Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ramblings Of A STAY-AT-HOME-PARENT

  • I refer to myself as the SAHP. Removing the gender connotation has the advantage of reducing the "Mr. Mom" references. I don't think Aly is called "Mr. Dad" because she goes off to work...
  • AA is talking up a storm. Very expressive with her facial expressions and hand gestures. Still, let's be clear. While Aly and I understand much of what AA is saying, with the exception of one word utterances, most people would struggle with understanding her.
  • AA is constantly asking "what's that". Example: If I'm cutting up a green pepper she will ask what it is. She seems to observe anything and everything and wants to know what things are and what I'm doing. That's cool.
  • Some may find this trivial. However, we celebrated this breakthrough for AA. She has begun to fantasy play. First thing we do after waking from a nap is go to the bathroom. This past week, Elmo turned on the bathroom light, Elmo went to the potty (actually sat on the toilet), Elmo waved his potty goodbye when flushing and Elmo then turned the bathroom light off.
  • Whenever possible, AA walks beside the shopping cart instead of riding. We dance and twirl in the aisles with every opportunity. My looking silly is of little to no consequence.
  • AA loves her shades (sunglasses) and will squint and cover her eyes if we head out the door without them. Once walking into a building she will nonchalantly take them off and hand them to me. Too cute.
  • I have not encountered any problems with other parents "accepting" me at area playgrounds. I admit to being very sensitive to how it may look having an older man at a park with lots of children around. Parents being protective of their kids is very understandable.
  • Teaching AA a few basic words in sign language has paid off in HUGE benefits for each of us.
  • AA folds her hands in prayer for about 5 seconds. She then fast forwards to Amen. I can't say that I blame her :) Some folks are just too long winded.
  • There are days I can't imagine not doing what I do now. I have not missed my old job once.
  • She likes to put on and take off her own shoes. Patience is the key. I try to remember to let her start getting ready first and then myself before rushing out the door.
  • The only food she has trouble with is lettuce. The cud reflex just doesn't seem to be in the cards right now :)
  • We follow fairly close to a daily routine if for no other reason than to help Dad remember what it is we (I) should be doing.
  • Contrary to popular belief. Having a 2 1/2 year old doesn't keep me young :) but it does keep me humbled and thankful.
  • For the most part. Salty Dog ignores AA and AA ignores Salty Dog. He's never snapped, growled or acted territorial around her once. I wish I could say the same thing about AA :) Salty does insist on accompanying me when getting her up in the morning and after her afternoon nap.
  • Speaking of naps. AA takes one every afternoon. Sleeps for about 1 1/2 hours on average. Occasionally, two hours.
  • She can point out a color when prompted but if asked what color something is, AA will respond by saying the word color...
  • It's fun listening to her attempt to sing along to songs. La La La La,,, La La La La,,, Elmo's world... :)
  • We travel with a DVD player in the car for longer jaunts. My reasoning. I'd rather have her watching Count Dracula than staring blankly at the back of a headrest.
  • Often I will find myself looking at AA and remember how our journey began and why I am so thankful she was born in our hearts those few years ago.
  • Starfall is a fantastic free Internet learning tool. We play on it daily.
  • I hate shopping but not for AA :)
  • AA has yet to discover candy and cookies and such. Our time will come but for now it's nice not having to contend with it.
  • While sitting on the couch recently, AA came over and laid her head in my lap for the first time ever.
  • With the exception of night-night, baby girl is potty trained. It's such a wonderful thing.
  • I like Sid The Science Kid and Martha Speaks way more than I should. Geez...
  • As the SAHP, you often wonder if you are doing all the things you need to be doing to help your little one learn.
  • The purchase of a stick pony has done wonders in helping AA's balance and coordination skills.
  • We're working hard on our please and thank you's.
  • I still plan to dance with my daughter at her wedding.
  • The Wait drains the energy and too often, the hopes and dreams from those still in their journey. Remember these folks in your thoughts and prayers...
  • We couldn't be more proud of how the older kids have taken to having a little sister in the family. Alyzabeth is blessed to have so many family members and friends that surround her with love and attention. So very, very blessed...
peace
fm

22 comments:

a Tonggu Momma said...

Love this list, Ford. And the fantasy play? NOT a trivial thing. It shows how much AA has progressed in her language and, surprisingly, attachment. I didn't know if you knew that fact, but - when we were in therapy - they said that fantasy play is an indication of growing/ solid attachment.

Jboo said...

What a great list! Have to admit that I really like Martha Speaks too! :) Hope the rest of your week is fun and have a great Easter.

Janet

Melissa said...

FM, Wonderful wonderful writings!! This is why too, I feel blessed to have you in my life!! AA is CERTAINLY a lucky little young lady!
All my love,
Mel in the ice isn't outta here Little Sebago Lake, Maine!

Heather J. said...

What a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing all that you’re thinking. It has been a pleasure for me to read along with you on your journey.

Kelly And Allison said...

What a wonderful list. I see your love for her and thank God for people like you to take care of her. I love your blog.

Tina

Don and Be said...

Way cool, Ford.
HomeDaddy

Daniella said...

Hey there - sounds like things are going well :) What a great post. I will need to tell my husband about sahp because he really doesn't like sahd :) AA is so beautiful and this list made me smile.

Mike said...

I call myself SaHP, too. SAHD, for a Dad, seems to imply that caring for your kids is ... well, sad.

It's not. It's fun.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com

Twitter: AboutParenting

PIPO said...

What a beautiful and very real list.

Yeah, these little ones don't keep any one young. My sweetheart has made me realize I am not quite as young as I thought I was...but I still have a lot of miles left :0)

Bev said...

How beautiful. And we love Starfall too.

Bev and Angel

Ruth and Brian said...

Ford,
Fabulous post!!! Brian and I were talking this afternoon about how Abigail will know a different daddy and mommy than our boys did growing up (more relaxed-allowing time for the important things, hopefully more wisdom, patience, etc.). I suspect you are finding this with you and AA as she is getting to see a very different daddy than your older children.

Keep up the amazing job you are doing with her. She is so very blessed to have a SAHDAD!!!!!
Ruth

LaLa said...

Great list..you are one lucky Daddy!! I love the image of you two dancing through the aisles : )

Buckeyes & Eggrolls said...

Absolutely loved this post! Sorry I've been such a lurker lately. I barely find time to read let alone comment. today I have the luxury of both because I'm home from work with a sick "older" kid. :0(

I loved your comment about little ones not making you feel younger... it is definitely a very humbling experience!

So many things I liked about this post and I can't really comment on them all...

ps. I think its cool that you are the sahp! My brother-in-law is too!

m said...

I think that having a child at our age (or any age) is the ultimate gift but I missed out on so much with our children because we were too busy to stop and enjoy. We did some of that but not nearly enough. So glad you are enjoying every precious minute. Thanks for sharing and making me smile.See you on Sunday hopefully. Marsha

Diana said...

I loved this post:)
You are a WONDERFUL dad and you have a GREAT family!!!
Happy Easter to all of you!

Vivian M said...

1. I think stay at home Dads are very cool.
2. Your list rocks.
3. AA is a very lucky girl, just as lucky as you both are to have her in your lives :o)
4. Have a wonderful holiday!

Ty's Parents said...

Ford- What an amazing and priceless list! AA is so blessed to have a SAHP like you.

Billy and Maggie said...

Ford another great post, very touching. Your a great writer.

Dita said...

Ford:

I think you are the perfect person to be a SAHP. You don't let the little (which are really the biggest) things pass you by and you have the ability to eloquently remind all of us that these ARE the big things!

AA is so very lucky to have a daddy like you and I think that you are just as lucky to have AA as your little girl. It sounds like all of the family, including your big kids and grands are all just such loving and caring folks...but with you and Aly as role models, I presume the path was clear for them.

I think that being a SAHP is one of the hardest and best jobs in the world and I am so happy that you love your job!

Congratulations on all the incredible milestones AA is meeting in such a short time home.

Happy Easter, Ford, Aly and AA!


Martha speaks and speaks and speaks!

Donna said...

Fantastic post, you should "ramble" more often ;) You had me laughing, smiling, and saying "awwww..." over and over.

Carol and Taylor said...

Love the list. Wishing your family a very happy Easter.

Kind regards from Miami,

Carol and Taylor

Catherine said...

Keep up the ramblings Daddy-o. these are wonderful and so fun to catch a glimpse of your lives!