Fatherhood Adventures

It never ceases to amaze me how a little 25-pound boy dominates everything.

The latest in a growing list of examples revealed itself the other morning, serving as further confirmation I am retreating further away from being the master of my own domain (excuse the Seinfeld reference). My grasp, if you can even call it that, is tenuous at best.

It was around 6:30 in the morning, and I had brought my son downstairs after he pulled off a solid 11 hours of sleep (so proud). I sat him down in his play zone and soon after turned the TV to channel 131. My bet is most of you Comcast subscribers with little ones know immediately what channel I am referring to here. It’s the Noggin network, of course, which has become a reliable friend for us.

No matter who is up with our son each morning, my wife and I try to keep him on a similar routine. He hangs in his play zone, crawls, plays and walks around while watching television, as his breakfast is being prepared. After a few minutes on Sunday morning, I wondered who won that game seven between the Celtics and Bulls the night before. Not daring to interrupt his morning program, I turned on the old television in the kitchen to get updated, and that’s when I further realized who is actually calling the shots around the house.

Over the next couple days, I monitored how the mornings unfolded. I had never realized it before, but almost every morning I find myself standing in the kitchen with my morning cup of awakening, looking at an old 10-inch Sanyo television that weighs nearly as much as the 52-inch Samsung in the other room that has affectionately become known as Beckett’s television.

The remote to the kitchen TV is long gone, barely ahead of the picture quality. As I squint to see the highlights, 10 feet away my son is sitting on the floor in front of the big screen playing with his blocks and watching such morning favorites as “Ni-Hao, Kai-lan,” “Blues Clues,” “Franklin” and “Toot and Puddle.” He’s not even blinking. All the while I am bent down and squinting to see what the announcers are talking about on ESPN.

It’s just one of those things.

Along those lines, one afternoon recently I was watching a game at home and playing with my son in my lap. What developed was basically a game of keep away, as I was trying with all my might to keep the remote control from him. He is fascinated with it and loves to hold it, put it in his mouth, hit himself in the head with it and then drop or throw it on the floor.

Initially, I would tell him, ‘this is my remote,’ assuring myself I have remote “hand” (another token Seinfeld reference) over him. He never buys it, and a wrestling match of sorts essentially breaks out. I usually hold my ground, frustrating the little one, but, indeed, there are times when his will is stronger than mine and I just relinquish it. It’s just easier sometimes.

Of course, the reality here is he’s the one who has the “hand” already. If he’s awake and it’s television time, he pretty much dictates what we watch. It really makes no difference who is handling the remote because he’s got the power in this relationship. That probably explains why I have the “Franklin” theme song running through my head as I write this. “Hey it’s Franklin …”

Unbeknownst to him, Beckett will be turning 1-year-old next week. There’s no question this birthday is more for us than him. At least that’s what I will be telling him years from now when he’s looking for explanations behind some of the photos sure to be taken at his upcoming birthday party.

When he comes across the photo of him in a floppy “cake” hat with a fake candle shaped in the number ‘1’, I will tell him how his mother loves special occasions and has a particular fondness for themed clothes befitting of the celebration.

Ever since he was born last May, Beckett has been photographed in timely outfits marking the various holidays and special events along the way.

My wife has it all covered. She thinks of things that would never cross my mind, and that’s a good thing and helps explain why we have photos of him in a flag shirt and matching bib for the Fourth of July.

She also has the big moments covered. For example, his beautiful baptism gown came equipped with matching socks, shoes, a bib, cap and even after attire.

Most recently, Easter was another opportunity to dress the little guy up for the occasion. He was all decked out sporting a madras hat and matching sports coat, a sleeveless sweater atop a coordinated button down shirt and khaki pants. And, oh yeah, the shoes and socks went right along with it.

Although my wife may go a little overboard on the special outfits, there’s no denying how awesome he looks in them, and I am grateful this is something she takes care of because I have enough of a time keeping myself straight.

We have not spoken in detail about his first birthday party outfit yet, but I know my wife well, and it’s safe to assume she has something all picked out to go along with that lovely candle hat. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for him.

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