This is a story of how convenience breeds potential disaster for stay-at-home dads. You can’t predict said disasters, but part of your job is to roll with them.
Behold in the picture to the left Exhibit 7,426 of how a child of less than 17-months can ruin your day. Yes, he has already been bathed. Yes, those are his jammies. And yes, he is the happiest boy on the planet at this moment.
My boys adore taking baths together because they usually splash each other unmercifully until the entire bathroom is dripping. Out of convenience, I let them play a little before washing them both, and then I grab Sam to dry him off and get him in his pajamas. While I’m doing that, Jack gets the tub to himself to play with his boats, etc.
While getting Sam ready for bed yesterday, Jack unpredictably decided to jump out of the tub and run naked upstairs. He politely suggested that he was cold, so I finished with Sam and immediately turned my attention to Jack. I dried him off and helped him with his jammies, but I neglected to keep tabs on Sam.
I started looking around for Sam, and then I found him back in the tub enjoying a strict regimen of diving in, splashing around, climbing out, giggling, and then diving back in. In the process, he destroyed the bathroom.
Why didn’t I close the door? Why didn’t I drain the tub? Why didn’t I keep closer tabs on where Sam was? All great questions, and as an at-home dad for going on two years, I don’t have a single good answer for any of them except that, “Hey, it happens.”
My immediate reaction to watching Sam jump in and out of the tub with his jammies on was very simple: I laughed a lot, marveled at his athletic ability, and grabbed a camera.
The key moment here is when I realized that the whole situation was my fault. Think of it in these terms:
You’re at the Viking-Saints game and the Purple are up by a touchdown in the third quarter when an usher decides you’ve seen enough and kicks you out of the building. Moping around the Superdome and perplexed by your misfortune, you see an unguarded gate to get back in. What do you do? Heck, yes, you go back in! But in my case, I’m was the jerk usher who booted me for no reason.
As an at-home dad, you can’t blame your kids for wanting to do these things. That’s what being a kid is all about, and these types of stories are what make being an at-home dad fun. Yes, I created more work for myself by not paying attention. But look at Sam’s face … it was worth it.