Way back in November 2008 I said I had become a level two househusband.
That post was mostly about how tricky it was to keep our home free of gluten contamination. Calling myself "level two" joked that efforts that once seemed formidable and fearsome had become routine.
I recently wrote about how discipline is simpler with a two-year-old toddler, and how the rainy days of the past Winter and Spring were not boring or difficult as I once feared.
I'll add that Smiley's routines have become much, much simpler as he has grown older.
For example, his going to bed routine is a cakewalk compared to when he was an infant. He's no longer swaddled, using a bottle, and needing to be lulled to sleep with a long and delicate process of story, song, positioning, and movement.
Now I read him two books and either sing or make up stories while he sits on my lap and drinks a sippy cup of milk and maybe eats a string cheese if his recent meal was small. Then I put him in the crib with his bedtime comfort items (binky and blue cloths) and perhaps a favorite toy of the moment. "Please lie down so I can cover you," I ask. Rarely does he cooperate immediately, so I say farewells and leave. When I return a couple of minutes later he is almost always ready to lie down and be covered with blankets, and then I leave again and he is asleep within minutes.
Some days (such as today) I give him a book and he falls asleep reading. Only rarely does he not take a nap. When he is healthy and well-rested I can often even adjust when he wakes up in the morning and how active he plays to cause him to nap early or late if that helps my schedule. And he sleeps through more noises than when he was an infant.
Finally, keeping the house free of gluten has become easier, for two reasons.
Foremost is that Smiley can now stand up, compared to way back in November 2008 when I last wrote about this. Our decontamination routine when entering the house is so much easier. I carry him downstairs and put him on the dryer, since my wife never eats off that surface. Using the laundry room sink I wash my hands, then wash his hands and face. Then I wipe off his hair with a damp cloth. Then I undress him and take off my shirt. I either wipe off my pants with the damp cloth, or take them off also. Then I carry him upstairs and we put on clothes.
The secondary change is that my wife has, over time, figured out that most of her accidental getting-glutened problems were happening at work. I still wipe off the car seats with a damp cloth and/or vacuum the car more often than most people, but now know I do not need to do this after every outing to the library or a store. Once or twice a week is sufficient, based upon how much we use the car.
So I suppose I'm a level three househusband now, since more issues that once seemed formidable and fearsome now create no worry. But it seems strange to say so, since most of the change is due to Smiley's growing older rather than an increase in my own skills. Perhaps it is an inexplicable benefit from slaying all those orcs.