Being a stay-at-home dad in Lansing

I’ve been a stay-at-home dad (SAHD) for exactly 13 months (as of today). While I don’t feel that deserves any sort of special recognition or honor, I do think that being a SAHD here in Lansing, MI, should earn me something. And sorry, your pity isn’t nearly enough. Yet despite the five or six-month long winter, (thank God it’s over & who the hell remembers when it starts any more) and the bi-weekly, week-long disappearance of the sun, Tessa and I made it through largely unscathed. This is in large part due to two fantastic places to take your young infant and toddler: Babies and Books at the Foster Library and Impression 5 Science Center.

Babies and Books is a free program put on for babies (6 months to 18 months) and their parents. The program goes for an hour. (Yes, an hour. I wouldn’t have believed it either). The group leader, a very energetic and enthusiastic Ms. Linda, is one of the jewels of the city. She’s amazing. I was so impressed and excited to find this program, I wrote the Capital Area District Library and gave them props for having such an awesome program:

As a stay at home dad with an infant daughter, there are not many places in the community holding organized activities specifically for babies/toddlers and their parents. I signed us up for the Babies and Books program at the Foster Library, and love it! I recommend it to all my friends who have babies. Linda does an amazing job each week of engaging the kids for almost an hour! As the only dad in the group at the time, Linda made me feel really welcome and I appreciated that very much as well. Great job, CADL! (CADL put it on their website).

Here’s a recent pic from Babies and Books:

The Impression 5 Science Center is another incredible place to take your infant and/or toddler. Although much of the center is geared towards preschool and elementary aged children, they also have what they call their First Impressions Room. This room is meant for children ages 0 – 4 and their parents. There are lots of great toys to play with and even a padded area for the really little babies. The room also has a full play kitchen, a giant water table, a slide and tunnel and a really nice story area. We bought a membership here (I can’t remember and it’s not on their site, but I believe it was $50 or $60 – well worth it). Tessa really enjoys coming here, and now she’s enrolled in I5’s Little Learners Kitchen Science Program. It’s a five-week program geared towards 1 and 2 year olds to introduce them to science. My wife (huge science nerd) takes her on Saturdays. It’s a great chance for Mommy and Tessa to have fun.

Here’s Tessa enjoying herself at I5:

These activities got us through the winter here in Lansing. Now with spring and summer upon us, we can hit Potter Park Zoo, Hawk Island Park and the Tin Can. Oops, that last one is for me only. However, I do recall reading somewhere about a dad who took his daughter to a bar…hmmm, there’s no longer smoking in Michigan restaurants and bars. I’ll let you know. At the very least, it might make for a great blog post and might even get me on CNN.

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