Fatherhood Adventures

There’s
one room in my house that’s my favorite among all others.

I call
it the “red room” because the walls are painted a shade of red and it’s home to
four of the biggest, most comfortable chairs, of the same color, I have ever
owned.

There
was a rare moment a week or so ago when I walked into the room to read some of
the morning paper (it was 7 at night). All was fairly peaceful in the house.
Both kids had been fed. Both had their baths, and bedtime was approaching soon
enough. Carson, the 7-month-old, was hanging out in his bouncey chair, chewing
on a teething toy with all his might, while Beckett, the 2-year-old, was
banging trucks together on the floor nearby. Like I said, it was relatively
tranquil.

Noticing
all was good with my boys, I figured I had a few minutes to kick back in the
“red room”. Unfortunately, what I found was each chair occupied with toys or
some sort of kid thing.

In one
chair was an awkward pile of six trucks, surely a result of Beckett’s version
of cleaning up. In another, I found Carson’s car seat and a baby Bjorn. In the
other there was a diaper bag and a couple of Beckett’s favorite books and other
toys. In the fourth chair I was surprised to find Beckett. It seems he noticed
I was going for my favorite room and snuck in there when I turned my back to
grab the paper.

It was
not so much that he was in the last open chair. That was not a shock, as he
loves climbing on furniture. It was that he had somehow managed to grab a book
off a nearby table and appeared to be reading it. He knew what I was hoping to
do.

What
made matters even more unique was it was a book titled, “What To Expect In The
Toddler Years.” There he was seemingly enthralled with its contents, slowly
flipping the pages and moving his head left to right and up to down.

This
was one of those proverbial “aha” moments when I realized just how much I am no
longer master of my domain. The kids have taken over the house and I am merely
a resident and around to serve and oblige. I knew this already but this was one
of those unforgettable instances when it all hits you just how much that’s the
case.

chairs and let Beckett continue to do his “reading”. I pulled up the ottoman in
the center of the room, figuring I could at least enjoy the atmosphere.

Within
a minute, my toddler rushed over, climbing, clawing and pushing his way onto my
lap as only a 2-year-old can. With his sticky, little fingers he managed to
tear the newspaper out of my hand and jab a sippie cup in my mouth, saying,
“daddy milk yumm”.

As he
aggressively pushed my head to jam a sip down my throat, I couldn’t help but
notice one of my beloved red chairs was home to a pool of strawberry milk. When
I asked Beckett about it, he simply replied, “big chair milk yumm”, with the
palm of his hands facing up as he sprinted off.

After
cleaning up after him, he without hesitation jumped back in the same big chair,
this time grabbing a magazine and flipping through it before I could even get a
few steps away.

That’s
when I decided to just sit on the kitchen counter and read the remnants of the
newspaper. That was my safe zone. After a few moments of peace and quiet, aside
from the sound of magazine pages being ripped out, Beckett started pulling on
my leg, saying “beach, beach.” By this time, it was 8 at night and that meant
“night, night.”

Along with the
availability of my favorite chairs, my diet is another aspect of life that has
drastically changed with the kids.

While I am not too
interested in what Carson is presently eating (formula/rice cereal bottles and
various pureed vegetables), it has been interesting during the transition to
normal foods for my toddler. The end result is I have never been so tempted by bad
foods.

Beckett basically eats
whatever he can get his hands on, and this can be problematic when it comes to
how I eat. Whatever I want, he must have. Therefore, I have grown quite
accustomed to having my arm pulled on during dinner at home or the grasp of an
outstretched arm and hand while out to eat.

Most troublesome is he
quickly grows tired of what he’s eating and rarely finishes a meal, leaving the
leftovers behind, which I inevitably end up polishing off. This plays out with
just about every meal.

Order him a basket of
chicken fingers, and he will eat a couple and want nothing to do with the rest.
I’m a sucker for fried food so I finish what’s left, sometimes even asking for
a side of honey mustard.

Order him a grilled
cheese sandwich and I end up eating the cheese crust that he rejects. The same
goes with pizza. Go with a cheeseburger and fries for him, and I find myself
nibbling on some of the leftover bun and taking care of any fries he can’t polish
off. Order him just about anything and I end up cleaning up whatever is left.

The two exceptions here
are his beloved ice cream, which he will eat every last bit of and get quite
annoyed when it’s all gone, and the detested macaroni and cheese, my favorite
guilty pleasure that fortunately makes rare appearances at our house because he
wants no part of it, oddly enough.

 

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