Missed opportunity

This is the transcript of a recent conversation between me and a check-out clerk during a recent shopping adventure:

Clerk punches some keys on her machine. “Hello. How are you today?”

Me: “Good, thanks. And you?”

Clerk: “Fine, thank you.” The clerk notices Sweetie sitting in my shopping cart. “Are you off today?”

Me: (Casually) “No. I’m on every day.”

Clerk: (Trying again) “Oh, you have her with you today?” (Nodding at Sweetie)

Me: (Picking up that the clerk does not recognize me as a stay-at-home Dad) “Uh, I have her with me every day”.

Clerk: (Still trying to connect with me) “That’s nice that you can bring her with you on the job.”

Me: “Yeah, umm, she is the job.”

At this point, the man putting my items in the cart decided to chime in.

Clerk #2: “Oh, I know how that goes. When I was unemployed it became my job to take care of my kids. I brought them with me everywhere.” (Without any explanation on his part this made me think of chicken-wing lunches at the local sports bar.)

So at this point my cart was loaded and my groceries paid for, so I politely wished them a good afternoon and rolled on. As I thought about the conversation I got frustrated. During the entire ride home my frustration festered. But it was not the clerks’ collective ignorance that got me (this isn’t an online forum for me to piss n’ moan).

In reality I missed a perfect opportunity for some “dadvocacy”. Instead of joking around with the clerk I should have simply explained that I was a stay-at-home Dad. (I do have a tendency to think that I am hilarious, even though sometimes it is not entirely true) Maybe we would have both taken more away from the conversation.  I can’t expect more people to “get” the SAHD reality if I am not going to talk about it…even with perfect strangers. Oh boy, something else to work on.

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Fresh Air Laxative?

Warning! This blog entry talks about poop! If you are not a parent you may not understand the excitement about a child’s healthy bowel movements! Do not continue reading if you are sensitive to stool talk!

We are coming off of an excellent early-spring weekend. The cold, rainy weather broke for a sunny, cool weekend. Sweetie spent time at playing at parks on both Saturday and Sunday. So of course, we had some excellent naps and bedtimes without any struggles. This mild weather trend continued all week, so we have been active. And so have Sweetie’s guts! We have had some gut-cleansing, diaper-filling, spring-cleaning poops!

For most of her two years Sweetie has been “regular” with movements we could count on. There have been times of exception, but nothing dramatic. We have been on an especially good run for the past few weeks and this is settling. As a parent it is nice to have a child with regular movements. It’s one less thing to worry about.

A quick aside here: Why dwell on poop? (In this case, celebrate it) You can’t help it! This is a change in thinking that all parents know about because we have all experienced this shift. You learn about poop before the baby is born. Then focus on it with your new baby, tracking and critiquing every movement. And then you hone your investigating skills with your toddler. And you talk about it, regularly. Mostly with other parents, but occasionally with an innocent, non-parent friend. Or a relative. Or with the all of the people on the interwebs. Yeah, so with that, I digress…

Now I have not done any research on the benefits of fresh air on the human digestive system, but after watching my daughter this week I believe it is vital to our health. After running around outside this week all the fresh air has had a laxative effect on her. Seriously, I thought she was on a cleanse. So I am thinking there is much more to Mrs. Obama’s push for active children. She is a mother of two so she may know more than she is sharing. Regardless, a healthy kid is a happy kid, so get on out there and enjoy the spring air! Just remember it may cause a diaper change!