Spending the Day With a Six-month Old

First off, I don’t babysit him. I’m his dad, for crying out loud. But nine hours with him, me, and our 2 year old pharaoh hound? Here’s how we spent my day off

Hour one: he and I watched an episode of that Netflix show his mom strongly encouraged me not to watch without her. Tell no one.

Hour two: he begins to fuss. The dog comes over and licks the dried boogers out of his nostrils. This makes him happier. We watch some cars go by.

Hour three: he’s down for his mid-morning nap. I successfully avoid the creaking parts of the nursery floor. Take the baby monitor downstairs for an hour of playing Halo 4 and reading Steinbeck in between games. Also, have a couple leftover Olive Garden breadsticks.

Hour four: realize I forgot to make coffee today. Also realize that we’re out of milk. Life is dark and God might not love us after all. The puppy is lowing, the baby awakes. We go back to Netflix on the couch.

Hour five: alternate between the Jumperoo, his crib, the couch, and my arms. Give him his lunch bottle. And his Gripe Water. And his baby Tylenol. And his teething capsules. This kid is so medicated.

Hour six: down for a cat nap. Up with a vengeance. I unswaddle him and we watch some more cars driving by. I put the dog outside and we go downstairs. Practice sitting. Practice walking with daddy holding our hands. This is our exercise for today, I guess.

Hour seven: more Netflix. I start to feel guilty about all the screen time and what it’s probably doing to his poor little eyes or soul or something. I figure out he loves to be a hat. Lift him up and put him, stomach down, on top of my head. He thinks this is hilarious,.

Hour eight: poopy diaper. I had a feeling he was saving it up for such a time as this. It’s like that green gunk you pull out from under the lawn mower on a humid summer day after you mow. It’s everywhere. Lord, beer me strength.

Hour nine: fussing. Both of us. There is no hope. Only darkness and sobs. We practice the sounds that different letters make. This is the funniest thing he’s ever heard. His laughter is its own reward. Also, I feel like a complete genius for coming up with something so funny. Mommy comes home. I go buy milk and she cuddles him.

Not a bad Friday.

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A Good Kind of Tired

There’s a kind of tired that can come from doing a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes a whole lot of nothing is exactly what you need. Rest. Relaxation. Leisure. That’s all good and very needed. But it’s necessary in the context of work.

Whether you work from home for pay or not, whether you work outside of the home for pay or not, work should make you tired. Life is not all work. But work in life should wear you out rather well.

I used to go to bed tired from binging Netflix or wasting an hour on my phone. Now I go to bed tired because I try to do more better. This, I’m convinced, should be the aim of every man, whatever their capacity and whatever their station in life. I’m still working on it.