Gabe and I will see you a little further down the line!
And the last installment of #SoD finds me posting from my actual home, in Baltimore, after driving ~3,300 miles and flying cross-country to Seattle and back all in 12 short-but-sometimes-long weeks. All told, Gabe and I visited or traveled through nine states (Maryland, Delaware, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maine, and Washington). What’s odd though, is that on Wednesday I was relieved of the primary parenting duty and I’ve gone primary-parenting cold turkey. (Jenny and Gabe stayed in New York, as I had school meetings on Wednesday and Thursday). Some observations about going cold turkey:
Gabe manages to spread his food everywhere. Notice the lack of rice on his face.
Greetings from Leavenworth, WA, for those of you keeping track of our whereabouts on your Rand McNally US Atlas and/or Google Map. It’s a quaint, German-themed touristy town about two-ish hours East of Seattle, nestled in a small valley in the Cascades. It’s gorgeous and warm (highs in the 90s-100s). We’re at another theater-based retreat, on the grounds of the lovely Icicle Creek Center for the Arts. Unfortunately, I have little or no babysitting help out here, so I am the de facto parent all day. And this week Gabe has made some spectacular developmental leaps—mostly in the psychological sphere.
And by “psychological sphere,” I mean he’s either been deliberately sabotaging my efforts to keep things somewhat clean/orderly or he’s really hitting his stride as a toddler. I think, based on the smirk and twinkle in his eyes and the cackling laugh, it’s the former and not the ladder. Also, I’m basing this on the fact that he’s now got some opinions and is being “difficult” at times, generally about what he wants to eat and when. The answer to this week’s question What does Gabe want to eat? is: berries. Of only the blue-, straw-, or rasp- varieties. And everything else might as well be poison or a toy. In any case, these two facts point to what I’m fairly sure is a growing craftiness of the practical joke variety—which I would normally wholeheartedly endorse. But it’s been a long week and it’s only Friday. How long of a week?
Here’s an incomplete list of Gabe’s exploits in the last 24-hours, complete with attempted silver linings:
Gabe enjoying some fresh-picked, Maine raspberries.
We wrapped up a week at the Jenny’s parent’s house, sadly departing our lovely lakeside retreat in Maine. Which is all to say, we’re on the road again, this time to NYC and then Seattle for almost two weeks. But the time in Maine was relaxing, as Gabe’s schedule was split between three adults (a great ratio for childcare), and I reflected a bit on my time being the primary parent.
One of the best parts about being the primary parent is that you get to witness, and sometime be the agent of, the small changes in your child’s behaviors and actions. They might start using a spoon as a tool (like, to eat) instead a toy (like, a yogurt catapult). Or maybe they learn to close a door or can identify their head (shoulders, knees, and/or toes).
And for some reason, I really love these small moments. I find them precious. And I mean “precious” in the literal meaning, “of great value,” not like how some creepy adults say it, He’s just so precious!, with its Gollem-like undertone of I’m-going-to-steal-your-baby-now. In any case, these small moments are the most special to me because they’re all around and constantly happening with young kids, if you keep your eyes open. The problem is that they’re so fleeting and near impossible to grasp and hold on to in any meaningful way.
Today’s installment of #SoD is, as the title says, a double-feature: a quick post from me and then the first part of a very long, but honest and in-depth interview with a friend who, just this summer, went from being a successful lawyer at a bank in Austin, TX to a full-time Stay-at-Home-Dad (SAHD) in Dublin, Ireland. I hope you enjoy both posts! Continue reading
One of the main American stereotypes about fathers it that we’re more lenient, allow kids-will-be-kids mischief, and generally have a “light touch” when we’re parenting. There are definitely times when this is true of me, but there are others where I’m less lenient and Jenny is more hands-off. So it depends on the activity or issues at hand. And I enjoy that this nuance is true of our relationship and our parenting styles—I find it complementary (though it can lead to friction and disagreements). So, one thing I hate is when something happens to make it appear that I’m playing to the barely-vigilant American father stereotype. And something did happen.
This past week I’ve gained some perspective on parenting through our travels, but not because of the traveling per se, but because of the environments where I’ve taken Gabe. In the last week we’ve been in two places: on the lovely grounds of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and in inner-city Philadelphia. Continue reading
Suddenly being thrust into the world of primary parenting for a 1-year-old means that I haven’t been as physically active as I like to be. In the old days (read: before Gabe), I liked to workout 3-4 times a week. More recently, I’ve been aiming for a workout 2-3 times a week.
But as I’ve taken over many more hours of parenting and we’ve started our epic, nomadic summer, I haven’t “worked out” once in the past week (ed note: Ha, once in the past week? That’s probably what we moms aim for much of the time!). This seems like it would be a disaster for maintaining my dad-ly physique. But, as I’ve found, it’s not. I’ve been able to keep my sort-of-in-shape bod with five major toddler-based exercises: