I Wanna Be a Brooklyn Stay-at-Home Dad
My 5–10 year plan is to become a stay-at-home Dad in Bushwick or Bed-Stuy, both of which will look a lot more like Williamsburg or Fort Greene by that time.
My wife and I will name our child after the main character from a famous novel. People at parties will ask if our child is named after this character and I will give them a knowing smile. I will tell them I wanted to name our child after a character from a less famous novel, but it would have been too specific so we had to make that their middle name instead.
People at parties will ask about my wife too. I will acknowledge her promotions and competitive pay while joking that she’s still “a glorified intern basically.” I will pivot the conversation to how seriously I’m considering Grad School.
I will cook my child breakfast in a Smiths t-shirt and leather boots. I will change their diaper in a Blink-182 hoodie and Vans. By the time we leave for the day I will be wearing a pair of Adidas to go with my Oakland Raiders windbreaker and Run DMC hat.
I will stop into my local brunch spot but not to order anything. I will just be there to let the staff know I appreciate “how hard you guys kill it every Sunday.”
We will stop at the park where I will take out a small nerf football. I will tell my child about my favorite quarterbacks and explain all the different throwing styles. They will not understand what I’m talking about. I will try to pass them the football. It will hit them in the head. My child will still be too young to play catch.
We will pass by a group of young people smoking marijuana who will look at me nervously. “All good by me, yo” I will say. “Just so long as you let me hit that.” They will stare at me for a long moment, unsure if I’m joking or not. I won’t be sure either.
My child will fill their diaper and start to get fussy. I will address them like a drunk, obnoxious friend I am at a bar with. “Dude, this is embarrassing for both of us” I will whisper.
I will choose a bookstore/coffee shop to change my child’s diaper in. There will be more convenient places to do it, but I will like the vibe here much better. The cashier/barista will remind me that the bathroom isn’t really equipped for diaper changing and that she remembers having to clean up after me last time. I will assure her that my skills have improved since then and maintain that they should consider rebranding as “more of a family place anyway.”
After the change, I will loudly read Bukowski to my child, stopping here and there to offer my own insights. I will be well within earshot of the cashier/barista.
My child will sleep in my baby bjorn at a local cocktail bar as I sip from a 27 dollar margarita. There will be news on the TV about First Husband Bill Clinton. Another round of sexual harassment allegations. “Hate to say it, but it’s like I almost don’t respect him anymore” I will say. The guy next to me will point out that it’s “just a bunch of bullshit from the Republican rumor mill.” I will nod. “Yeah you’re probably right.”
As we leave the bar, I will drop a bunch of cash on the ground. I will drunkenly bend down to retrieve it, reaching over the baby bjorn. An older gentleman will approach us and ask for some change. He will tell us that he’s lived in this neighborhood his entire life, that he remembers when that bar used to be a Jazz club where he played trumpet with — I will cut him off and say we have to go. I will walk home briskly, shoving cash back into my pockets as my child wakes up. I will tell them that bar used to be a Jazz club. “You don’t know how jealous I am” I will say. “That you get to grow up in this city.”