Adventures of a Stay at Home Dad
I’m Michael, father to Logan, and amazing eleven month old. When Logan was born last year, I had scheduled to take about a week or a week and a half off to be with him and my wife, Sarah. After all of the time in the hospital, I got three days, and because my wife had a C-Section, I ended up taking care of both of them for those three days. I didn’t mind, but I certainly had pictured my time with Logan would be longer. Then in November, when Logan was about seven months old, I was laid off. Being laid off of course is stressful, nerve-wracking and just about every other type of negative emotion imaginable, but there were a few benefits on this particular occasion.
It’s been about five months, and I have been able to bond with Logan. Not only do we play together, but I have been able to be with him for some major milestones. I was home when he was starting to crawl, and now he is on the verge of walking (he can walk but doesn’t seem to realize it—he thinks he needs to hold on to something). I’ve been able to hear the transition from very baby-like coos to his current toddler gibberish.
Beyond just the opportunity to bond with Logan, I have grown in the past five months. As he’s become more mobil and active, I’ve had to keep up. One of my favorite activities that Logan and I have to do every week is grocery shopping. It is a matter of wrestling him into his carseat, and after about five minutes of driving he falls asleep. I usually drive around until he begins to stir, before heading to the grocery store. Once we get to the grocery store, I had to learn to park right next to the cart-sheds so that when I’m putting the cart away afterwards I don’t have to walk more than five feet away from him (this one is more necessary right now because of the temperature and I put him in the car before the groceries so he doesn’t get too cold). Once we’re in the grocery store, Logan is absolutely amazed. He loves the lights, and all of the colorful foods and packaging. Dietarily he’s a big fan of produce, but in the grocery store he prefers the aisles with packaging, because the shelving is at a better height for him to grab things. At the grocery store we go to, there is a train set that is constantly going on a loop suspended above the dairy section, and so we always pause so that he can watch the train complete at least one lap around. When we’re in line to check out, Logan loves staring at the balloons that are for sale at the registers, as well as smiling at people in line behind us. What is ultimately my favorite part though, is once I’ve put him in his car seat, and I’m trying to put the groceries in my trunk, and as my face goes back and forth behind the trunk, he thinks I’m playing peek-a-boo and he starts laughing every time.
Obviously there are days when I worry about being unemployed, about paying bills and getting a job, but making Logan laugh, and the way his face lights up when he sees me has made this otherwise miserable experience one that I wouldn’t trade for the world.