It may be April Fool’s today, but there’s definitely nothing foolish about self-published author, Scott Nagele and Dad behind the blog Snoozing on the Sofa. If you haven’t discovered his blog yet, this is a good introduction, think of it as snippets, the kind of writing to expect and if you’re one of his many followers, you might just get to know him a little bit more though this month’s Chat with a Dad.
Tell us something about yourself and your little ones.
I got into this baby-making biz late. I was over 40 when my first son was born. Now, I have three sons, and I’m still over 40, only slightly more so. If you want to start a family at such an advanced age, you should find a mate half your age. Just kidding, my wife is not half my age (anymore).
My boys are six, almost three, and almost one. They show no regard for my old age and climb up and down me as if I were a teenager. Since they regularly stomp on parts of me that make me squeal a prepubescent high note, you can understand their confusion.
What were your little ones birth stories like?
I’ve blogged about them all, but to summarize: the first one almost put me in the hospital. True, we were already in the hospital, but there was no bed for me. There should have been, as seeing my wife get hooked up for the epidural made my legs awfully wobbly.
The second time, most of the frightening stuff happened before we even got to the hospital, including my wife attempting to exit the car in the midst of a busy intersection because she needed fresh air, RIGHT NOW!
By the third one, we were finally learning how to do this thing. Nobody swooned and nobody became a menace to oncoming traffic, so it goes down as our best effort.
What you wish you knew about being a Dad before becoming one?
The tips are horrible. I have become the head waiter for the family, not only serving meals, but also fetching juice from the fridge, rushing for a napkin before it’s too late, replacing all the utensils that have been dropped on the floor, bringing a snack, bringing a different snack for the kid who didn’t get to pick the first one, cleaning away dirty dishes before the baby pulls them down, and a host of other errand-boy tasks. Occasionally, my generous customers will treat me to a thank you. But I’m always welcome to pick at a cold dinner in between assignments.
How do you balance your time between work and fatherhood?
That’s easy. I don’t. I work a full time job. My wife has a part time job where she picks up floating shifts. Day care for two, sometimes three, children costs more than her job is worth. So when she gets a shift, I stay home with the kids. I use vacation time or make it up evenings and weekends, so I’m either at work or with my kids most of the time. Both get plenty of me, so I don’t bother about balance.
How do you manage childfree time with your wife? Do you have date-nights?
That’s funny. Since our first child was born, I think I’ve had exactly two childfree moments with my wife, and they both resulted in other kids, so we try and stay away from that now.
We don’t have regular date nights. We have no relatives near us, so most babysitting costs us. We usually just take the boys to the restaurant with us and let the nice people at the next table help us babysit. It’s cheaper for us and gives our new acquaintances a more fulfilling dining experience.
Any favourite anecdotes of your little ones?
Of course, but I’ve already blogged the best of them. The little items that have escaped mention on the blog are things like a few years ago when my oldest wanted to go to the movies to see Diarrhea of a Wimpy Kid.
What is it about fatherhood you love?
There are so many things, but one of my favorites is the sound of my boys’ laughter. I love it when I make them laugh and I love it when they make each other laugh. It’s also great when they make me laugh. They have some pretty good jokes for young pups.
They have some bad jokes too, and sometimes it’s difficult not to laugh at these as well. I do my best to resist this temptation because one of a father’s primary duties is to dissuade his children from the path that leads to third-rate humor.
If there is anything about fatherhood you dislike, what would it be?
The thing that annoys me most is probably not having time to tackle routine tasks in anything like a prompt manner. It’s hard to mow the lawn when you are alone with a two-year-old and an infant. My wife and I both have to be home for this kind of work to get done, and then we have to compete for time to do our work. Imagine: a competition to see who gets to do chores! Forget about date nights; I need a babysitter so I can shovel the sidewalk.
I also don’t like having to hide all of my best sweets until after the kids are asleep. I’m too old to be eating cupcakes at all hours of the night.
If you were given the chance to be a stay-at-home-Dad would you take it?
I already do this part time, and that’s plenty. Maybe when the baby is a little older I’d be more willing, but merely keeping track of the whereabouts of an active crawler for eight hours straight saps all my strength. Plus, there aren’t many daytime sports on TV during the week.
When they are all old enough to be away at school all day, I would definitely reconsider my answer.
Best Advice you’ve ever received about Fatherhood?
“Let them eat cake!” Okay, so she wasn’t necessarily talking about parenthood specifically, but it’s still useful fathering advice on many different levels.
If you can give yourself advice before becoming a Dad, what would it be?
If you’re going to nap on the couch, lie on your stomach or wear a cup.
Don’t waste more than 10 seconds searching for a pair of matching baby socks.
Thank you so much Scott!
Now if you’ve liked what you’ve read here, head over to Snoozing on the sofa for more of Scott’s ramblings on fatherhood.
He also has another blog where he talks more about his work as a writer and other non-parenthood related topics.
And of course, click here if you’ve missed last month’s chat with a mum.