March 3, 2010

Ditzell Not Your Average Stay-At-Home Dad

by Craig Rybczynski | Rochester Knighthawks

In the 1983 hit movie, “Mr. Mom,” actor Michael Keaton takes on the role of stay-at-home dad, while his wife goes off to work. For Rochester Knighthawks defenseman Scott Ditzell, that transition has been easier than for character Jack Butler.

During the day, the hulking 6-0, 210-pound Ditzell cares for his newborn son, Miles, as his wife, Jenna, heads to work at a nearby Geneva General Hospital. Scott also works as an agent for MassMutual Financial Group when he is not playing, cleaning or feeding his eight-month-old little boy.

“My day consists of watching him, while I try to do work in-between,” he said. “If I need to go for an appointment I get a babysitter. Wednesdays are practice nights and I also get a lift in during the week. Then there are games and I am going to try to help coach high school lacrosse at Geneva.”

Ditzell’s daily planner must rival that of Donald Trump with meetings, appointments and research. Throw in taking care of his kid and he has “Father of the Year” honors in the bag.

“I am daddy daycare four to five days a week,” said the 26-year-old Ditzell. “On weekends and weeknights my wife watches him.”

He admits there was an adjustment period. Although, unlike Keaton, that did not include fighting off a manic clothes dyer or stapling together his son’s favorite blanket: “whooby.” Ditzell’s daily routine starts at 7:00 a.m. and goes as late as 11:00 p.m. when he has to catch up on his work. His newest challenge is monitoring a mobile baby boy.

“He is all over the place. He is doing an Army crawl going arm-over-arm,” said Ditzell. “I have him penned in and can watch him as he plays with his toys.”

Yet, the new dad enjoys every minute he spends with his son. He appreciates the wonder that comes with every new discovery.

“It’s a lot of fun and he is always making me smile,” he said. “I call him my little ‘Chocolate Factory’ because he always has chocolate coming out somewhere.”

One thing that Miles is still working up to is making his first trip to watch his dad play for the Rochester Knighthawks. That trek from Geneva to Rochester might come sooner than the young dad thinks, but for now Miles will spend his Saturdays at home.

“He has not seen a game yet,” said Ditzell. “He has to eat at a certain time and is cranky if he is off his schedule. Once we get his feeding schedule set he will be ready to take him to the games.

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