Adventures In Fatherhood

My son had an encounter with the Cookie Monster the other day and it didn’t go well.

This was surprising because typically he’s a big fan of all the Sesame Street characters. Elmo continues to reign as his favorite, but I think the Cookie Monster is in contention for top billing.

There we were walking along the Boardwalk two weeks ago when we spotted a guy dressed in the familiar blue costume. Of course, he was hawking a few bucks for dressing up in the outfit for the opportunity to have a photo taken.

This is one of those adult/parent moments. As an adult, it’s difficult not to want to crack jokes at this person who sees fit to dress up in a Sesame Street costume and ask for money. As a parent, it’s a Kodak (or, in my case, Nikon moment) moment.

Since our boys were content in their strollers, we simply pushed them over with the Cookie Monster himself who politely kneeled down for a photo, which turned out to be hilarious.

We have the Cookie Monster in the center with Beckett on his left, wailing uncontrollably, and Carson staring over in bewilderment at his brother.

Later, after we got home, all Beckett wanted to talk about was the Cookie Monster and how, “Beckett cried a lot.”

Change dominates everything these days, and it can be difficult on me at times.
Generally, and how do I put this politically correct, my wife makes the everyday decisions as far as the kids go. This is fine with me because as a business operator life can get hectic at times, and my wife knows my head will spin off if she left many of the basic calls to me.
I just follow her lead and make the adjustments as we go, and it works out well for me.
The most recent example came with the boys’ seating at the kitchen table. Beckett has now moved up to a booster seat from a high chair and Carson has progressed to the high chair formerly occupied by his big brother.
This is a big deal around the house, mainly due to Beckett being able to get into his new seat by himself, or as he likes to say "by myself".
These kids, now 2 ½ and 11 months old, are growing up fast, and it’s remarkable how quick the changes are coming. I’m not sure what I think of these adjustments at this point, but the fact is it doesn’t matter what I think. They are growing up and every day they change a lot, whether I approve of it or not.

I played a little prank on my wife the other day.

Over the course of the last year some time, I received an email about a clipping from a 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly. It was titled, “The good wife’s guide.”

I simply left this article on the counter as a joke the other day because we often laugh about how I am greeted at the door when I get home from work.

Oftentimes, my wife’s day at home with the boys has been just as challenging as mine has been at work. Consequently, by the time I get home, she’s ready for a break or has to go to work herself. What usually happens is I walk in and become the primary caregiver immediately. It’s as if she tags me in and she tags out. It’s the way of life for many parents in these times.

That’s why the list included in this email was particularly interesting to me. Here’s a few to chew on:

– “Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return.

– Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives.
– Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him.

– Clear away the clutter. Make on last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives.

– Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces, comb their hand and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.

– Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

– Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time.

– Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you.

– Don’t greet him with complaints or problems.

– Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him.

– Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.

– Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always his exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.

– Be happy to see him.”

I laughed out loud at many of these items, but not anywhere near as loud as my wife did. It’s been 55 years since that so-called guide was printed and a lot sure has changed, but I still do think my wife is happy to see me when I arrive.

However, she’s perhaps even happier once she gets to tag out (and step over the fire truck blocking the stairwell).

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