The Adventure Gets Bigger

Tomorrow (well, later today, I guess, since it’s after midnight) Kate is going back to work.  From now on, it’ll be just me and Ruby for many uninterrupted hours every day.  Yes, I’m feeling a little trepidatious.

Kate is starting off working half-time for a month so that all three of us can ease into this new arrangement as gracefully as possible.  Ruby will turn 3 months’ old next week, and she’s due for a growth spurt.  Also, she’s just begun teething and is a little crankier than usual.  Although I imagine one could probably say this about any part of Ruby’s childhood, it’ll be especially good to have a bit more of Kate around for the next month.

Still, as of tomorrow there’ll be six straight hours every day of just me and Ruby.  I think my biggest challenge is going to be avoiding watching the clock, and I think the best way to do that is to be on the clock.  Set up a schedule, a routine, anything with a sense of predictability.  What I want to avoid is for it to be 2:30 in the afternoon and Ruby is unhappy and I’m looking at the clock wondering what I’m going to do for the next 3 hours.

Kate and I watched Super Size Me a few weeks ago.  It’s a relatively entertaining movie, but what I remember the most from it is a pie chart that flashed on the screen for less than a second.  They were talking about industrial service kitchens, and they put up a shot of some promotional material from a prison contractor that showed the breakdown of a prisoner’s daily life.  And it made total sense.  There was time for meals, for cleaning, for work, for exercise, and for relaxation.  Honestly, it sounded like everything was in ideal proportions for my (and Ruby’s) new life.  Unfortunately, I can’t find that graphic anywhere online.

I plan to make time every day for cleaning, exercise, work, cooking, shopping, and, of course, playing with Ruby.  Just how those proportions are going to work out is still to be determined.

What’s in a name?

A few weeks ago we were crossing the border back into the US from Canada.  Normally this consists of a glance at the passports and a wave on through.  This time, though, the border agent caught me off guard:  he asked me what I did for a living.

That’s a question for which I didn’t have a ready answer.  Nominally, I’m a software engineer.  The work-like thing I do is run a web services company called Feedwhip, and after a bit of stammering that’s what I told him.  But it doesn’t make any money and isn’t what takes up most of my time.  I spend most of my time with my daughter.

Does that make me a stay-at-home Dad?  Well, yes, probably.  But, to paraphrase a character from an episode of Six Feet Under that Kate and I just watched, it’s not like I’m stuck at home with a big chain around my leg.  To be fair, this is probably the term I’ll use since people know what it means and I’m mostly okay with it.  But still.

Another option would be to call myself “a full-time father”, but this one really bugs me.  Does that make Kate a “part-time Mom”?  My role as her Ruby’s father affects many of the decisions I now make in my life, whether she’s with me or not.

Even worse would something like “Mr. Mom” or simply to take on the title of “Mommy”.  Men and women have different approaches to childcare, and I can’t do what Kate does.  And she can’t do what I do.  I’m the Daddy, not the Mommy.

So, I guess my job title is “stay at home Dad”, for now.   Any other ideas?


Big Adventures is now a blog.  All the old Big Adventures content is still available.

Big Adventures will be a chronicle of the day-to-day trials and tribulations of me (Steve) raising my daughter (Ruby) with my lovely wife (Kate).  We’ll talk about whatever I feel like, of course, but I’m hoping to have lots to say about fatherhood in particular.