Jim The Wonder Dog
I am stuck. For a month and a half I have been stuck. The Tall Texan in me wants to make that an even 2 months. I have been stuck for two months inside the house. At the end of this little stickage I fully understand the bear that gnaws it's paw off to get out of the trap. I respect that three legged bastard. He is my new hero and if there was a plaque out there honoring him, I would travel to it and leave flowers at it's base. But I can't because I'm stuck, I can't go anywhere.
Don't tell me "Hey, Hoss, make sure you go to the grocery store, that counts as an outing!" I will punch you in the face you unimaginative bastard. A grocery store is not an adventure, there is no trail to be blazed, there is nothing there that I haven't seen before. I once went on a quest to the grocery store to find Coconut Milk in a can. Took me 3 hours, I had to dodge a tank of ferrel lobsters. But I found it. That's the most of an adventure that I can get out of a grocery store.
Go to the library you say. I say line up next to your friend so you can receive your punching right after him. I have been to the library enough times to know that they usually carry porn on microfiche as well. Yea, that's right, antique porn at the library.
Well, what about the park or take a walk. You, I'm not even going to deal with you. Get off my blog, go read about bird watching and then sit at your back window and see if you can see the Pine Grosbeak. Then write it down in your book and pat yourself on the back for your adventure.
The stay at home dad life is actually pretty awesome. In fact, it's the most awesome job in the world. But the misconception people tend to make when they try to imagine themselves doing it is that they immediately consider flopping in front of the TV and watching hours of reruns with no responsibilities. The problem however is that children don't usually sit still unless they are teenagers and using the weed to get potted up and if they are, then they don't want to hang with you. Let me tell you something, that's good for about a week. After that, your mind turns to mush, you start talking to your best friend the garden gnome and you make dinner plans that revolve around macaroni and chicken nuggets. It suuuuuuuuuuccccccccccckkkkkkkkkkkkkkssssssssss. Worst of all though, after a week of turning slowly into a type of moss and mushroom growth, you realize that you have missed an opportunity.
You have missed an opportunity to explore with your kids, to discover the country, to see the oddities that are out there. You have missed out on the stories that come from them, the silly games you play to get there, the mistakes you made that eventually morph into family legend. If you want to be a stay at home dad, you want to educate, you want to raise, you want to build character. It's pretty tough to do that when you realize that the baby is being raised by some crack head singing about friendship. Those opportunities are gone my man and they aren't coming back and neither will your sanity.
In December we had a bit of snow. We couldn't go anywhere. No problem, we wait it out. Christmas break, that's our time! Let's roll! Nope, we have some chores we have to take care of to be ready for winter. And a car repair. And we better save some money for presents. Fast forward past the holidays, let's roll! Wait, school play. Ok, what about Tuesday. No, girl scouts. Ok, now we have some time off, lets get in the car and go somewhere we haven't been! Or how about instead let's catch the plague that runs through the family one by one until I'm taking care of everyone while I'm hoping that I'm not shitting my pants.
But this week, we are good! We are going to take some day trips, we are going to see Jim the Wonder Dog and figure out why he is a Wonder Dog! What is this Monkey Island, is it actually monkeys on an island? Let's go find out!! The older two kids are in school so we can leave by 9, just Bacon and me, drive an hour, see the thing, meet some locals. We can eat at some sort of diner that has a very sticky floor and where your beverages are served in red Solo cups (dirty cups and yup, true story). We can then head back right at Bacon's nap time, bam back by 3, kids home by 4, story time during dinner. I. Have. To. Get. Out.
Or how about we dump so much snow on the ground that school is canceled for an entire week and I have to dig 2 cars out at the bottom of a hill. I have shoveled my drive way 2 times today and I know that I will have to shovel it again tomorrow morning.
It's not that I haven't made the most of the day. We built a pillow fort. It was epic. We fought a spider in it. We had movie time, a movie that I actually didn't mind. We have played in the snow, we have had imagination time, we have done SCIENCE! But we have done them all here. Look, I love my house and I love my city. But I would prefer to love them from about an hour away for a little bit.
In the 6 years that I have been doing this, I have rarely sat still. I have seen the worlds biggest ball of twine (it was indeed big), I have glimpsed the largest can of condensed milk, I have toured a castle in the middle of the ghetto. I have done all these things with my kids. I have done much more. I have seen the worlds biggest baseball, the world's largest electric steam shovel. I have seen statues of people that are nothing more than a footnote in local history. And in doing these things, I have raised confident kids. Kids that believe in the wonder of the world, that believe that if they just keep going that they can figure out a way to get the Van out of the mud that we are stuck in (true story). And they also say please and thank you.
But most importantly, I have raised kids that have memories of our family and those memories will be with them forever, they will get them through tough times, will make them laugh or smile when it seems that is the last thing that they want to do. That is what I have done with my time as a stay at home dad. For me, it's the only way to go. As the kids get older, we will do more grand adventures. We will take our summer trips, we will tour Americana, we will road trip the country. But for now, and for the last 2 months, we are stuck.
Jim the Wonder Dog is out there. An hour at most, separated only by a highway and a foot of snow. It's time Bacon Hoss started making some memories of his own. And god help me, the guy from Yo Gabba Gabba is starting to make sense.
Posted by Team Hossman