What I Learned While Parenting During Quarantine
It always cracks me up when people call me a good dad. It takes more than posting pictures of your kid to be a good parent. I have so much to learn and THAT is one of things that makes you a good parent. The capacity to evolve and grow with your kid.
It's good to take breaks. We have been the only ones to watch her since March 23rd. She has days where she gets sick of us quick. The other one swoops in and relieves the pressure or tension and gives the other a break. It's the only way we have stayed sane or in the neighborhood.
The first thing I saw first hand, was how much my daughter Nugget responded to her mother and I being home. We have slashed her screen time down to about 15 minutes per day. The rest of the time we try to keep her engaged with projects or activities. We play a lot of music and phonic songs to try and help her with speech. She has Down Syndrome and her speech is the area she is struggling the most with currently. Since we have been home, her vocabulary and comprehension has quadrupled.
Keeping a schedule is so important for her. I am terrible at this but she was used to going places and seeing people, now those same people are coming into our home on the iPad. They are coaching me to coach her. The more I get into something, the more she responds to it. Keeping track of the appointments and setting reminders to switch activities turned out to be a real aid to us.
Nugget has AWESOME taste in music. She LOVES Classic Rock but also Norah Jones, San Holo, Ricky Retro, Oliver Tree and Volbeat. She loves the sax and enjoys playing music too. Honestly, she has a more defined musical palate than most people I know.
My kid is a little yoga teacher. Her preschool teacher sent her home with some yoga poses, rabbit, chick, dog and pig. She points to the picture and does the pose with me, making the animal noise. The other day, she pushed me around for 15 minutes.
From the start, I have been a hands on dad. I took her to the playgroups and talked with other moms about parenting, a lot of times I was the only male present. That was easy, now the teaching has fallen on to us as parents.
I am so impressed with my wife and how she has grown into being a mother. She sets me up to look like a good dad and I never really saw it before. The kid really loves us all to be together doing something. We have made cookies, banana pudding, built a play set and made some of our happiest family memories. It has been Hell for a lot of people. For us, it has been heaven and it will be really hard to go back.
I may be a good dad but I want to be great for her.