Friday, February 17, 2006

on being a daddy in a strange land

About a month ago, after being inspired by reading lots of great dadblogs since before my babygirl was born, I finally started my own blog about being a Stay-At-Home-Dad, "daddy in a strange land". Now I'm happy to be able to join forces with a good group of other Asian American dads to bring some different perspectives, experiences and voices to the parenting blogosphere.

A bit about me: My wife of almost 8 years, "la dra." (that's "la doctora," or "the doctor" in Spanish, not "la druh," for you monolinguals out there), and I are the proud and tired parents of "The Pumpkin," our beautiful babygirl, now a full-fledged running, climbing, "no"-saying, babbling toddler. La dra. is pinay, I'm a hapa yonsei Japanese Jewish American (say that five times fast), and we're raising our little multiethnic Asian American cutie in the white Republican desert of Bakersfield, California.

I'm a native Angeleno who studied Ethnic Studies back east and taught social studies in an urban LA high school, so needless to say, culturally, politically, demographically, this little patch of transplanted Red State has taken some getting used to, and is not where we thought we'd be starting our little multiculti family. But here we are, and here I am, one of the only SAHDs in town, it seems, and a non-white, leftwing one to boot.

When The Pumpkin was first born, reading blogs by other newbie dads and SAHDs made me feel connected to a virtual community. Whether you wanted to find out about your non-ugly baby furniture options or needed to commiserate about your newfound state of forced insomnia (and wonder when it would end—guess what? never!), somebody was blogging about it. Fifteen months into dadhood, I finally started "daddy in a strange land" so that I too could grace the blogosphere with rambling monologues on how I hate being asked if I'm babysitting today or flat jokes that sounded funny in my head at 2 a.m. And now, with Rice Daddies, I have one more place where I can share embarrassing stories about my daughter's digestive tract that she can google in 15 years for her therapist.

Sometimes, I catch my breath, and I can't believe that she's already a toddler, a walking, talking little person with a mind and personality all her own. And then I blink and run after her so she won't wedge herself between the back of the sofa and the sliding patio door again or eat crackers out of the garbage or pull the dining room table down on her head.

And you know what? I wouldn't trade it for anything.

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