Reflections & Ramblings: Volume Six
Reflections & Ramblings: Volume Five
Refections & Ramblings: Volume Four
Over the last couple days it has been hovering between -5 and 15 degrees outside. That kind of weather doesn’t really make you want to go anywhere for a while. So the kids, the dog, and I have been hanging out at home finding things to do.
This morning and afternoon I decided to get out my camera and take some pictures. Every time I do this I wonder why I don’t do it more. I love taking pictures of my kids and now the dog, too.
Here are some of the pictures. There’s a lot of them. The pictures I took in our basement were all in black and white. But for the most part, I included the color photos of when we were playing on the couch in the living room.
There are clearly instincts that parents have. I realized this early on when I thought Micah, as a newborn, was going to spit up. I rushed to put my hand under his mouth so that it wouldn’t get on his clothes. That was my natural reaction. Reaction times as a parent, even after hours of lost sleep, somehow resemble those of Peter Parker after being bit by that radioactive spider. (We also have that spidey-sense, too.)
As a photographer I find that sometimes that natural parental instinct can be overridden by the need to take a picture of the moment. One time Sarah and I left the room for a moment only to come back and find Micah hidden with chocolate smeared all over his face. He had somehow found a small Reese’s cup and stuffed the whole thing into his mouth, wrapper and all. After quickly taking the wrapper out of his mouth I HAD to snap a quick picture of his guilty, chocolate covered face.
Today a similar thing happened. Micah was walking around the dining room eating out of his snack trap. I turned away for few moments. Then I heard Sarah gasp loudly as she entered the room. I turned around and saw that Micah had grabbed a Keurig K-cup from the table and was eating the coffee grounds from it. Like with the chocolate, it was all over his face. Sarah had the reaction that I would assume would probably be true for all parents — to quickly take the K-cup away. But I realized, as I was in the process of grabbing my camera, that my reaction was to take a picture of this moment.
Looks like the photographer instinct wins out.
It’s interesting to see people’s reactions when I tell them that I am a stay-at-home dad. One time when I was getting my haircut the woman cutting my hair asked what I do. I told her that I was a stay-at-home dad.
“Oh! Is your child waiting for you in the car?!” She said with a bit of a panic. (Never a good thing for someone cutting your hair).
“No. My child is at home with his mom for the moment,” I replied.
“Oh, ok. Good. I was worried there for a minute.”
Do you think she would have asked that same question to a stay-at-home mom? I highly doubt it.
NPR recently aired a short segment on stay-at-home dads that I thought was pretty interesting.
Hurray to challenging traditional gender roles. Guys can be nurturing, you know. They can stay home and take care of kids just like women can. And even though Sarah is an incredible mother, I know that she is also an incredible nurse. I will support her in every business endeavor she feels that she should seek. Women can be the breadwinners, too.
We should think through what society has labeled as what is appropriate for a man and what is appropriate for a women. Why are things the way they are? Is it simply tradition? Is it even a good tradition? Women get paid 70 cents for every dollar a man makes at that same job. That’s been pretty traditional ever since women have been in the work force. Should we keep that, too?
Absolutely not. We need to think through what it means to be a man, and what it means to be a woman much more that we do. It’s amazing how Micah (my eighth month old) is already being taught what it means to be a boy versus being a girl. Just yesterday when we were outside at a friend’s place for a BBQ he was crawling and face planted into the dirt. Everyone just laughed and said, “Yup. He’s all boy!” What does that even mean?
What I do know is that as I am becoming more and more aware of the expectations that are put on me as a man, I am also learning the expectations that I am putting on my son to live into our ideals of what it means to be a man. Even if Micah cannot talk yet, I tell him how I am feeling. I tell him about my emotions because, you know, men have those things, too.
Anyway. Listen to NPR’s segment. It’s interesting.
Micah is becoming a lot more clingy these days. I like it, mostly. It’s cute. He follows me all around the apartment, whimpering as he crawls along. I can’t put him in his pack and play because he constantly wants to be held. If he plays with his toys on the floor, it’s just a few moments before he doesn’t want to play with them anymore and he’s tugging at my pantlegs wanting to be held. I want to tell him no, but when he looks up at me with that cute face of his, how can I?
I’m doomed as a parent. He’s going to get whatever he wants!