wasn’t prepared for issues with ADULTS.  It’s hard being with the kids almost 24/7 and still relating on an adult level.  No offense to my beautiful daughters, but I expected to REALLY need some “daddy time,” (no, not a euphamism).  Instead, I find myself almost running back to them after Coke gets home.  I’ll write more about this another time, but it’s odd and out-of-the-blue for me.

I locked myself and the kids out of the house today.  Great dad, eh?

French Fry added another slang term into the ever-growing dictionary.  She has deemed a certain often loud, often offensive to the olafactories, get ready, snorkling.  Sadly, it’s almost always preceded by “Daddy snorkled.”  Clearly, that’s never the case and the child has a wild imagination.  Do they still do shock therapy?

In case you haven’t read the story, a woman beat a fawn to death with a shovel in her front yard.  And the public outcry is being derided by the NAACP as racism against the woman.  This world is a truly frightening place.

I am feeling an indescribable urge to start fishing.  A lot.

I am feeling an indescribable urge to get in the freaking car and head to the beach.  Thankfully, I am.  Tomorrow.  And you’re not.

It’s weird being in a Starbucks when it’s dark out.  Think about it.

People are making a big deal out of the people-watching at the Ohio State Fair.  It’s true.  But, people, go to the zoo.  It’s like a fair that never ends.

Funnel cakes are the work of Satan or a benevolent God.  Discuss until I get back next week.

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Pass the Salt

Posted by doatmon on July 30, 2009

So, I have this problem.

No, not that one.  That’s gross.

Different problem.  But an important one.  It involves fast food.  Sort of.

Let’s say I choose to go to Wendy’s.  I am very happy with a Coke, French fries and chicken nuggets.  I mean, who wouldn’t be?  They go together like, well, Coke, French fries and chicken nuggets.  But always hanging out there is the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger.

While a Coke, French Fries and chicken nuggets are a wonderful and satisfying meal that would make anyone happy, there are many that would argue the former just aren’t a complete meal without the latter.

To someone who cares about his, um, food as much as I do and thinks about his food with such obsessive intensity, there’s more to it though than simply whether I would LIKE a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger.  Who wouldn’t?  And it doesn’t have anything to do with simply adding another food item.  Sure, two may fit on one tray with the Coke while a triumvirate of tasty morsels might require a second tray.  And cost?  Sure, that’s a factor in this economy.  But who really cares about such logistics when putting together something as important and lasting as a meal?

No, to me, it’s more about what will happen with the existing meal as a whole and to each individual part of the meal.  The two fried foods pair so nicely and have grown together, almost as an unbreakable unit, in my mind.  French Fries and Chicken Nuggets.  Perfect combination.  What would throwing in a meaty addition do to their chemistry?

And what about the Coke?  Right now it’s just big enough to wash down and take care of the salty fried foods.  Would there be enough left to satisfy the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger as well?

And yet, despite that, I can’t help but feel like every time I take a long, refreshing sip of that Coke, it’s telling me it can handle more.  It’s telling me that carbonated creations such as itself are designed to handle more than simply two servings of deep-fried goodness.  And who am I to upset something as venerable and enjoyable as Coke?  I mean, for God’s sake, where would this meal be without the Coke?  I would quite simply be parched and unable to eat anything.

But what rights do I have in putting together this meal?  I know that there are many others that think the Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger would fit perfectly.  I know what the Coke thinks.  But I also know my own fears of upsetting the balance of this gastronomic delight.  I know the fears others have when gazing upon my meal.  Is there room for another?  Why is this man allowing a Coke to even have a say for God’s sake?  How can this man AFFORD another?

But, I know damn well it’s none of their business.  You can’t look across the restaurant at someone else’s meal and know how it tastes to them.  Meals are so individualized.  For God’s sake, some people enjoy two drinks at the same time.  I was always intrigued at how THAT works.  But who am I to judge?

I just so desperately want the perfect meal, in perfect harmony.  And I want to be able to enjoy this meal for YEARS to come without even thinking the words fear or regret…angst or overwhelmed…destitute or disconnected.

Is it too late to become a Vegan?

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It’s a Bee’s Life

Posted by doatmon on July 24, 2009

I had an entire blog in my head for today that centered around Michael Jackson, gas prices, staycations, health care reform, professors arrested in their own homes and this weekend’s Jazz and Rib Fest.  Sadly, these grossly under-reported events will have to live on in other forms of media.

Chicken Nugget got stung by a bee.


I feel it’s important to lay blame prior to any sort of constructive dissection of the event.  It was on Coke’s watch, not mine.  She took them to their second-to-last day of Friday playdate/daycare with a family friend.  So it was her fault.

There.  That’s out of the way.

I was starting my kid-free morning the way most SAHers do, I’m sure…checking facebook, twitter, playing Mafia Wars and ogling Natalie Morales and Amy Robach.  Then the phone rang.  It was Coke to fill me in on the catastrophe.  Her voice was riddled with guilt and abject fear.

Apparently between the car and the house, a bee had stealthily slid between Chicken Nugget’s shirt and her porcelain skin.  By the time shoes had been removed and goodbyes said, the poor little one was in tears.

The little bastard (the bee, not Coke or Chicken Nugget) had gotten her twice in its last ditch effort for suicide stinging martyrdom.  And Coke was telling me that it was, get this, “red.” A sure-fire harbinger of impending doom, the color red is feared by parents everywhere.  Red eyes, red skin, red butts, red Kool-Aid…nothing good can come from the color red.

Time to panic, right?

I attempted to allow cooler heads (mine) to prevail and did what any other logical father would do…I went to my bookmarked WebMD page.  I could sense the nerves in Coke’s tone so I tried to suppress years of my mom’s pseudo Munchausen’s indoctrination.  I quickly ruled out the possibility of Ebola.  That’s ridiculous, right?  It took me a little longer to eliminate Bubonic plague.  But that’s only because I was distracted by a pop-up ad for a new nasal strip.

Ah, bee stings.  There we go.

Coke, is she short of breath?”

“No, she’s running around singing along with Paw Pilot on Special Agent Oso.”

“Okay, how about hives?  Is she breaking out in hives?”

“Let me look.  Yes, oh my God, wait, no, that’s just cinnamon roll.  No hives.”

Phew.  Another disaster avoided.  One daughter NOT allergic to bees. “Then I think she’s good,” I exhaled.

Silence. Pause.

“Should I still call the Doctor or go get a vat of Benadryl?”

The good news is that we’re second-time parents with no kids under 2.  We’re veterans.

For God’s sake, a first-time parent would have spent at least another 20 seconds ruling out the Ebola.


What’s on the IPod: Ansley Lister “Need her so bad”

Posted in Being a Daddy, Being a Husband | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

My response to the guest post

Posted by doatmon on July 23, 2009

It’s a freaking MINIVAN…she can keep it.  It doesn’t even have a hook-up for my IPod.

I mean, well, her blog was so heart-felt and she’s right, it is probably best for the kids if I drive it around.  I think she should drive my “snappy, almost new Jetta.”  I’m that kind of husband and father.

Besides, it’s missing a hubcap. 😉

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One freaking day and she’s hijacking my blog already…post from the wife

Posted by doatmon on July 23, 2009

Boy, that didn’t take long.  One day the blog is up and one day it took my lovely wife to take time out of her busy day to steal my thunder.  Just kidding, honey.  Of course your thoughts are welcome.  In fact, let’s do this often.  Maybe not too often.  But often enough.

Below is my wife’s first post on her thoughts on my daddyness and all it brings.  I will post my response to this blog later in the day.

“Mommy take daddy car. We take mini van,” Chicken Nugget, our 2 year old, announced for the third morning in a row today. She loves the DVD player and the freedom to stretch out without her 4 year old sister on top of her. “Cheeseburger, remind me again why I drive the mini-van each day but you are the stay at home dad?”  I asked.

That is a rhetorical question, both Cheeseburger and I know that I am the reason he schleps our 2 kids around town in his Jetta instead of my mammoth town and country mini van.

Let me explain.

For the most part the world we live in understands that many families need to have two parents working to keep them afloat. Each day I cruise 670 and pass hundreds of woman like myself driving their Odyssey’s, Sienna’s and Town and Country’s to their “day jobs”. In the evenings and on weekends they drive that same minivan to pick up their kids from school, take them to soccer practice (yes I just threw in the soccer mom stereotype) and run errands. They of course also drive that same mini van during work hours to doctor’s appointments, dental emergencies and to answer the pleading cries of the school nurse who needs them to pick up their 7 year old that just vomited the entire contents of the pancake breakfast (so lovingly prepared by mom that morning) all over his brand new gym shoes.

What our world still has trouble grasping is the working mom who is backed up by the stay at home dad (and no I do not mean the dad that has lost his job and pulls the kids out of daycare temporarily to save money until he finds new employment). What I speak of is the mom who willingly, if not enthusiastically, goes to work each day while her husband, equally willing and enthusiastic, stays home to tend to the tribe.

That is the arrangement Cheeseburger and I have chosen for our family and one that I imagine continually perplexes our friends, families and the occasional stranger at the mall play yard.

Why would a mom give up her god given right to stay at home with her children when her husband is perfectly capable of making a living in the 9-5 world?

Well the answer to that question is much too convoluted and complicated for one blog but what I will say is the following: yes I love my children dearly and can think of no greater gift then to be able to spend every waking moment with them; no I do not need my husband to play the role of Todd Palin to my Sarah Palin as I pursue elected office (a logical assumption since I make my living in a world of politics); and finally no I do not think so highly of myself that I believe my career is on a skyrocketing trajectory path that will take me into the atmosphere of high powered executives.

Which brings me back to the plight of our mini van and my angst over giving up the keys!

I simply have no need to drive a mini-van each day. I do not drive children to or from school. I rarely run errands during the day and as of this week I will now even more rarely have the need to leave work to take children to appointments. So why then do I still drive my empty mini-van all over Columbus?

The real reason is this: If I hand the minivan keys over to Cheeseburger and take “ownership” of his snappy, almost brand new Jetta the rest of the world will have visual confirmation that I am no longer the primary care giver to our children

Sure I of course do my share of caring for my children’s needs while juggling work. Last night was a prime example as I attempted to be at Chicken Nugget’s 5:15pm ballet class, that of course requires parent participation (I was not aware and showed up in my 3 inch “F me heels”, as my husband lovingly refers to them, and a skirt), while still making it to a 6:00pm candidate fundraiser held at a swanky country club. Last nights disaster is a blog for another day and is maybe why I do need the minivan to handle last minute wardrobe changes in the backseat but that being said it is clear to my husband and I that I do not need to be in possession of said minivan to make the juggling I do any easier.

My husband who has embraced his “state at home dad” status with such vigor I often wonder why we did not figure this out sooner, could care less what car he drives each day and wonders why I am hesitant to hand over the keys.

It’s really very simple I am worried about what society will think about me. I feel the watchful eyes of working moms everywhere examining my latest moves with envy and confusion. I also imagine my stay at home mom friends wondering over coffee if I just don’t “have what it takes” to stay at home with my kids each day.

So I continue to drive my empty mini van to work as some obscure affirmation to everyone that I am still the one in charge, the one driving the “mommy mobile”. I wonder though if it is not all just in my head. That as I learn to embrace the role of “working woman in sporty Jetta with 2 young children cared for at home by a perfectly capable and loving stay at home dad” that the rest of the world will learn to embrace it as well?

For now I think I will hold on to my mini van keys and relish the notion that I do get to have it all -a large, clean, quiet car and a house full of happy babies being cared for by a man who gave it all up for them and for me……

Posted in Being a Daddy, Being a Husband, From the Wife | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »