Today at 12:30 his mom will come and pick him up for the last time. His little brother will be born soon and he will be staying home with him instead of coming over to our house every weekday morning. I’m feeling a little sad at the end of this Daddy Day Care season as I become just a lowly, non-paid, at home dad. With the Charge I was a child care provider, a Manny (man-nanny), helping bring home a little money to add to the family pot. It was nice to say that I was more than just a stay at home dad, that I was doing something that had a clear monetary value. Writing about it seems silly after I have tried to show the value of raising kids and address issues of Masculinity for stay at home dads, but even I look for ways to assign value to my role. That is a therapy session for another day though and today is for saying goodbye to the Charge.
For the last year and a half The Charge as been my responsibility from breakfast to afternoon nap time. All three boys played together, fought like brothers, and collected developmental milestones like baseball cards. After living together for two years Segundo and The Charge have not really known a time when the other wasn’t there but now they no longer have each other as allies against Primo. Segundo is on his own and The Charge becomes the big brother after being the low kid on the totem pole all his life.
While it is a sad day there might have been signs for The Charge’s mom that it was time to make the change. Yesterday when she came to pick him up we had been playing outside and in the garage and I was in and out of the house doing things. The garage door was open as well as the side door to the house and I was pretty aware of what was going on, at least I thought I was. When the car pulled up I was in the house and at the door I told her that he was in the garage. We walked around the house and found the Charge.
“What’s he eating?”
Oh, let me see, that’s a muffin from the bike trailer that has been in there from when we brought muffins to Primo’s class two weeks ago.
“Is that a knife in his hands?”
ah, yeah that was a knife we were using to carve faces on the pumpkins, let me just take that out of his hands.
“Does he have shoes on?”
Doesn’t he? I thought he had shoes on earlier, but maybe it was just his dark socks. Oh they weren’t dark socks before?
She was a good sport about all of it and knew that I was mostly a capable care provider but maybe it was for the best that he would be with his mom now. He might not have the other two boys to challenge him as much but he would definitely live to tell about it now. It is a sad day here for me and I will miss my time with the Charge. We will continue to trade child care and have our weekly dinners together but I will miss his little face.