The best answer is that I have become a poorly trained but much appreciated Vaudeville performer. And street artist. And general dogsbody.
Several days a week my wife and I help with our grandson.
My wife does most of the real work, meal prep, diapers and so forth. I provide comic relief, distraction: basically I have become the clown you hire for birthday parties.
It is interesting to compare my performances now to those of a generation ago. I'm older, sure, but I have plenty of time and no other pressing business like a career. In some ways I have "upped the game".
The kid and I build stuff with Duplo blocks. We read stories. Those featuring cows and trucks seem to enjoy the most enduring popularity. We play hide and seek. He chases me around the house waving his arms and shrieking like a maniac. In quieter moments I sing him songs, some old, others new improvisations. I am particularly fond of my revision of the old "Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" ditty. New verses all around including:
"Two Little Monkeys Jumping all around.
One went Up and Never came Down.
Mama called 'You Come Back Soon!'
Monkey laughed 'I'm on the Moon!'"
My sidewalk chalk skills are pretty lame. He seems not to care. The lounging mutt is Bruce, a bit player in some of our activities.
Although it has been a quarter century or more since my last major story reading gig, some standards just remain the same. Richard Scarry's Magnum Opus "Cars, Trucks and Things that Go" was a big hit until very recently. Back in the day I hated this book. It had multiple interwoven story lines and on top of that you had to seek out, on every page, this little guy. Here he is in plain sight but on most pages he is peeking out of a window or some such.
Goldbug looks cheerful. But essentially he is a verminous little stalker. If "Officer Flossy" did not have a full time job trying to run down "Dingo Dog" I bet she'd have told Bug to "Get out of Dodge" long ago. Oh well. Since he turns up everywhere anyway I started adding Goldbug graffiti here and there. Putting it on the chicken coop eventually seems to have backfired on me....
This is "Possum", another of my assistants. We do elaborate puppet shows. Originally it was one of Bruce's toys that we have taken over. Possum has two different "squeakers" inside him. I amuse at least myself by attempting to play a few bars of various songs with them.
They say when graffiti tags start showing up in a neighborhood that things start to go down hill. I'd say this is true. The chickens used to be timid birds, hiding in their coop and only clucking for food when you came around with scraps. Now when we sit out in the yard this gang of avian punks shows up and aggressively pan handles! Beady little eyes just watching for dropped snacks.