Lindsay Gill: Being a Temporary Stay at Home Dad: Interview #2 with John Paul

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Being a Temporary Stay at Home Dad: Interview #2 with John Paul

(Read our first interview here.)

Me: John Paul, thanks so much for being here today for your second interview.

John Paul: Thank you for having me.  Actually, can I just finish my breakfast please?

(a few minutes of pause)

Me: I had posted in the past about the original play area you set up for Luke.  How has his play area changed?  What is good about his play are and what should be improved?

JP: Blank stare. Well the whole house is baby-proofed and he is free to play anyway he wants now.  It's easier for us to not be confined to one area. the long term we're going to get rid of our china cabinet...I don't really feel like that's super safe....that's it.

Me: You've mentioned that you have an "alert scale."  Can you tell me a little bit about that?

JP: Laughs.  I have alert, high alert, and maximum alert in my brain when watching Luke.  Let's say Luke is playing in a unique area that's new to him like with a friend, I don't watch him like a hawk.  If he's climbing on a chair, high alert.  If he's climbing at the park outside, maximum alert.  See on maximum alert, my hand is 2 inches from his hand because a of the playground is really high up!

Me: I posted on "Rockin' the stay at home mom day."  How do you rock the SAHD day?

JP: Okay...We go with the flow.  I like to do at least one field trip.  We hang out and wrestle on the floor.  Then...we read books and watch TV together and go for a walk.  We eat all of our favorite foods.  Then we need a break from each other so he plays with his toys or sits in a cardboard box.  I usually watch a documentary or do something on the computer while he's independently playing.  We check on Gill, the fish, and then we both take a nap....and wait for you to come home.

Me: As you know, our friend, GL, will be a SAHD for part of the summer, and he is nervous about it.  What advice would you offer him?

JP:  Ummm...hmm.

Me: Good question, right?

JP: Right. As you learn more about each other, it gets easier.  You get in a routine.  Just be aware that it will be hard to leave him when your stretch of time is done.  You really get so close.  And it's definitely gets easier.  Because you know little tricks.  Little things that...that's it.

Me:  Do you think there is a difference between my day home with Luke and your day home with Luke?

JP:  (chuckles) I can tell Luke several times per day to do some independent play.  Go play with the box, go play with your toys.  I think you play with him non-stop every day.  He'll tell me when he's done playing by himself.  So for whatever reason, you never got into the routine where you can tell him, "go play."  And I do feel like, I don't want to say he's better for me at times...don't write that down...but he can put on more of show for you sometimes.  Dad can tell him to "cut it out" a little easier than mom can.  Would you agree with that?

Me: Yes.  Any closing remarks?

JP:  This interview is a lot shorter than the last one.

Me:  Really?

JP: Yes.  If I knew this, I wouldn't have delayed this 3 weeks.  Don't you want to know something personal?  For my readers, my fans, for Mike?  This is Wedding Rings to Teething Rings.  Not just teething rings!  What about our readers that wants to know the inside scoop of our love affair....between...each other...The first thing our audience should know if how you improved in the ability to make coffee.  Ground free.

Me: Do you have any questions for me?

JP:  I thought you'd never ask.  What is one thing you've learned after almost one year of blogging?

Me: hmmmm...

JP:  Not so easy, is it?  Being in the hot seat, people grilling you left and right.  Bright lights, Pressure, beads of sweat on your forehead.  Dry mouth, kink in your back. Confusion.  I'll answer my own question.  Well the first thing you've learned is that you enjoy this more than you thought you would.  Reflecting and sharing all of the things you've learned about marriage and motherhood.  This is a great outlet for you.  And the business end of things, you've enjoyed that.  You've learned a lot about your audience while being true to yourself...not just writing garbage.  I think you really enjoy writing and using your time productively.

Me:  How should we end?

JP: I came prepared to end with a poem.

Me: Absolutely not.  Would you be interested in a third interview at some point in your life?

JP:  I was hoping it would be later today.

Me:  Anything you'd like to say to Mike?

JP:  Mike, I'll call you later.

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