Nothing. The end.
LOL! Just Kidding. I love getting to be a part of Zoey’s life every day. I’m so unbelievably fortunate to be a stay-at-home dad. Therefore I thought it would be nice to list a few of the things I love about being a dad.
- I love seeing Zoey learn something new. I still remember how exciting it was when she started learning animal sounds for the first time and we could ask her what sound a lion makes or a horse or a donkey.
- I love thinking about how much progress has been made. It blows my mind to think that when we moved back to Tennessee (January 2017), Zoey couldn’t walk yet. Fast forward to now (8/15/18) and Zoey literally ran all over Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
- I love our current bed time routine. (I say current because tomorrow she might change the whole routine. Toddlers are crazy like that.) We usually let her have a little bit of tablet time at night before bed. Once it’s time to go to sleep, she comes sprinting into the living room where I am and hands me her tablet. Then she’ll ask, “Daddy will you charge my tablet please?” It’s so cute. Then she’ll give me a big hug and kiss her hand and blow a kiss at me. Then she’ll sprint off and give Lisa a big hug. After that she’ll usually run back to me and give me another hug. Then back to mom, then back to me and then back to mom. I wish this routine would stick around forever.
- I love taking her to different parks to play. She likes the slides and the swings, but she usually ends up exploring. It’s fun walking with her and seeing what grabs her attention. Sometimes she likes playing with rocks and sometimes she chases squirrels. It’s a nice reminder that entertainment can come from the simplest of things. You can spend $100 dollars on a robotic dog that understands a million phrases, but a pile of leaves will still hold her attention longer.
- I love the moments when I can help her when she’s frustrated. Sometimes she’ll be working a puzzle and get stuck. I’ll try to let her figure it out for herself first but if she’s starts getting legitimately upset, I’ll step in and show her how to fix the problem. It’s nice helping a toddler out of a jam. Hopefully all problems in her life will remain this easy to fix. I know they won’t but a dad can dream, right?
- I love seeing her personality develop. I am amazed with all the different aspects of her toddler personality and how quickly they form. It’s always interesting watching her interact with other kids. She’s typically standoffish at first. Once she gets comfortable she plays hard. She has a good imagination and loves pretending. She can be very sweet but can be equally as aloof at times. She can be moody, too. She’s also compassionate, loving and sensitive. I didn’t expect to see so many distinct personality traits so early on.
- I love getting hugs from her. Zoey has always been independent. Therefore, she’s never been one for lots of cuddling and hugs. So when she finally wants a hug, it means the world. That’s why getting those hugs before bedtime are so important.
- I love when she tells me big stories when I have no idea what she’s talking about. Here lately she’s been launching into these epic stories where she raises her voice and gets super animated. It’s hilarious to watch. She hardly takes a breath in between words and she points at stuff and makes her hand into a little fist of fury. I can usually only understand a few words here and there, but I can tell that each story is ridiculously important. It’s adorable and intense at the same time.
- I love when she says, “I have an idea!” Probably 4 or 5 times a day she’ll exclaim, “I have an idea!” and then she’ll take off running. Sometimes it’s to get Crayons or Legos or maybe a doll or toy, but it’s always something purposeful. All of a sudden the idea hits and poof, she’s gone. It cracks me up and I’m intrigued to see what she comes back with.
- I love when she tells me, “Good job.” Sometimes I’ll do something completely mediocre and Zoey will tell me good job. It’s awesome! It’s like having my own personal cheerleader. Maybe I’ll open a jar of pickles that took a little extra muscle… Good job. Maybe I’ll drop something and catch it in mid air… Good job. Maybe I’ll change the batteries in a controller… Good job. It’s great. Who doesn’t want someone cheering you on for mundane tasks? Nobody, that’s who.
- I love knowing what I do each day matters. When I worked for different companies, I often wondered if what I did mattered. Some mattered more than others, but in some jobs I felt completely replaceable. Being a stay-at-home dad means every day counts. Don’t get me wrong, it’s scary knowing that if I mess up it could have heavy consequences, but it’s still better than working for some company that doesn’t care about me.
- I love it when Zoey wants my attention and won’t give up until she gets it. Don’t get me wrong, this one can be bad sometimes, but for the most part I think it’s really funny. Maybe she wants something to drink and she’ll come up to me and start saying apple juice over and over again. Most of the time I think it’s hilarious because it reminds me of Stewie from Family Guy saying mom over and over again.
- I love how Zoey forces me to be social. I’m very much an introvert by nature and am perfectly content staying at home. Therefore, it’s nice to have a legitimate reason to get out and go visit different people. I still don’t go out as much as I should, but it’s definitely more than I naturally would. I think Zoey has helped me stay closer to the people I love. She’s also helped me meet a few new friends.
Obviously this list is incomplete and forever ongoing, but I think it’s a good start. There’s too many super things about being a dad to write out in a single blog post and as Zoey changes, so will the things I love about being a dad. I look forward to writing more on this topic in the future, but for now, this short list will have to do.
What do you love about being a parent? What are the little moments that fill your heart with joy? What things do your kids do that make you laugh? I look forward to hearing from you.