Fatherhood Adventures

Toddlers
can be moody and it’s usually easy to determine what kind of day it’s going to
be first thing in the morning.

From
what I know about kids his age, I would rank Beckett on the more vocal side. At
times, this is a great thing, but there are moments when his talkative nature
can be unfortunate.

Since
he’s prone to articulate what’s on his mind at all times, there are instances
when it can seem like nonstop babble. If the dark side is occupying him, as I
like to call it, it sounds more like a constant stream of whining, which can
rattle the nerves on occasion.

Last
Saturday was one of those difficult days with my 2-year-old son. Looking back,
it was clear he was not right as the first thing he said in the morning, and
repeated often, was, “no.” No matter what he was asked, the answer was “no”,
even when he meant, “yes.” His mood was a little aggravating, but we were not
going to let him alter our plans for the day.

Other
obligations had kept us from the beach the weekend before, so we had planned
all week to load up the truck and get out on Assateague early in the morning.

We have
found the Assateague Over Sand Vehicle portion on the federal side to our
liking of late, particularly due to all the stuff we have to pack up to
entertain and maintain our boys.

Regrettably,
as we expected based on the early morning attitude, Beckett challenged us
incessantly. He would not listen to either of us. He would cry for no reason at
all. He became particularly inconsolable when we repeatedly prevented him from
charging directly into the ocean with reckless enthusiasm. A minute later, he
would laugh hysterically while running around the beach, holding a shell
featuring an odd purple streak above his head.

The ups
and downs of the day continued until we finally threw in the towel. The
proverbial icing on the cake was a terrible kicking spree during a diaper
change and the ensuing mess that accompanied it.

Clearly,
he was either exhausted or simply not feeling well. We could not get him
content at the beach and hoped his home base and a solid afternoon nap would
result in an attitude adjustment.

There
are times when a nice nap can serve as a “restart,” accomplishing the same
thing it does for a computer. It often resets the settings and offers a fresh
start.

Fortunately,
after a three-hour nap that day, he woke up in much better spirits. It seems he
simply needed a, “restart.”

Carson,
our 7-month-old, is now getting old enough that we can clearly recognize the
differences between our two boys’ personalities.

Without
question, our youngest is much more laidback and seems to not ever have a care
in the world. Beckett, at that age, was different. He has always had a
gregarious, playful personality. Now that he’s a toddler, that’s always on
display.

To
illustrate the differences between my kids, let me set the nightly stage of
bath time.

About a
month ago, I started taking both kids to the bathroom at the same time.
Typically, I give Carson his bath first, while Beckett examines every nook of
the room, looks through the cabinets, smells the clean towels and points out
the potty by saying, “pee pee bye bye.”

When
Beckett was Carson’s age, he loved a bath, laughing and splashing and playing
with rubber ducks and other bath toys. Carson is not into any of that. He just
sits back and observes and lets me do whatever I want. There’s no indication
that he doesn’t like it, and there’s no proof that he does. He’s
expressionless. Every once in a while to make sure he’s not asleep with his
eyes open, I tickle him and he laughs, but otherwise he’s not really into the
entire bath scene.

All the
while I am tending to Carson in the tub, Beckett likes to step into the shower
and stick his tongue against the transparent door, proving he is the consummate
goofball.

After
finishing up with Carson, who likes to lie on the floor and play with his feet
and the towel after his bath, it’s Beckett’s turn in the tub. That continues to
be pure mayhem and is quite the adjustment from his sedentary brother.

This is
usually when we hear the most out of Carson, as he giggles at his older
brother’s squeals of delight and gibberish.

Parenting
can be quite exhausting.

I don’t
know if it will always be this way, but life presently is extremely full and
consequently can be incredibly draining.

Between
chasing around our toddler and protecting him from himself and tending to the
usual responsibilities of an infant, there’s rarely downtime and that can be
strenuous.

I never
realize how tired I am until the kids are down for the night. That’s when my
wife and I essentially come to recognize and acknowledge our fatigue and
usually collapse (with or without a cocktail to toast our day).

For
some silly reason, last Sunday night we thought we had enough energy to watch a
movie. It had been months since we actually crashed in the living room and got
into a good flick.

Well,
in predictable fashion, less than 30 minutes into the movie, I was out. I woke
up a short while later to see my wife snoozing nearby and the movie on the
television.

It was
9:10 p.m.

 

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