The Curse of the Stay-at-Home-Dad

There is a dark force that permeates the very walls behind which a young Dad cowers for safety. It has appeared from the dark abyss, the recesses of an evil mind, which penetrates even the strongest will and drives us into a dank and useless delirium. Can you hear it . . .? It’s coming again . . . It is very quiet, it always starts that way, but don’t let it fool you – this preliminary is but a small growl before the full force of the earthquake is unleashed and drags you back into oblivion . . .

My daughter has pressed play once again.

And it’s bloody Frozen!

It has been a year and a half since I first decided to give up work and become a stay-at-home-Dad and it has coincided with some other changes which will be briefly summed up. I gave up my PhD after restarting it 6months earlier, I stepped away from academia entirely to embrace the popular history market, I decided I would not pursue a serious freelance career due to perceived pressures (that were nowhere but in my own head), I then got offered a book deal, decided that I should go back to work part-time, decided to go back into the academic world as an independent researcher, decided to give up work again (baby number 2 is on the way) and then I decided to try and make a real career out of freelancing work . . . Not bad for 18 months.

Of all this, MD (my daughter), knows nothing; she is not yet two, and she doesn’t understand why I read all these history books in the lounge without at least colouring in a few pages.

All she knows is that her Dad is home and that means she can torture him with the same Disney DVDs over and over again. It wouldn’t matter so much if the songs weren’t so infectiously catchy, and this is coming from a former employee of The Disney Store by the way.

When you are researching or writing something, you know you are in a bad place when you start thinking that the historical figures are beginning to resemble Disney characters. “Oh, Herakles is just misunderstood – a lot like Elsa”, “That Dionysius is just pretending, he wants all the power for himself – oooooo he is just like Prince Hans!”, “I wonder if Xenophon ever wished he had power over the snow to build his own ice palace in Armenia?”

These are the sorts of random thoughts that begin to enter your mind thanks to the ethereal influence your children have on your very cognition. I am guessing here, but I bet Moses Finley didn’t have to deal with this sort of thing!

The worst part is that this isn’t the first time this has happened. Oh no, it all start with Winnie the Pooh – or Poohbear (one word) as the cry from MD used to sound. I finally weaned her off Pooh and onto some shows (so there was more than one storyline to each DVD, ie. variety) but oh no, MD wanted them on all the time – made especially worse any time she was ill. Then I thought, “Right, if you are going to obsess over DVDs then let’s make it a good one” so I got her into Monsters Inc., obviously.

Ah, Monsters Inc, the great Disney/Pixar film with NO SONGS! But, alas, the winds of change blew our way and we naively thought why not let her watch Frozen, what’s the harm?

Well the harm has been brought, and, like a new plague of Egypt, it cannot be undone by mortal hands. So until the day her eye/ear is caught by something new, and preferably quieter, I shall return to work on the bloody mayhem of Greek warfare with the tune to “Fixer Upper” (the troll song) and “Let it Go” ringing in my ears.


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2 Responses to The Curse of the Stay-at-Home-Dad

  1. Ray Devlin says:

    ““Let it Go” is pure evil hidden behind a fug of candy floss”, anon, circa 2015, Babysitter of the Niece.

    Your blog is a great read and your attitude to life is an inspiration; nice to see you part of the current pack that is innervating the field of Ancient Warfare.

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