Monday, December 12, 2011

on stay-at-home dads.


this thread on offbeat mama made me really weepy today (pregnancy hormones!)
i never really thought about how fortunate (or how unusual) i was to have my dad be a 'stay-at-home-dad' for a time when i was a toddler.
i'm not exactly sure how old i was, but i imagine between 3 or 4.
my mom worked and my dad was doing some consulting stuff (i think...i'm going off a 3 year old memory here) while he looked for something permanent. so that meant that he was at home with me all day.
and for the most part, it rocked.
when it was nice, we spent all day outside.
we ate completely un-balanced lunches (i distinctly remember a lot of peanut butter covered bananas.)
and we watched a lot of star trek.
in short, it was pretty rad.

in fact, i might have nothing to complain about had it not been for him starving me.
dad believed in no snacking. as in, you ate 3 big meals a day and that's it.
i for one, have never been able to operate that way and i especially couldn't as a little kid.
i'll never forget one morning i told dad i was hungry - he looked at the clock and said, "It's only 11:30. We eat lunch at noon."
i must have asked something along the lines of, "When's noon?" because i remember him telling me that it was when both of the hands were on the number 12. (looking back, that's probably how i learned how to tell time.)
i sat there in agony, watching the time slowly tick by.
dad couldn't understand why i was so upset. he was so clueless sometimes.
by the end of the day, i was seriously missing my momma.
i was laying on their bed, wearing her nightgown and watching him work on something in his office.
as soon as i heard her car pull into the driveway, i shot out the door yelling, "Mommy's home! Mommy's home!"
she got out of her car and said something to me (i don't remember what she said at all) and i promptly burst into tears, exclaiming, "Dad STARVED me!"
i'm sure that lent itself to an interesting conversation between them later.
in the end, he never changed his stance on no snacking.
and mom took to hiding little baggies of grapes, carrots and crackers in places that i could get to myself so i wouldn't 'starve.'
i never, EVER let him live this down.
when i would start in on him starving me, he would roll his eyes so hard i swore they were going to fall right out of his head.

despite all that, i really loved having him around.
he was there when i learned how to tie my shoes.
he was the one who found pet frogs for me while we were outside.
he was the one who showed me the wonder that is peanut butter toast.
as i got older, he got a job and mom stayed home. there were days that i didn't see him for longer than 15 minutes because of his commute.
i don't think i fully appreciated having that time with him until i was much older.
we were exceptionally close and i think that time may have had something to do with it.
i hope he knows how much it meant to me.

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