Monday, November 3, 2008

Lessons from Mr. Mom

As a stay-at-home Dad I've been learning some important lessons. Some things spiritual. Others practical. Still others that inspire in me a real appreciation for people with little ones. Thought I might just share a few of these with you today.

1. There's no time to keep up your blog. Honest to God I thought that when Gabriel napped or got busy with toys I'd be able to retire to the laptop and craft clever missives. NOT. It takes considerable discipline (never a strong point for this writer) to carve out time.

2. There should be a special place in Hell for children's clothing designers who think plackets (a slit or other opening in an item of clothing, to allow access to pockets or fastenings) are a clever idea. It's hard enough getting a squirmy one-year old dressed never mind trying to insert tab A in slot B.. Please people - BIG buttons and BIGGER holes. Leave your couture to the adult world.

3. Kids love to stick stuff where it wasn't meant to be stuffed. We live in a 158-year old house. It has forced air heating and hence floor ducts. Now these turn out to be a source of great interest for little ones. Not only can you perform spill and fill functions with them you can also send toys skittering down the duct work never to be seen again. (At least Gabriel hasn't tried to stuff the cat down one as happened to my brother in law Andrew). This was a constant irritant to this old man and I couldn't find anything in the copious amounts of kid-proofing information or products that would help secure the duct cover. So, I went to good old Home Depot and got some mirror mounts. Screwed 'em into the floor over the ducts and they work a treat. Gabriel's not remotely interested now but I do think I've managed to perform a humanitarian act for his many little toy friends.

4. The more expensive the item the more attractive to little hands. My father-in-law Roger calls them mussentouchits. My son doesn't care. He loves the remote control devices. He loves my iPhone. He loves the telephone. He loves the digital box. He loves the Bose. He loves the iPod. He thinks my laptop is better than anything Fisher Price can come up with. He thinks my printer is a delightful place to spill and fill. I'm beginning to think that a return to a completely analog world is the right way to go.

5. The less elaborate the better. Seemingly contrary to point four, Gabe's favourite toys are things such as:
an empty cottage cheese tub with an old rice cracker remnant inside;
a plastic funnel;
anything from Tupperware or Rubbermaid;
the cat's tail;
the fireplace grate;
the afore-mentioned floor ducts;
dust motes (not that we ever have those in our house);
magazines - torn up with great skill...but only the articles I'd like to read...never the 'how to keep your silver shiny' pieces;
Cheerios; and,
did I mention the cat's tail?

No comments: