A Dad’s Perspective
Women use more words than men and women thrive on that interaction and communication. We don’t care if we are talking about laundry or the latest world tragedy, as long as we are connecting. Many times, what gets left out is the man’s side of the story, especially with regards to parenting and raising difficult kids. So, my husband started his own blog since becoming a stay-at-home, tiny living, homeschooling dad. Here is his first entry from his perspective. Check him out #5thWheelPadre
Moving is tough. Selling your house is tough. Getting a new place is tough. Becoming a first-time stay at home dad is tough. How about all of it while moving across 2 states and into a 5thwheel RV? What the freaking crap dude!
I think most people that know me or Brynn probably know that quite often when we do things, we go ahead and blow it out the box dawg. So why not moving, quitting a job, starting a new job, becoming a one car family, living in a camper that we don’t have a truck to move, and taking a shot at being a stay at home dad for the first time—AND a homeschooling stay at home dad for the first time. I completely understand if you’ve stopped reading to call CPS at this point. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s actually gone half decent for the first couple of weeks. God has pulled off some miracles in the last month, but it has definitely been a ride.
Just for some background, on July 6th I quit my job I had been at for 5 years for reasons few of you know and I won’t get into. Fast forward to August 1st and we have sold most of the larger things in our house, accepted a new job for Brynn in Dayton, bought a 5th wheel, sold a truck, listed our house for sale, and packed a U-Haul to move to Ohio. Holy crazy campers batman! So day 1 in our camper, having never owned a one before, we did not realize that we were parked completely unleveled. Keep in mind we don’t have a truck or some massive jack to just pick up one side and fix it. We’re still working on that. Still day one we learn an awful lot about what types of electrical hookups it takes to run certain things in a camper as well as what hookups our new landlord did and did not have. This was partly on us since we didn’t really know what to tell him in the first place. There’s been an awful lot of smiling and nodding going on over the last month. So we had no AC for a few days; luckily the kids stayed with Memaw and Papaw some.
Now I’ve always known my kids were a special kind of nuts, as well as always known my wife is amazing for taking care of us three kids all the time. I’ve recently learned she deserves some extra past due thank you’s. This stay at home dad in a camper + homeschooler thing is kind of like someone designed a roller coaster of amazing moments with your kids at the top and you plummet into drops of the most torturously annoying things that someone personally designed just for you. I mean, not physically painful torture, but the type of emotional and mental torture that pushes you dangling over the edge of sanity by a fingernail. Where physical torture would seem so wonderful and easy but the dungeon master just laughs and scoffs at you for that plea. I mean how many times can Sparrow ask for water or milk, only to literally throw it straight on the floor???? That would be INSANE anywhere, but in a camper that sucker is going to spill on at least thirty things by the time it stops rolling! I’ve said things in my head at these kids in the last week that would make sailors blush and I honestly haven’t felt a bit bad about it. Shout out to my old school best friend and fellow stay at home padre Mario Hairston, who recently warned me that once dads get to the 3rd or 4th “no” in a row you start to revert back to caveman-like tactics and communication. To that, I say, tru dat homie, tru dat. Lately I’m grunting out more frustration than an entire season of Home Improvement with Tim Allen.
However my kids are amazing when they’re not acting like shiftless wild hobos, and we have had some pretty good and hilarious times in the last couple of weeks. Week 1 was fairly mild since Briggs, Sparrow, and I didn’t really have anywhere to be. So we started most days watching a movie through breakfast, and then some randomly selected order of Legos, playing in the 20-acre yard out back or getting on the paved rail trail that is literally about 200 yards from our camper and connects to hundreds of paved miles of biking. The good Lord was looking out for me on that one. That first week I walked over 7 miles with kids to various places including a huge park and splash pad, and randomly biked about 30 or so miles. Briggs got a skateboard for his birthday and is working on biking with no training wheels so he is pretty stoked we have that outlet too. Sparrow couldn’t care less what we are doing but is pretty regularly pulling out everyone’s shoes and bringing them to me as if to say, “You two get your lazy asses out here and let’s go somewhere.” She has become quite the sassmaster lately. I’m constantly hearing in my head lately my mom retelling the million times she said when I was little, “It’s a good thing you’re cute!”
There has definitely been a big learning curve going tiny with these little rocket-fueled Redbull commercials I call children. From Briggs’ room to the front door is only about 20 feet but this fool accelerates like a Justin Bieber driven Lamborghini with nitrous and complete lack of any idea what might be in his general vicinity at any time. Pair that with our unleveled state of parking, and I am shocked he hasn’t impaled himself, dropped Sparrow like the scrawny unprepared kid at his first death metal mosh pit, and/or tipped the whole thing over into a roll like something in a National Lampoon movie. As if our electrical disaster, no AC in the dead of summer for a week, and the weird way we’re all starting to walk being unleveled all the time wasn’t enough first camper woes, I was outside the other night scoping down literally the 2 biggest snapping turtles I’ve seen in person as they rip apart the groundhog I shot the day before in the small pond, and Briggs opens the door and yells, “DADDY. Mommy said it’s not an emergency but she needs you to come here immediately!” I mean, other dad’s out there…what the hell I’m supposed to do with that? So I go running in and Brynn is holding the fridge door up that just straight fell the heck off. You can make this stuff up. Just a reminder, we can’t move this camper. Another really fun one was trying to research what to do with your very full poop tanks when you can’t just regularly hook up to a septic system. Turns out you can just rent a huge poop tank from a surprising amount of places. Two things I learned rather quickly there; 1) those places don’t generally refer to them as poop tanks or shit cans, but at least have a sense of humor about it, and 2) your crap drain from your RV still has to be higher than the entrance hole for said deuce bucket. This brings us to our title quote of, “Briggs for the love will you just keep your sister away from the dang poop tank for like 2 minutes!!!” Good times.
All in all, it’s been pretty freaking great. I think it’s been really good so far for all of Brigglesworth’s craziness he has going on. Sparrow seems to love being outside more and more. None of us seem to even notice being in a tiny space really. And we are all way more chilled out and active. The only bummer is missing all the great folks we’ve been blessed with along the way.
Speaking of, we definitely couldn’t have done this without a ton of help from some great friends and family and we could never thank you enough. There’s enough room in this thing for visitors, and if you want your own spot Alison and Charles have an awesome little cabin here on the property as well. I almost forgot to give them a shout out. It seemed like a lot of major things were all just placed perfectly by the grace of God to get us here and finding Alison and Charles was one of those things. We had to leave behind some really awesome neighbors, Curtis and Deborah, but we were very blessed to come across some great new ones that have moved us right on in and been just wonderful. Thanks and love to all of these crazy times. Stay strong fellow stay at home moms and padres. #5thwheelpadre