Friday, September 25, 2009

What it takes.

Being a stay-at-home dad takes a lot more than loving your kids.
It takes loving to spend time, a lot of time with them.

All the fathers I know love their kids, very few however love to spend a lot of time with them. They spend an hour here, another hour there but they cannot wait for Mommy to come back home so they can get away, as far away as they can.
Others will call Mommy for help at the first smell of poop or will pretend to not smell it until Mommy gets home.

Let's face it, for most men, spending time with the kids means playing with them and call mommy as soon as the shit hits the fan (sometimes literally!!).
Being a stay at home Dad means being a Daddy, a chef (although Mac'n'cheese and PB&J sandwiches do not qualify as gourmet cuisine), a chauffeur, a housekeeper (laundry and house cleaning are not done overnight by some special elves). You are also a teacher, tutor and mentor. And do not forget the numerous diaper changes. That alone is enough to run most men out of town!
You do not have to entertain the kids every second of the day. Every minute does not have to be planned as almost not a day goes as planned anyway, but you need to have a good idea of what you will do throughout your day so it does not end in
chaos. Most guys see stay-at-home dads as lazy couch potatoes, doing nothing all day but watch their kids entertain themselves and think anybody can do it. These are the ones who would not last a full day watching their kids and taking care of the house chores.
Yes, taking care of three little ones is hard work. It is a full time job for which you are not getting paid. The reward, however is priceless.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Daddy, please don't throw the box away!!!

It would take Eileen and me over a week to make an inventory of all the toys Matthew, John and Grace have and we might run out of ink and paper before we are done.
From educational toys to blocks, construction sets, Thomas the tank engine sets, puzzles, cars, trucks, musical instruments... You name it, they have it. You cannot walk into their playroom without stepping on something.
And what is their favorite toy? A big cardboard box!!!
Of course it happens at some point to every parent out there. It is nothing new. Kids love to play with cardboard boxes. It leaves room for their imagination.
A car is a car no matter what. A box can be a house, a plane, a princess castle, a boat, anything they want it to be. Matthew wants to build a rocket ship but we are saving that project for a rainy day.
So the next time you are on your way to a toy store do yourself and them a favor, stop by a u-haul store and get the biggest boxes you can get. Or better yet, save the box from your next delivery and have fun with them.
Today, the delivery was not very big so they turned the box into a cosy house and I had an instant baby sitter.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You are a rich man.

Working in the same restaurant for the past few years, I have developed some good relationships with regular customers. Many of them ask me for updates on the kids and the family so I always keep some updated pictures in my pocket.
Last Friday evening, as I was proudly showing the pictures to an elderly couple, they were complimenting me on how happy the kids looked.
After seeing all the picture, the gentleman looked at me and said "You are a rich man. You have a beautiful and happy family."
Unfortunately, wealth is not measured by how many happy and healthy kids you have. In this day and age, wealth is about what kind of car you drive, how big a house you live in and how much money is in your bank account.

Although we do live in a nice town, I drive a (very) used Kia Minivan and our house is, as they say in real estate, "cosy".

Every night when I pull into our driveway, I do not see my dream car
and I do not need a map of the house to make it to the bedroom (shame on us we do not sleep in a master suite) but I can say one thing, we might not really be rich but I am really happy.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Swim to me Puppy.

"Swim to me puppy" from MGA Entertainment is a cute little puppy that can walk and swim all day so that kids can follow him around. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, right? No, absolutely nothing wrong until your precious little one follows him to the edge of the pool, watches him dive and...
According to a Consumer Product safety Commission report,
nearly 300 children younger than 5 drown in pools and spas each year, and about 3,000 suffer pool or spa-related injuries requiring attention at hospital emergency rooms. About two-thirds of the pool and spa-related deaths and injuries involve children ages 1-2, with about 80% of the drowning fatalities occurring in residential settings, such as the victim’s home, a family or friend’s house or at a neighbor’s residence.
All of a sudden the little pup does not seem so nice anymore.
I am not on a crusade to get this toy banned or run MGA Entertainment out of business, however I believe this toy should be advertised differently. It is getting mixed consumer reviews and could be a fun bath toy.
For all of you pool owners, unless you live with Craig Pomeroy or Shauni McClain, remember that this cute little pup can be big trouble.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's feed the birds!!

Our craft project this week was a very easy and inexpensive bird feeder.

Start by spray painting an empty milk carton or large soda bottle. We chose hunter green so it would blend with the trees.
While the paint is drying, have the kids go pick up some nice leaves and a couple of sticks.

Now that the paint is dry, cut some holes on each side of the carton or bottle. Make sure the holes are big enough for the birds.

Have the kids glue the leaves that they collected earlier to decorate the feeder.

Insert the sticks about half way between the holes and the bottom of the carton.

Fill the bottom of the feeder with some bird seeds and using some butcher string or in my case some old shoe laces, hang the bird feeders to a tree.

And there you have it. A great way to keep the little ones busy and interested.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Roles

Even though I do not always see eye to eye with my superiors, I have always put a lot of heart and pride in my work and it finally paid off. I was offered to stay with the same company working only evenings. So along with my new role at home comes a new role at work. Both will take some adjusting and so far we are dealing very well with having Daddy home. It has been only two days but besides the occasional time-out threat we had two great days.