I wake up this morning at 7:40 AM, just as I have been almost every weekday the last month and a half. It’s straight-up torture waking up that early.
I spend the next fifteen minutes pressing the snooze button, after which I grouchily roll out of bed, sludge to the bathroom, douse my eyes with freezing cold water, and attempt rather unsuccessfully to force my eyes open.
Right on schedule, a loud knock on the door followed by a tiny one. Noah is here.
I grumble and shuffle down the stairs, perform a clumsy 180 around the bottom of the banister, and unlock the deadlock on the front door. In one final attempt to pry open my eyes, I glance over at the mirror next to the front door. Sweat pants. Wrinkled Tee. My hair is a mess. It was the same yesterday. The first thing Noah and my ex-wife get to see of me every morning. Damn, that’s sexy.
I open the door, Noah runs inside, I muster out a thank you, and we start our day. Pancakes for breakfast. Lincoln Logs. Clean Noah’s bedroom together. Check. Check. Check.
Next, we hop in the truck and head out to run errands. Walgreens. The Home Depot. Costco. Walmart. Check. Check. Check. Check.
$80 to fill up my truck with gas. Check.
We head back home. It’s raining. So much for finally doing some of my outdoor chores.
Quesadillas. Yogurt. Pringles. Check. Check. Check.
“Dad, will you take a nap with me today?”
“Maybe tomorrow. I have too much work I need to do while you’re asleep.”
Noah. Pull-up. Check.
“Well Dad, can I sleep in your bed then?”
Noah. Hug. Kiss. Tuck. Check. Check. Check. So much to do. So much to cram into his nap time.
“Maybe I’ll just lay down by you for a minute.”
Two hours later, the phone in my pocket buzzes. I grumble. Dang it. I fell asleep. It’s Noah’s mom, asking if he’s awake yet so that she can come pick him up. No, he’s not.
I look over at Noah. So calm. So peaceful. So much for getting any work done today. Looks like it will be another late night tonight.
Noah eventually stirs and climbs on top of me. Fifteen more minutes of snuggling while he comes back to consciousness. He wakes up. I text Mom to tell her he’s up.
Noah. Cargo pants. Socks. Shoes. Jacket. Check. Check. Check. Check.
A knock on the door.
Noah. Hug. Kiss. Check. Check.
After he’s gone, I sit down at my computer and stare at a blank blog entry, too tired to write much of anything. With his mom and step-dad both working full time day jobs, I’ve officially become a stay at home dad.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. I’d love to hear your comments! Are you a stay-at-home parent? Do you find it to be often overwhelming and completely exhausting? What are your favorite aspects of it? Do you find yourself having to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to get things done?