Adventures in Fatehrhood

The key part of bath time around my house is a nightly physical assessment of the kids.
A day in the life of a kid can be pretty rough on the body and along the way marks proving hard play during any given day are bound to surface.

It’s always interesting to see what new scrape or bruise has surfaced over the course of a day, and typically there are a couple new arrivals each night, confirming just how much fun is had and how hard they go at it.

This nightly examination is particularly interesting to me on days I work, for bath time allows me an opportunity to see exactly what my boys were up to and whether or not it left a few marks.

For Carson, who turns 10 months old on Sunday, it’s fairly simplistic and usually involves checking to see if there’s any new eczema outbreaks on his skin that need attention or some remnants of a past spit-up session. Fortunately, there’s no bruises or scratches on his pristine body yet because he’s not active enough where he can harm himself. Those days are coming soon enough.

It’s another matter altogether when it comes to the 2-year-old human wrecking ball we named Beckett.

On a particular night this week, I counted 12 little thumbnail size bruises on Beckett’s body, almost all of which appeared on his legs, specifically from his knees down. It’s important to realize counting these bruises is not an exact science because it’s practically impossible to keep him still long enough to get an exact count. I’m sure I either missed a couple or counted one twice.

With Beckett, his legs seem to take a beating, for whatever reason. That’s where the most bruises can be found and they’re not pretty. These are a result of moderate to minor encounters with hard objects, and they quickly come and go. What’s amazing to me is I can’t recall him ever crying or expressing pain from any of these tiny bruises on his legs.

The elbows appear to take some abuse as well, likely from tripping and falling over something and bracing his fall, but nothing like the legs.

Every once in a while, a bruise or some minor scrapes will surface on the palms of his hands, and that’s clearly a direct result of some nasty falls as well. I’m just happy he catches himself.

On Saturday night, after spending the entire day with him, I noticed a nasty bruise on an unusual place – on the side of his forehead in the temple area. Surely, this had to be from quite a bang, and the funny thing was he did not cry once that day. Check that, he did throw a tantrum that morning when I didn’t let him stick an entire banana in his mouth at once.

It seems to me a blow to the head hard enough to cause a bruise would have been noticeable at the time of the incident. However, that never happened, for whatever reason.

That’s why we refer to him as our little bruiser, for more reasons than one.

The sight of kids standing at a bus stop in Berlin with parents nearby started my week off on a sappy note on Monday.

I am constantly amazed at what an emotional wreck I am when it comes to my kids, and the latest example came bright and early on Monday as I came upon a group of little ones standing at an area bus stop.

The kids all looked incredibly cute decked out with their new outfits and cool book bags. All seemed excited. It was what I saw a few feet away that put a lump in my throat. There stood a group of parents all saying bye to their kids. A couple parents stood hand-in-hand, while others embraced as they watched the kids eagerly jump on the bus. Another mom was down on a knee talking to her child, seemingly convincing her everything was going to be okay and that she would have fun at school.

Suddenly, I realized I was going to be in their position soon enough, and I could not shake those thoughts all week, and, for some reason, I took the same route to work each morning so I could see the sight over and over again.

I later told Pam about these feelings, saying something ridiculous and lame like, “Once they go to school, that’s it. That’s the first step out the door to leaving us forever.” As soon as the words came out, I realized how dumb I was being, but I was surprised to see my wife kind of shrug her shoulders in agreement as we sat in silence for a minute or so.

A friend shook me back into reality later in the week after questioning my manhood multiple times. They assured me by the time my boys are old enough for school we will be ready for them to get out of the house as well.

The time comes when they just need more and school fills that void. He said you will be happy to be taking them to school and grateful they get to have some new experiences – socially, mentally and physically.

I hope he is on the money because I was amazed at how strong those parents were being at the bus stop. On the outside, aside from the embraces, they appeared stoic and supportive as their kids began a new adventure. I wonder how the rest of their day went, particularly for those whose kids were entering the early stages of school.

I fear it’s going to be difficult on my wife and me, but fortunately it’s a couple years away and maybe by then we will truly be ready for the new chapter. We shall see.

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