The show’s over; time for everyone to go home. My last kid has started school. I am no longer an at-home dad.
Now I suppose I’m just unemployed. That’s fantastic for the ego. I mean, really great. It’s always nice to see yourself taken down a peg or 50.
Over the last month, I’ve gotten the question, “What are you going to do now with all your free time?” What free time, I’ve got lists a mile long! Time is accounted for, and it demands to be paid, credit not accepted.
So what do I do now? Well, basically I sit in the house and wonder why Oprah has abandoned me. I mean, not to be a dick or anything, but there was a clear promise made. My life after being an at-home parent was supposed to be eating bonbons on the couch getting fat and watching Oprah. And where is she now? She cut bait and now there is no Oprah in my life. So I’ve had to find other ways to fill my time.
- I see a movie every Tuesday morning. I have watched a slender man, a nun, and a dude fist fight a megalodon. Movie pickings are slim.
- Contemplate the difference between the comma and the semicolon, not understand either, and try to use them in a sentence the right way anyway; it’s not going well.
- I look up recipes on the internet and then decide the perfect time to tell my wife about them. I don’t cook them. I hate cooking.
- I’m currently working on training a triceratops. It’s difficult as he keeps killing me. That sounds way cooler than the truth that I’m playing my son’s video games.
- I wander around Costco and try to figure out why their hot dogs are so cheap. Then I buy power tools and return them before I leave the store. I enjoy the human interaction.
- There is so much more time in my day to not clean.
- Read Urban Dictionary and mingle with the juvenile delinquents who hang around the bad parts of town. Jokes on you, Joey. I’m a narc and I’m going to get you to care about learning again!
- I listen to a lot of Rage Against The Machine. Like, a ton. I don’t think it’s healthy.
- Dance in my underwear while listening to Rage Against The Machine. Joey is not invited.
- Charge all the electronics in the house.
- I tried to ride the dog but he thought it was something else and now things are weird between us.
- Sit on my porch and randomly wave at anyone who drives by. I do this for a full hour every day. What are they driving around my neighborhood for? Are they casing the joint? Blah blah blah and now I’m rebranding myself as a superhero who fights crime and makes HOA complaints.
- Sit very still in a dark room and become absolute best friends with my anxieties and fears.
- I sent a fiction short story off for consideration to a place. Got a rejection six hours later, which makes it the fastest rejection I have ever received. Ouch.
- Schedule house projects that need to get done, like painting the front porch. I don’t actually do the projects, I just like making schedules. But what I really enjoy is rescheduling.
- Make lists for the internet.
- I do not watch or read anything about politics anymore. Seriously, that puts my head in a bad place. Instead, I follow the Kardashians on Twitter and Instagram. That makes me feel better. No, it doesn’t. I can’t even tell that joke. Jesus Christ someone is going to have to explain that to me one day. I’ll schedule a sit-down and then we can reschedule it.
- Text my wife so much about all the great things I’m doing, like taming a triceratops. She has threatened to take away my phone so I stopped because I would be lost without my Kardashians.
- Hung a rope between my deck and the closest tree to test a theory that I have a hidden talent, like tightrope walking, that would make me appropriate for a circus. Conclusion: I don’t.
- I think I’m in a relationship with our Amazon Echo.
- Randomly driving to the school and honking at the kids at the track hoping that my daughter is out there doing her gym class. Long story short, I’ve had to have some very personal talks with the police.
- Write every day, even when I’m missing Oprah, to get stuff out into the world so that one day I can look back at this period of growth and laugh about it. Then I’ll go to therapy with the dog, and see if I can repair that relationship.
So that’s it. That is what its like in this life after being an at-home-dad for 10 years. Holy crap, that is a long time.
Actually, my life pretty sweet now. There are new squirrels in the backyard, and I’m thinking about putting on a daily show for them. I’ll interview the neighborhood cats, talk about walnut quality, and what to do if you find yourself cornered by a scary lawnmower. I must start with the squirrels because it is clear to me now: I have to become the new Oprah. My people need me.