What Dads Want to Do with Their Free Time

I’m not sure what I miss most about the pre-children days. Is it the financial freedom that comes from not paying $1,600 per month for childcare? Is it the independence to just get up at random times throughout the day and go do something without having to pack for an entire flotilla of people and possible potty scenarios? Perhaps it’s the sleeping in on the weekend rather than the “up at 5:30 a.m.” scene we have going on every morning now with the baby (I’m trying to train him to go back to sleep, but when you walk in his room, he looks over at you and cracks up, it’s hard to just walk away). There are so many things that I miss that I’m just not sure.

But you know when you’re in the middle of something, that thing right there is always the worst “thing” or the most exciting “moment?” Well, that’s how it is with me and movies right now.

Before our second child, I had joined NetFlix. If you’re not familiar, it’s an online movie ordering system and for various price levels, you can rent a certain number of movies each month. The differentiator used to be that you kept them as long as you want…but of course, you’re still paying a monthly fee (I pay around $15 p/month and I can have out 3 movies at a time) so it behooves you to return them for your next batch. I say that used to be the differentiator only because BlockBuster and others now offer similar programs, but I’m avidly anti-Blockbuster and Hollywood video because both of them employ low-paid teenagers who apparently cannot scan in a movie correctly and for some strange reason, their corporate execs tend to believe their highly churned, low-paid workers over a long-time customer when it comes to figuring out what the hell happened to “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Like I’d want to keep that movie?

Anyway, I suspended my NetFlix account after our second baby was born because I rightfully figured I wouldn’t have time for movies. But then I started it back up a month ago because I suddenly had this hour of time from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. –the time between when we normally have all the kids in bed and the time I know I have to turn the lights off so I can mentally and physically be prepared to wake up multiple times in the night AND still function like a normal person at work the next day.

Finally, I got a movie in that I’d really been wanting to see, “Smokin’ Aces.” It’s a 100% shoot-em-up guy movie and figuring I’d be able to get in a good bit of it last night, I threw on the headphones and kicked back. Unfortunately, my wife decided to hold off on her shower tonight (cuz going to the gym in the a.m.) and was sending out “the vibe.” You know what I’m talking about–the vibe–don’t pretend like you don’t. So, I dutifully turned off the movie and gave my relationship the attention it deserves. Of course, by the time we were both ready for bed, it was 9:54 p.m. and I have to assume I’ll be getting up at least once in the night AND again at 5:30 a.m. so I turned the lights off and went to bed.

On the upside, I was right and I did have to get up at 5:30, so at least I made the right decision in that regard.

But that got me to thinking…movies. Man, what I wouldn’t give for a full day of doing nothing but catching up on movies that I’ve missed. Spider Man 3, Transformers, Smokin’ Aces even. This 1-hour I sometimes have can’t be counted on and there are few entertainment annoyances worse than having to stop and start a good movie. Especially when you think there’s a twist in the movie that you’ve somehow missed.
I don’t know…this too will pass I suppose. Maybe I’ll have to take a vacation day and force myself not to do work around the house and instead, load up on good movies I’ve missed–sans family! It’s sounding better by the moment!

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