Tuesday, December 20, 2011

One Year Review

I began being a full-time dad when Akiko was just about three months old. Karen went back to work, and I began to settle into this new position -- wildly rewarding, terribly paying (actually, I'm kept quite well, thank you very much) and strangely hard to define.  Aki's not quite verbal enough to give me my one-year performance review, but I think I can be gimlet-eyed enough for the two of us. So here it is, my self-assessment of the SAHD performance so far, and some goals for the following year:

Feeding and Cleaning: On the basics, I'm scoring pretty high. It's a rare day that The Cuteness goes too long without being changed, and though we had some rough spots in the beginning, she took to eating as well as you'd expect, being raised by foodies like us. No choking, no major diaper rashes, she's eaten a wide variety of plants and animals, and has gained the right amounts of weight in the proper periods. Grade: A

Reading and Singing: I'm going to be straightforward here. I'm not much of a singer. But I've learned to belt out my tremulous lullabies without hesitation when needed. My repertoire is more or less the same three songs over and over (and one of them I keep making up different words to, even though it's a real song and I could just learn the lyrics dammit), which is definitely sub-par. Especially in this household of singers. But when she's sleepy, or upset, I can get the job done. As for the reading, you would think this would be where I shine, but it turns out that we like very different books. I've tried (oh, how I've tried) to expose her to materials more to my taste, but just taking Ted Hughes off the shelf can cause waterworks. I try to spice up the books she likes, but she mostly just wants to flip through as fast as possible, or gnaw on the pages.
Grade: B+

Dancing and Playing: This may be my weakest area. I can sustain maybe 1/2 hour or 45 minutes max, and then I tap out. The Cuteness, meanwhile is ready to keep going. So there's a lot of "Daddy needs a few minutes to ignore you and play with his phone now, honey" that doesn't go over so well. We started out strong, but as the fall has worn out, I've turned, increasingly, to wandering around after her, and watching her largely play by herself. No good!  We're going to start the new year with some more organized playtime, including a playgroup on Wednesdays, and that should help. But definitely, improvements could be made in this area.
Grade: B-

Naps: She gets a lot of these. Too many? Hard to say. But they keep her well-rested and young looking.
Grade: A-

General Performance and Goals: This was a tough year. All the books say it will be, and it was. But we've successfully transitioned from a tiny little critter, through crawling, to walking and talking (a little). This next year is going to be about building on those skills, as well as developing some basic socialization. I'm looking forward to building vocabulary, continuing to try to expose her to more complex and interesting reading materials, and focusing on manual dexterity, as well as running and treating the cat slightly better. We're also going to shift some paradigms and try to focus on our core processes in order to create a better customer experience.
Overall Grade: B+

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