Bedposts & Boat-Beds: Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Dad

Stay-at-home-dad talks about adventures in child adjustment.


It's been a long while since I posted because there are few and far between moments worth mentioning when you are a stay-at-home dad and it seems everyone tends to look down their noses at you. You try to steer away from the topic of home when friends ask you, "Where's your wife?"

To which you reply: "Working" and they come back with "Somebody has to."

Forget them. Today was a great day. Today was a day worth mentioning. Today I had to convince my three year old that his new big boy bed was not the end of the world, which lead to an adventure of unimaginable trials and triumphs.

First let me give you a little background. We transitioned our son from the crib to a 'low to the floor' toddler's bed when he was two. We were worried that it would be too big of a change and he would hate it, but much to our surprise and relief he got right in it and made the joyful declaration of: "My bed, I'm a big boy."

That being said, you would think that leveling up to a full size bed with little compartments to hide things in would be just as exciting, right?


Rule number one of parenting

Don't expect anything because kids will almost always throw you a curve ball. If you were standing outside my house last night, you would have thought my wife and I were taking turns holding my son's legs over an open fire. He was screaming and crying to the point were we just gave up and sent him to his grandmother's house for the night so he can cool off and we can figure this out in tomorrow.

Fast forward to this morning. My wife and mother-in-law are both running late for work, my son's little bed is still in the hall because my father-in-law couldn't pick it up last night, so naturally my son is immediately reminded as to why he was shuttled of to Grammie's in the first place and starts to scream in the middle of the hall, blocking all outgoing traffic to the blessed silence of a work commute.

Panic ensues.

My wife and mother in-law both want to try to calm the storm but have to get on track to those highly coveted jobs we stay-at-home dads only hear about in legend.

I feverishly scuttle them out the door so I can force breakfast upon the already resistant child of discord. I manage to get my son to consume some tear-soaked toast while I contemplate a plan.

"Hrmph...How do you get a kid to like something he hates?" I ask myself.

"Simple," I reply. "Make it something else."

We head upstairs and my son starts crying again at the sight of the wretched bed of sorrow.

Son: “No bed, Dadda. It's too big.”

Me: “It's not a bed.”

Son: “It's not?”

Me: “No, it's a boat and you have to jump on it to get it start.”

Looking befuddled, my son slowly climbs up the bed and starts to bounce. I, in coalition, start to make boat noises,“Brrrrrrrrruuuuuummm. Bruuuuuuummm. Faster we're not going anywhere!”

My son starts to laugh and bounces higher, knocking over some stuffed animals. “Oh no!” I hollered, “The passengers are falling off! We need to get them back aboard the boat before it leaves without them!”

"Oh no!" my son cries as he scrambles down the side of the bed to rescue his passengers and climbs back up to continue his jumping to start the boat. This happens three or four times before we get anywhere (We should have held a conference on water safety but hindsight is 20/20.) And wouldn't you know it? We get attacked by pirates. This goes on for twenty minutes with many passenger rescues. Things finally calm down so we can set sail and go crabbing.

We caught about ten. Eight of them that look suspiciously like the first two we caught but no one was saying anything so I let the issue go. So there we were enjoying a successful crab haul when the pirates came back for revenge, causing more passengers to jump ship, and if that wasn't enough, we were heading over a waterfall. Could things get any worse?

Ask and you shall receive. We survived the waterfall, boat intact, and seemed to have eluded the pirates but unfortunately, all the crabs we caught died from the fall because their ghosts started attacking us.

This problem was not covered on The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website.

With no government guidelines to help, we went with our guts, chased the restless crustacean spirits off our boat, and caught them with our enchanted blankets. We paid extra for those enchantments. Eat your hearts out, Ghostbusters.

We moved on to other activities throughout the day, forgetting the bed until it was time to go to sleep. I was apprehensive that all that work... play... (work-play?) was for nothing except getting him to forget about his misery for a while, but as it turned out he was all to happy to go to bed tonight. He jumped on it for a minute and explained to his mother how this was his new bed and he liked it very much.

Crisis resolved! Got to write to somebody about that ghost thing though. I refuse to believe this is the first time that has happened.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

jim laguardia September 06, 2012 at 06:45 PM
My favorite question from people in public is. "So is it your day off, how did you end up with the kids today" my answer is usually "no I am ON everyday"
Sara c September 29, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Clearly you are in the right job for you and your family!
Steven DeVaux September 29, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Good thinking and a great story. The outcome was even better!
Adam Worth October 04, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Thank you all so much. :)
Oren Miller October 25, 2012 at 01:58 PM
That was great. Maybe not all of the passengers made it, but at least now they're pirate-ghosts, which is also pretty cool.


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