Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stay-at-Home-Dad Training Guide

So you got it into your head that staying home and raising your children might be a good idea. You have visions of working on your golf game while your little one sleeps peacefully in your combination baby stroller/golf bag. You'll be able to stay in your pajamas and play on your XBox all day. You'll teach your little one(s) to appreciate the fine points of the cover 2 defense and the importance of middle relief. But in order to inject a bit of reality into your expectations and to prepare you for what is to come, I've created this short training guide. While nothing can fully prepare you for what lies ahead, this will give you some idea.

1. Look around at your stuff and find the one thing you'd least like broken. Break it.

2. Trap a squirrel in your back yard. Try to put a onesie on it.

3. Get two noisemakers - one that screeches at an impossibly loud pitch and one that says the same word over and over and over. Place them in your back seat while you drive. Now, try to listen to the song on the radio.

4. Paint a pasty white spot on the shoulders of all your shirts, sweaters, and coats.

5. Cook a delicious meal. Eat it really fast without tasting anything.

6. Get a dog that ignores all of your commands and does its own thing. Teach it to read.

7. Tie your arm behind your back. Make two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, one with creamy peanut butter and one with chunky. One has strawberry jelly and one has grape. Cut the crusts off one. Cut one into triangles and one into squares. Get the right combination and do it within 30 seconds. Now drop one on the floor and quickly make it again.

8. Rig a contraption with a gas can balanced precariously over an open flame. Go to the bathroom and hope nothing bad happens.

9. Scatter toys all over the ground. Carry groceries in one hand and a baby carrier in the other and navigate through the toy mine field. When you do trip, don't drop the baby carrier and try not to swear.

10. Don't shower until you wake up one morning and can't stand your own filth. Get used to that feeling.

Good luck!

This training guide may seem quite cynical, but let me assure you there's nothing I can do to prepare you for the good parts - and there will be plenty of them.


Michelle said...

Excellent advice. LOL

Danille said...

I can't wait ;-) LOL

Anonymous said...

Funny how I forget a lot of things these days, but ten years past the baby stage your words of wisdom resurrect vivid pictures of actual life experience. Somehow I dearly miss it all. Continue to enjoy every blessed moment!

Anonymous said...

I'd say that is actually a Parent Training Guide! Even as a work outside of the home parent I haven't been exempt from even one of those. Of course, not being home full-time probably has preserved what little sanity I have....so I do have that on you. :) I especially liked #3.

Chad said...

You may want to consider publishing a field guide.

Just curious, have you ever attended the SAHD conference?

Farrell said...

LOL - great post!

Anonymous said...

too funny! #7 and #10 are so true in my house.

my sister-in-law works with megan and i met her and the older girls at work last summer very briefly. i popped over here from her reader. i just might have to stay.

Joel Bittle said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Rosemary, I'm counting on some of the more absurd events to pass out of memory, which is one reason I keep this blog.

Yeah, Traci, very little of what I include in here is unique to at-home dads, but I feel kind of an obligation to tilt things our way.

Chad, the only SAHD conference I've been to involved stuffed animals and Polly Pockets. I put the Sad into SAHD.

Gregg said...

I think that anything involving wrestling squirrels is funny!

At first, I was amused - greatly - but then I realized this pretty closely matches my day at work with supposed adults.

Our lives aren't that much different!

Anonymous said...

As another SAHD, that is so true. I come close to 2-3 of those every week. Great advice.

Well Read Hostess said...

bwah ha ha ha...