Wednesday, January 31, 2007


When I write The Complete Guide to Being a Stay-at-Home Dad, I'm going to include a chapter on all things one loses when he becomes a SAHD, because no one really warned me beforehand. There is no more personal space - almost all children are clingy, climbing, grabbing close-talkers who live in perpetual orbit around you. After three changes in one day, you lose your desire to wear a clean shirt. There is no more "me-time" - and your initial misgivings about paying a babysitter $10 an hour just so you can sit in a coffee shop and stare at a wall will turn to gleeful expectation as you and your two daughters clap with excitement when the babysitter shows up. And certainly in parenting there can be no modesty.

With two little ones on opposite nap schedules, if want to take a shower, one of them is coming in the bathroom with me. Megan has taken Clara into the shower with her but there's no way I'm doing that. So I usually wait for Clara to nap then I put Kate on the floor with some toys while I shower. But the first time I looked down to see Kate's face and two chubby hands pressed against the glass as she stared at me, all modesty flew out the window. To be honest, I was just glad she wasn't playing with the cold water knob on the bathtub, turning my shower into scalding torture.

The other day I walked into our bedroom after a shower with a towel around my waist. Clara ran in, pointed, and giggled out, "Daddy's boobies!" Now let me say that I am not the parent using the term "boobies" around my children. I can't wait to see the looks I get when she uses that word in public. I thought about explaining that on men, they're called "pecs" but who am I fooling, I'm a stay-at-home dad and haven't worked out in a long while. My next thought was how did she know it was funny to point out daddy's boobies? She didn't point out my knees or belly button. Maybe the love of all things silly is genetic, and she is in every way her mother's daughter. I could have told her not to use that word or point at people and giggle but to a two year old "don't do that" means the same as "please do that over and over." So what did I do? I shrugged and said, "yeah, Daddy's boobies."


Tracy Bitle said...

heheheehee, it's all I can say. Please take that lovingly from a woman who has long since lost her ability to maintain modesty.

I suppose I could have tried to warn you about many things, Joel. Seriously though, until you lived it your thoughts may have been "maybe in YOUR house it was like that, but it won't be in mine"

Personally I am proud to say my brother in law is a SAHD. I also appreciate the camraderie it has given us. :) I can still giggle at things I have experienced right?

Meg, use caution with what comes out your mouth. I know I was shocked to hear what I say when my children repeated it. Nothing makes you grow up quite like being a parent.

Anonymous said...

Maybe a "Bro" or a "Manzier" would be in order??. I always thought my son and daughter-in-law were just glad to see us. However, after reading this blog it makes me realize why they always head out the door for a quiet dinner alone while we watch Emmy for the night.

Michelle Etter said...

Joel, I was glad to see some 'body jokes' on your blog. I have a feeling my blog will be full of this as Andrew is obsessed. I can completely relate. The other day Justin was blowing kisses on the glass shower door at me while I was shaving my legs. I just smiled and moved into the far corner, trying to hide behind the hanging towels on the shower door. I mean seriously, no wonder my kid knows the word 'nipples' and is not afraid to use it at the most inappropriate times. Please let Justin never talk. Because I have had all I can take from Andrew already!