I've been home a lot lately on vacation, and during my time under house arrest I've learned something very important: When it comes to stay-at-home parenthood, I am wayyyyy out of shape.
Granted, things aren't exactly as I left them. My son is far more comfortable channeling his inner martinet, and my wife is so immense with child that she mostly just sits in the corner and washes herself with a rag on a stick. But dammit, already. When I think of all that time at home, I have warm fuzzy memories of a winsome one-year-old delighting in every new discovery. Now, if Robert doesn't particularly feel like picking up all the shards of paper that were once a dozen manila folders (we're currently in a scissors phase), he'll take off his pants and sprint for his bedroom, shouting, "You're not my daddy anymore!"
The workplace has one specific perk that childless people take for granted: When you ask someone to do something, that person will either do the job or offer some semblance of a rational discussion regarding its doability. Either way, there is far less chance that a tiny pair of pink buttcheeks will factor into the discourse.
It's clear that we have been nudged off the ski lift of Pure Darling Obeisance and are now easing our way down an intermediate slope, idly swaying from side to side and avoiding the moguls of "No!" and "I don't wanna!" as best we can. (His latest favorite is "Eeuuw!") It's still a mostly enjoyable trip, even when you hit a patch of ice and your legs head in opposite directions and you tumble arse-over-teakettle for a few hundred yards until you slam into a Douglas fir, only to regain consciousness hours later with a headache, a frozen face, and a pulled groin.
And then the second child arrives, and Daddy's skis edge ever closer to the precipice of ... the Widowmaker.