Jul 3, 2010

Stay-At-Home Dad

Some of this summer's handiwork.

So, this summer I'm on full-time Dad duty. We decided to have the Feller stay home instead of going to daycare this summer. We save some money and he gets to spend some extra time with Daddy. It's not so different from summers past though. I still read a lot--though, now the books are favorites like "Good Night, San Francisco", "God Made Me", and "Tomy's Little Mother Goose."

The Feller goes through phases of favorite books. Right now this memento of our trip to the Bay area last summer is in heavy rotation. It's a beautifully illustrated book of San Francisco's highlights--every time I read it, it reminds of me all the fun we had there last summer. They have a whole series of "Good Night" books and I'd like to collect more from the places we visit.

We have a little worship together every morning after breakfast too--sing a song, read from his Baby Bible (his favorites are Zaccheus and David & Goliath) and pray together. Usually, we read a few more books after that too. I read to him again, if Barbara doesn't come home before his afternoon nap.

We also go to the library once a week for their storytime. The New Albany branch of the public library is just five minutes away, and he's always excited to go and listen to the stories and sing the songs with other kids.

At the library (or "libarebary" as the Feller calls it) for story time.

I still do little reading of my own too--I might sit out on the balcony in one of our deck chairs and read while he naps, and I try to read a bit before bed every night. But the days of reading until my head hurts are long past.

The perfect place for a summer afternoon read while the Feller naps.

In summers past I usually watched a lot of movies during the summer as well. Now, my video diet consists mainly of the BBC video "All About Elephants" (at least a couple of times daily), and Sesame Street. I suppose we could watch more, but I don't want him to get used to watching a lot of television--and his age, he's really not supposed to be watching it at all.

I get on the computer still, although much of the time it's to look at "pictures!", usually of Saipan. The Feller likes to see the "beach!" and Saipan friends like Virle "O Vee" Gayatin, Joy, and Tali "Tidy" Paez. I still manage to steal some time to drop into Interference to discuss politics on the Free Your Mind forum while he's napping. Naptime usually lasts for about three hours from about 1 P.M. to 4:00 P.M., though he can go as long as four and sometimes even five hours. Up until this past week, a good chunk of that time was spent working on my class for my master's degree. I'd usually go down to the library and work in the study room for a couple of hours, coming home around 5:30 or so. That class wrapped up on the July 1 so it feels like I'm now fully on vacation.

This is the little "village square" in New Albany. This photo is looking from the library entrance. When I was working on my master's class, I would be here every afternoon. Now it's just twice a week--once to prep for next school year, and once for story time with the Feller. I usually eat lunch on my "work days" every Wednesday at a tavern called the Rusty Bucket. It's obscured by the trees approximately in the center of the frame.

In addition to the old summer standbys, there's new activities too. On most mornings we're up by 7:30 and done with breakfast, clothes & diaper change, toothbrushing, and worhsip by nine. On many days we have to make a run to the store, something the Feller always looks forward to because he likes riding in the carts that look like cars (complete with steering wheels) at Giant Eagle, and "holding" the groceries (especially the produce) at Aldi. On other days we might go for a walk outside or my friend J "JJ" Carlos will come over with his son for a playdate.

On a morning walk with the Feller. Our apartment complex has a neighborhood feel, with lots of green space for walking, running, and playing.

The mornings usually go by pretty quickly. Before you know it, it's 11 o clock--time for Sesame Street while I make lunch. We eat lunch around noon, and then it's naptime. Barbara usually comes home from her job around this time, though she sometimes has me put him down for his nap so she can run errands.

Now that my class is done, we hope to spend some time doing fun family summer stuff in the afternoons after he wakes up from his lap. So far this week, though, he's slept so late most days that there hasn't been much time to do much else beyond squeeze in some playtime, have supper, and take a bath. This past Wednesday, we did make some time to run up to the Farmers Market in Westerville. It was nothing spectacular, just a few tents with a handful of local farmers hawking fresh produce, honey, pastries and jams, and free range meat. But it was nice to walk through Westervilles quaint Uptown district browing the Amish furniture store and antique shops.

The Westerville Farmers Market

Uptown Westerville, a slice of small town Americana.

The evenings fly by quickly. Though he's supposed to be in bed by seven or 7:30, with the long naps, he's been going to bed an hour or so later, so by the time he's down it's almost time for us to hit the sack as well. I never manage to get to sleep as early as I'd like, but the old summer bedtimes of 2 in the morning are long gone. An eleven o'clock lights out is late for me, a late bedtime I will pay dearly for the next day. When you spend a good part of your day chasing a toddler around you need the energy provided by a good nights sleep.

My life this is summer is simple, and the time goes by quickly--things like making breakfast and lunch and keeping up the kitchen from devolving into a dirty-dish disaster area seem to be never ending tasks. But the time with my son is precious.
On the one day of the week when he goes to daycare (just so he doesn't get out of the comfort zone of being there) and I have time to do prep work for school next year, I miss him a lot. Every day he grows a little more and he won't be this age ever again. So I'm grateful for this golden summer in Ohio with my son, staying at home, and being a full-time dad.

Happy Independence Day! (These huge flower basket line the main drag through Uptown Westerville).


Ken & Crystal Pierson said...

hey Sean,
yes! we'll be in FL July 7 - 18! Will you be there then? We'd love to get together! ;)

The Beachcomber said...

Ahhhh! To be a father....

GazOwen said...

Hey mate, loved your review of Mumford and Sons. Top stuff! Sitting in Cambridge, UK, listening to the album now and wanted to check some stuff out but found your site first go, and glad I did. Great review and love the stay at home Dad bit! I have a lovely daughter but it's not stay at home but weekend Dad, which I've realised is also good, in it's own lovely way!

Mai said...

Your summer sounds so relaxing and enjoyable! Soak up every moment of it!! :)