Fatherhood Adventures

Coping
with the disorder that comes with two young kids is tricky business.

I would
never say being neat and tidy are characteristics of mine, but I do like a
certain order in my life to retain some sort of peace of mind. That’s a serious
challenge when my boys are involved.

No
matter your diligence or commitment, a fact of life with children comes a
certain amount of disarray and a lot of clutter.

I have
reluctantly come to accept this fact, but it’s still a little frustrating at
times.

An
unofficial rule around my house is whenever Beckett, a 2 year old with a
mischievous nature and some wild antics, takes a nap or is down for the night
that the house be reorganized and returned to an acceptable condition.

It’s an
exercise in futility to try to keep the house tidy while he’s awake. He’s going
to wreak havoc. It’s just his nature and probably the case with most kids his
age.

While
we work with Beckett on getting him to play with one toy at a time and to clean
up after himself, it’s largely unsuccessful at this point.

Once
he’s asleep, either for the nap or for the night, we clean up after him with
most of the time devoted to gathering his favorite trucks in one place. In our
house, the foyer is one of his favorite play areas, and that’s where we line up
his dozen or so trucks when he’s sleeping. Subsequently, that’s the first area
my son attacks when he wakes up.

As much
as we crave a little order, he seems to have a major aversion to it. He
immediately notices anything lined up perfectly or stacked neatly and goes
about correcting that in his mind.

It’s to
the point his love of disorder is spreading into other domains, specifically
the kitchen.

One of
the pet peeves my wife and I share is an unkempt kitchen counter.

On a
recent weekend morning, I had an adult meltdown over it. Fortunately, I was
alone, sans Fletch and Bailey, my trusty dogs who can keep secrets. Exhaustion
ruled the night before, and the result was a counter full of dirty sippie cups
and baby bottles and the sink was home to some dirty dishes because we were too
tired to empty the dishwasher the night before.

When I
came into the kitchen the next morning to start on the kids’ breakfasts, I
regret the first word out of my mouth that morning would not qualify for a ‘PG’
rating.

After
getting matters to an acceptable level that morning, Beckett soon made his
presence known with some shouts of “banana” from his room. Of course, I
immediately realized that any sense of order and calm would soon be tossed
aside once my little buddy came downstairs and began running around.

A few
weeks ago, I started wondering if maybe this was a game to him.

Therefore,
I started watching his reaction when we came downstairs after his nap or first
thing in the morning. As I suspected, upon seeing his trucks lined up neatly
and his toys placed neatly in the corner, his eyes grew wide and he immediately
started squirming out of my arms.

As
expected, no sooner than his feet hit the ground, he was off to pull everything
out and push and toss his trucks all over the house. All the while laughing and
screaming in delight, while I just shook my head and wondered why I even
bothered to straighten the place up in the first place.

Something
has to give here.

It’s the little things
that amaze me with my kids.

Out of nowhere, Beckett
has become a hugging bandit, and I am doing whatever I can to make sure this is
not just a passing fascination.

When the mood is right,
Beckett will give kisses and hugs on demand. That’s not to paint the picture
he’s always a wonderful lover boy because you do have to be careful for the
accidental Scottish kiss (also known as a head-butt) or some other unfortunate
reaction.

If he’s across the room
and you get down on your knees and ask for a hug, he may just run straight into
you with a head of steam, or he might fake you out steps away and laugh while
running away with his arms flailing and head pointed upward.

Yes, Beckett can be
quite unpredictable, but there’s nothing better than a big hug and squeeze from
my rough toddler. Throw in a kiss and that’s just magical.

Not to be left out is
Carson, who constantly amazes me with his mellow attitude and outlook. Far from
walking and talking, my 6-month-old baby just goes with the flow. I like to
credit him with being perceptive and realizing his older brother is keeping his
parents quite busy these days. I think that’s why he laughs so hard when I am
chasing Beckett around the house trying to wrestle away the remote control.

Along with this laidback
mentality, the unique thing about my youngest son is he just loves being
touched anywhere and at any time.

Oddly enough, no matter
the time of day or night, Carson will laugh hysterically whenever his diaper is
changed. It’s partially because he’s extremely ticklish, but also just that he
likes the interaction. That makes what is not always a pleasant task a little
more enjoyable.

It’s these mundane
developments that make every day different than the last, and that’s probably
my favorite part of being a parent. There’s something new everyday to fascinate
over, though sometimes it can frustrate (see the first part of this column for
evidence of that).

 

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