Fatherhood Adventures

A new
chapter of memories are currently being made on Saturday mornings at the indoor
pool in Ocean Pines.

That’s
where Beckett and I, along with a dozen or so other local parent/child teams,
participate in Coach Lori’s Toddler and Me swimming lessons.

This is
a fun family activity for us, and it gives me the organized shelter needed from
my wife to do what needs to be done to Beckett so he learns the ins and outs of
being in a pool and swimming.

Around
my house, it’s well known Pam has some concerns when it comes to her kids.
That’s putting it mildly, and this is not disparaging my wife. She’s well aware
she worries a bit too much. It’s just her nature, and subsequently her maternal
instinct to protect and shelter is in high gear most of the time. One such example
involves Beckett and swimming.

Although
we have a pool at home, it’s a good thing Beckett is in this program, as he has
learned some critical things, most notably he is becoming increasingly
comfortable lying on his back in the pool, understanding the importance of
kicking and many other basic moves, all of which will one day lead to him
swimming on his own.

Additionally,
the structure of this program is welcome because Pam is forced to sit and
watch, from a short distance, as Beckett follows the activities being led by
the coach. She is relegated to a bystander, which is necessary although I know
it drives her crazy.

The
issue Pam has the most trouble with is when her 2-year-old goes under water.
She has long had fears about this and subsequently made me promise last summer
I would not dunk him when she was not around.

On the
first day of the swimming program, I am happy to report Beckett was dunked and
handled it like a champ. He was understandably a little startled and wide eyed
when he first emerged out of the water, but he recovered easily and it was
clear he liked everything about it.

Once I
knew he was fine, I admit to being a little nervous as to my wife’s reaction,
wondering when I turned around if she would be at the edge of the pool being
hauled back to her seat by Coach Lori in a dire effort to keep her from jumping
in and grabbing our son of my arms.

Fortunately,
none of that happened. All I saw was a white, stunned face embraced by hands
and a head shaking sideways. From that point on, I think she just decided to
focus her attention elsewhere, like on little Carson.

As is
often the case with kids his age, there are some days when Beckett does well in
the classes and other times when he clearly is not into it. Last week was one
of those days when his concentration was waning, as he twice put his head on my
shoulder and indicated he was ready for bed. All the while, the group is in a
circle, singing (I’m being generous here) “Wheels on the Bus”.

When
he’s into it, these classes are fun. He laughs, he splashes and all the stuff
you expect a kid to do in a pool.

One
unexpected fascination that has been surfacing in class is Beckett’s affinity
for dunking me. He thinks that’s a riot.

It’s my
fault. Once I found out last summer he likes to put his hand atop my head and
push down and laughs tremendously when I go under water for a while, I
encouraged it. It appears I created a monster because when I don’t acquiesce he
throws a minor fit. It’s worth pointing out most of the time I comply.

For my
wife’s part, I know she is a much bigger fan of me being dunked than him.

Carson,
my 6 months old, now has two teeth along his bottom row, and we are fortunate
there have been no major lifestyle changes (lack of sleep) associated with it.

Aside
from a consistent drooling problem, a penchant for sticking his tongue out more
often than not and a constant desire to have his fingers in his mouth, Carson
seems unfazed by the new arrivals. If he were our first child, we would think
nothing of it. Teething is no big deal, we would presume, contrary to all the
horror stories often reported.

However,
we know firsthand that’s unusual because we did have several night awakenings
and other odd occurrences when Beckett was teething.

This
ability to just deal with whatever he’s going through is just Carson’s way. It
might just be his age, but so far not much bothers him as far as I can tell.

For
example, let me relay a situation that unfolds often around my house.

I don’t
know if it’s just a silly older brother prank or what, but Beckett continues to
love taking off Carson’s socks. What happens usually is he spots Carson in a
bouncey seat or lying on the floor with socks on and he just pounces on it,
grabbing his big toe and yanking the sock off.

Beckett
likes to take off one of the socks and then hide it, before returning to his
younger brother and snaking the other sock. All the while, Carson just smiles
and kicks his legs. He could care less.

Rather
than chase our toddler around the house with his brother’s socks, what happens
is Carson is sock-less almost all the time unless we are leaving the house.

There’s
no use trying to keep Beckett from the socks because he will find a way to get
them off in time. Carson does not seem to care and usually just laughs as
Beckett runs off with his sock going, “pee-you”.

 

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