Wifey goes back to work in about a month and a half, and while I’m excited to have my mini me to myself all day, I’m also scared absolutely shitless. This stay-at-home dad gig is about to become serious business, and I’ve got a lot to take care of before I’ll begin to feel like there’s nearly enough time in each day.
The whole “Winedad” thing is not a joke – at least not entirely. Little Dude will come with me wherever I go, and as far as I’m concerned this includes my usual wine tasting circuit. We do not have a nanny lined up, although I am blessed with a mother-in-law who is extremely generous with her time (hint, hint, Babushka). I’m determined to keep things going with Le Metro – Wine. Underground., which is the (now second) most exciting thing I’ve ever done.
For anybody reading this who doesn’t know us personally, I’ll explain: there’s a bit of a role reversal in our household. I’m not your traditional dad and my wife’s not your traditional mama. In fact, she’s the hard-working breadwinner and I’m the one who is focused on maintaining our home and our lives – shopping, cooking, balancing the checkbook, and (occasionally) cleaning.
But maternity leave is a special time. We’ve spent the past several months happily treading all over each other’s turf – she’s been hanging out in the kitchen more often, and I’ve been busting my ass with my friends at PROTOCOL wine studio to build Le Metro into a well-oiled machine before my time is suddenly in much higher demand on the home front. All the while mentally preparing myself to assume my full-time responsibilities as Mr. Mom.
If one can ever be fully prepared for such a thing.
With three months under our belts now, it’s been a lot of fun to observe (and of course to comment on) our little guy’s development. I mean, who ever thought thought it could be so exciting to watch him successfully wrap his baby fingers around a toy? Not that he can hold it for very long yet, but having witnessed him spend months figuring out that his hands even belong to him, I say it’s pretty damn cool. Watching him stare at his own face in the mirror is a better way to kill time than plenty of shit that I tried in college.
It’s tough, though, to avoid making these signs out to be more than they are. Sure they’re developmental markers, but they’re not exactly precise; WebMD says that for a baby to take his first steps “the normal range is anywhere from 9 to 17 months.” Um, that’s a pretty big window.
Over coffee on Monday morning, Wifey read me some highlights from the weekly email she receives from Baby Center.
“This one’s interesting,” she said, “about half of babies this age begin to exhibit an obvious recognition of their parents.”
“Only half?” I asked. “Does that mean our guy’s a genius?”
“Come on, they’re milestones, not IQ tests.”
“Well, if his brain is developing quickly it’s gotta be because he’s smart, right?”
She laughed, but discouraged my wishful thinking. “You really never know – it’s entirely possible that he’ll crawl super early and then start walking late. Some babies skip crawling altogether, and that’s considered a marker.”
Ok then. As much as I’d like to think that my son’s cooing indicates an Ivy League-calibre mind, I’m going to hold off on sending applications.
Despite my occasional laziness (and shameless potty mouth), I pride myself on generally speaking more-or-less proper English. So I’ll admit – especially after having recently shared Little Dude with a larger audience than usual during our holiday travels – that the things I say to my son are utterly ridiculous.
Of course, there’s also the singing. As I was walking home from the grocery store the other day – Mini Me strapped to my chest as usual – I found myself improvising aloud while waiting to cross the street.
This is the longest light in San Diego town… the longest light I’ve ever been around… the longest light that I have ever seen… goddamn, long light, when will you turn green?
Micah, of course, loved it. I’m not sure what the other folks on that street corner thought, but then again I don’t really care. What I felt inside myself was a deep sense of liberation.
Finally, I have an excuse! I can say whatever silly shit I want out loud in public – fuck – I can sing it at the top of my lungs! Isn’t fatherhood amazing? I’m not a crazy person – I’m a daddy! Look! Aren’t we adorable??
Granted, here in Ocean Beach I’m sure not the only one acting strangely in public. But still, I enjoy every one life’s small victories.