There is a certain secondary character to being a stay-at-home parent. One that I didn't want to accept and still hope not to entirely accede to. It is a matter of routines. I have mine. He has his. His always take precedence.
I haven't quite adapted to his routines. Haven't quite figured out how to make mine fit into the cracks, breaks, and pauses. Luckily, I'm used to this sort of thing. Sort of. I am, for the most part, a very lazy man. And a regular part of my vacation ritual is spending nearly the entirety of the first few days in front of a television while I sort myself out. The unfortunate part about this was that vacations were never long enough and I would end up spending most of them on the couch and by the time I got bored of tv and ready to get back to writing or painting or doing something productive it was time to get back to school or back to work or both. I have adopted this same practice again. Since Monday I have watched the whole of season one of Leverage on Netflix streaming plus a few other things. It was excellent. I do so enjoy a show with criminals as the antiheroes. [Like Hustle. "You can't cheat an honest man."]
Streaming tv is a surprisingly good means of adapting to an infant's routines. I can pause the show at will whenever he needs me, start it back up without losing much context, and not get in too deep that I would mind an interruption. In fact, I am hoping, that by the time I get tired of whatever shows I choose to watch next or the concept of a day of just television (it is already starting, I was restless enough to take the time to compose these thoughts) I will have figured out his routines, adapted myself to them, and will be able to get down to doing the things that make me who I am (writing, reading, painting, *watching tv and movies, and thinking about life, the universe and everything and then refracting it through a back story saturated with pop culture and putting it all it down here for your amusement and edification). Also, I'm going to try to start doing some part-time work-from-home gigs (so if any of you have anything interesting ...) to make some extra money, pay down those student loans.
It's weird (though I'm sure it's the first comment that every stay-at-home confessional makes) how the little things matter. In college, on vacation, I wouldn't think twice about going the better part of a week neither showering nor shaving. Staying in the same clothes because there was no one around to care or notice. So it isn't a personal desire for absolute cleanliness that drives me into the shower every day now while he naps. Or to do any of the other small things that I would have avoided or procrastinated on before. Maybe it's because it's a manageable escape. One of the few things I can do to have a moment to myself that seems like he can't interrupt though clearly he can. But at least I stay clean and springtime fresh and clad in something other than pajamas. The kid is slowly leading me towards more responsibility that I would have ever previously accepted. While still letting me act like a child and make fart noises to make him laugh. Perhaps he is already making me a better man. Maybe I just needed someone to hold my hand in order to get anything done. Though it doesn't hurt that he needs me to hold his hand too.