I could stand to lose a few pounds. It’s tr—wait, what’s that? Well, that’s very flattering, but- No-no, you’re too kind. But it’s true. Thankfully, one of the (many) pluses of being a stay at home dad is the slight increase of free time.
Free time with which to get buff!
Not so long ago—when I was a member of the working force—I woke up at the ungodly time of 5 a.m. to exercise. It was horrible. I spent many mornings hitting the SNOOZE button repeatedly or swaying on my feet zombie-like in the dark deciding whether I really wanted to get a sweat on. Now that I don’t need to get up that early anymore, I’m back on the exercise train. I just need to deal with a new issue: my crazy 2-year-old. But what solution could I come up with that would allow me to get my sweat on while also keeping my daughter from stuffing her pockets with presents from the cat box?
That’s where Sesame Street comes in.
I afford Audrey a bit of TV time each day, usually centered on Sesame Street. It’s on at 10 a.m., giving me a much-needed respite in the morning. She also interacts with the show joyously and it doesn’t make me want to drive chopsticks into my eyes and ears. I used to spend this hour either watching it with her—it was good to see the Count again—or playing on the computer, but I soon realized I could do so much more.
Like getting buff.
So I busted out my dumbbells and went to work. I did curls, shoulder press thingies, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, and even those god awful lunges. At first Audrey found this immensely amusing. She’d circle me as I did my reps saying “What you doing, Daddy?” This forced me to be very careful about just where I was swinging those weights. (Rule #1 for Stay at Home Dads: Don’t concuss your children.) She also laughed at my heavy breathing and grunting. Yes, honey, I look and sound ridiculous. Thanks for pointing that out. Now that I’ve established this routine, however, she just shoots me a quick glance from time to time between Sesame Street segments. I call that progress.
I haven’t been in this routine long enough to start cutting off the sleeves to all my shirts, unfortunately, but I hope to one day get to the point where I consider it. And I’m considering using the same Sesame Street tactic so I can ride my exercise bike too. We’ll see how that goes if I decide to take the plunge.
Being a stay at home dad means putting my daughter ahead of myself each and every day. That has not, and will not, change. But that doesn’t mean I can’t better myself in the meantime.
This is one way I’m making that happen.