Adventures In Fatherhood

The changes with my boys are coming in a fast and furious manner and admittedly all too quick for this dad.

After weeks of contemplating the big move from a crib to a toddler bed, Pam made the decision for the both of us last weekend, and that’s fine by me. If it was my call solely, he would probably be in that crib until he could hop out of it on his own.

I have a tendency, proven time and time again with my family, to think my boys aren’t ready for certain changes.

It’s to the point spats often spark with my wife over this silly overprotectiveness. At one point, I was so steadfastly against Beckett being put in a Little Tikes car that was bought for him that I refused to put it together because I didn’t think he was ready.

Of course, I was later proven wrong, as Pam assembled it on her own (hello, emasculation) and he loved it. We still have it today and it remains a popular toy, and soon enough Carson, our 15-month-old, will be moving around on his own in it.

There have been many other examples of my slowness to accept change, the latest of which is this move to a toddler bed.

My apprehension largely dealt with Beckett not sleeping and instead roaming around his room on his own and getting distracted by the toys readily available to him.

Once again, he proved me wrong the first nap, as he seemed afraid to leave his bed. It got to the point he actually would sit on the side of his bed waiting for us to come and get him. “Daddy, I’m ready,” he said last weekend, rather than stepping out of the bed.

However, that all changed on Tuesday, as Pam sent a text notifying me that Beckett was on the loose in his room and sleep was not on his mind. Instead, he was playing with his toys and talking babble about “he’s not going to be a big boy today and sleep in my toddler bed.”

While hilarious to me at the time, I did feel for her because I know how I am on the weekends when the kid doesn’t nap.

A no-nap day for a toddler is disheartening for two reasons – the parents don’t really get a break and he’s a menace (oftentimes a nightmare to be around) without a little sleep for the rest of the day.

Fortunately, that night he didn’t wander around and immediately crashed in his bed, but I’m sure there will be a time when we find him sprawled out on the floor, rather than asleep in his bed.

That’s fine by me, so long as the boy gets his sleep.
Along the same lines, Carson’s changes are perhaps most pronounced.

The big thing with this little guy is a thriving desire for independence. He wants little to nothing to do with being in his little play zone anymore. He has gotten a taste of moving around unimpeded and loves it.

The play zone was wonderful because it provided him a sanctuary from his little brother and a place he could play with his own toys without having to deal with a competitive brother looming over him and trying to snatch this or that away.

All good things must come to an end, as Carson now wants to explore and he will throw a fit if not allowed. Fortunately, he does still seem to like a little bit of refuge time in the play zone, but generally out and about is his preference.

As was the case when Beckett was his age, the kitchen is the happening place for Carson, mainly because that’s where the refrigerator is located.

At one point, the other night, Pam and I were recapping our day in the kitchen and Carson was crawling around the floor doing his thing when we noticed the strangest thing.

There was Carson, who has not quite mastered standing on his own yet, with his head leaning against the fridge so he could use his hands to play with the letter magnets affixed to it. He stood like this for a while before we had to move him because it just did not seem right to let him prop himself up that way for too long, although it was hilarious to see and quite resourceful.

Carson has long been the more laidback of our kids, but I’m beginning to wonder these days if that’s going to be the case for too much longer. I think we may just have two strong-willed, intense boys on our hands.

There’s certainly worse things, but I am again reminded all good things must come to an eventually.

Peeking in on our kids while they are asleep is a nightly ritual for us, and it’s always interesting to see how their bodies are positioned.

Almost always, Carson is asleep facedown, sending his mother scrambling within earshot to assure he’s breathing. I think she will be doing this when he’s 18 years old as well.

Beckett usually gets the prize for strangest sleep position. One night this week I had to creep into his room and literally pick him up and rearrange him.

There he was with his head and one shoulder and arm on the floor, while his other shoulder and arm hung on to the side of the bed. I have no idea how that was comfortable.

Thankfully, as I moved him back to the mattress, he only woke up for a minute, quickly uttering “banana and chocolate milk” before falling back asleep.

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