About a week and a half ago, a fairly cool thing happened in our little household. See, it was President’s Day, which meant a random holiday from working for myself. Unfortunately, HawtWife had to make her sojourn into her office, but, since it was a Monday, it was also a standard Nugget-stays-home-from-daycare day. We’ve been getting by on Mondays and Fridays with me watching over Nugget while also getting my daily work responsibilities done, but, this time, there was no need for work responsibilities. It was a Daddy-Daughter day, and we certainly weren’t going to waste it with me plinking away at the computer.
So, yes, Nugget and I got to spend the entire day hanging out. We played games. We read books. I was a super comfortable sleeping space when she needed a nap. She ate better than she normally does when it’s just me and her, which I believe probably stems from the fact that she was getting more interaction. All told, we had a great day. At the end of it, she was about as tired as she normally is after a full day of daycare, and, because HawtWife was off at work, we barely even had to contend with the dog (our dog has this weird thing where she won’t hang out if I’m the only adult home). At the end of it all, I just wanted to wake up the next morning to repeat it. I mean, what if she’d had one of her developmental moments, and it happened at daycare where neither HawtWife nor I got to see it? For example, I don’t know exactly how long she’s been holding her bottle herself, but I know for a fact that it’s at most as of this past Monday.
And yet, as I was thinking about my day with Nugget, I started to realize how amazingly blessed I truly am.
See, President’s Day was a trial run for us. It wasn’t just a day for us to hang out without HawtWife being able to come in and make a save if needed. It was an experiment that gave an example of how things are going to be in a couple of weeks. This is all because, as of the end of the day tomorrow, I am a stay-at-home father. Nugget has an extra week of daycare, but then she’ll be just hanging out with me all of the time. It’s going to be amazing, and rewarding, and yes, it’ll be hard at times. I don’t have blinders on about that. There are clearly things that are going to happen that I’m going to be out of my depth for. I’m going to get overwhelmed from time to time, and I’ll need to remember that I sometimes just need to step away and breathe. But I’m also going to get to help Nugget grow and experience things. We’re already plotting playdates, and trips to kid-friendly environs. The rewards far outweigh any concerns that might have popped up.
One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was to return to work after Nugget was born. I didn’t want to leave, and I certainly didn’t want to be tied to a desk all day, wondering how she’s doing, but knowing that I wouldn’t get to see her until the end of the day, and even then for only a couple of hours. It was necessary at the time, but it was difficult. And now, I won’t have to. I’ll get the ability to just hang out with my kid, and watch her journey through the world.
Now, this doesn’t mean that my entire life will be Nugget (I mean, she’s pretty awesome, but not a great conversationalist yet). There will still be times for me to get out and be around adults. There will be those bonding times for HawtWife and Nugget, where I am little more than a lump on the end of the couch. And I honestly believe that it’s going to be best for all of us in the long run. Besides, we’ll never really know if we don’t try, and it’s time to make that leap and see if me being the stay-at-home parent for Nugget is really in the best interests for all of us. I have little doubt that it’s the right decision at this time, but, well, we can’t be certain until we’re in the middle of it.
I’m just glad she’s past her “Daddy is the worst thing in the world and I will cry forever as long as I can hear/see/remember him.” I might not be quite as excited about this prospect if she was still there.
Oh, who am I kidding? I’d still love it, and probably invest in ear plugs.