One benefit of being a teacher: summers. For the young and childless it is a magical, carefree time. For a teacher who’s also a parent, it’s something different. It is a break from wiping other kids’ noses in order to wipe your kids’.
For men spending their first summer or two with the little dictators, there is a steep learning curve. Below is a part 1 of the Daddy Day Care Primer: The Pros & Cons.
- You’ve earned a guys-night-out pretty much whenever you want it.
- You understand the profound joy a dog feels when someone else comes home at the end of the day. “Hallelujah! You’re here!”
- Movies. Midday. Midweek.
- Afternoon naps.
- Getting the “Aww-What-a-Good-Dad” look from the grandma set while grocery shopping.
- Indoctrinating your kids as you see fit. (“Daddy, can we turn off Tour de France and watch Dora?” “No, sweetheart. Sorry. Look, the polka dot jersey!”)
- Constructing block cities and convincing your child to destroy it like Godzilla.
- Texting pictures to friends & family at work. “Mmmm. This ice cream is GOOD! Sure beats working! ha-ha!”
- The war stories are hilarious, in hindsight.
- Pretending feats of parenting have olympic style difficulty ratings:
He’s going for the “Toddler-Stinky-in-a-Public-Bathroom-While-Holding-a-Slippery-Baby-Slathered-in-Sunscreen” maneuver. Very high difficulty rating.
- The war stories can be brutal in real time.
- Smelling yourself and realizing it’s been a week since your last shower.
- Having to admit that stay at home moms have it pretty rough. (This is actually a “pro” for moms.)
- Realizing that work may be easier, if for no other reason, than you can drive somewhere in peace & quiet.
- Having to explain the bruise on the baby’s head.
- Convincing yourself at 3 o’clock in the afternoon that it is not, in fact, 5 o’clock somewhere.