Adventure In Fatherhood

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Over dinner one night, I was kindly reminded by my wife to write some nice things about our kids every now and again.

Of course, this was around 9 p.m. after the kids had been put to bed and we had time to make our own dinner. We learned a while ago it’s best for us to wait till the kids are in bed before we sit down to eat. Otherwise, we have hands tugging on our arms, asking for bites and demands of “please share Daddy” echoing through the house.

On this particular evening Pam was giving me this gentle reminder, Beckett was redefining what I have started to refer to as the “traumatizing 3s”.

He was running around his room crying and screaming and wreaking havoc on his room. This is a new development in our world, revealing a severe shift in his emotional wellbeing that likely has something to do with separation anxiety. However, that’s a conversation for another day.

Going back to our dinner talk, in Pam’s opinion, I seem to be harping on the kids and some of their misbehaviors and idiosyncrasies of late.

This week I went back and looked at what I have been writing about in this space for the last month or so, and I think she’s probably on the money.

One week, I detailed how Beckett does not appear to be wearing his “listening ears” of late and seems to be enjoying this new freedom from rules. I cited as an example the fact he threw three bricks in the pool one day five feet in front of me during a standoff of wills.

The next week, I detailed how Carson will be walking around the room and all of a sudden see a tiny stool that he absolutely must climb and stand on and pitch a fit until he’s accomplished his goal.

After looking over the last couple months of these columns, it does appear I do tend to focus on the frustrations and craziness of parenting rather than all the joys, pride and happiness associated with it.

As I explained to my wife, my feeling is most would prefer to read about the antics and bizarre behaviors of our kids and the subsequent adventurous rides they take us along the way, rather than reading how much we love our kids, count our blessings each day, adore their contrasting personalities and relish our time with them.

I could fill this space each week with sweet stories of our kids, and every once in a while when I am feeling particularly lucky I go that route, but it just seems to me to be more entertaining to discuss these crazy moments in detail on a weekly basis. Additionally, it’s usually what’s fresh on my mind when I sit down to pen this rambling.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t get mushy every now and again over my kids.

When I think about how much my kids have grown and changed over the last three years (Beckett) and 19 months (Carson), I can’t help but get sentimental and feel extremely proud of my boys.

But, as most parents understand, these days are particularly challenging and demanding. I think it’s mostly a result of their unpredictability.

Beckett is often the subject of my rants here, and for good reason, but of late we are thinking Carson has become more of a handful than his older brother.

Carson’s development has soared in recent months, and he is now the most likely child to throw a fit when we insist he do something he doesn’t want to do, such as remain flat on his back during a diaper change or not knock a painting off the wall or stop climbing in a drawer or knocking over chairs in the house.

Carson spoiled us for a long time. He was also the amenable child, willing to go with the flow and do whatever we wanted him to. He still has that laidback personality, but he has unquestionably come out of his shell in recent months.

While it’s a good thing, of course, I have on a couple occasions said to him at weak moments something along the lines of, “come on, buddy, you are supposed to be the easy one.”

It’s worth noting that comment came after I found him standing on his humidifier, leaning into his closest attempting to pull clothes out of his dresser one by one. In his mouth was one of his socks and in one hand was a shoe. It was a Kodak moment for sure.

When I pulled him down, he cried like he was in pain, causing Beckett to melt down, too, leaving me all out of sorts and basically on my way to an adult meltdown as well.

It’s moments like these on a daily basis that encourage me to continue the nightly tradition of checking on my boys in their beds when they are asleep.

Pam and me will nightly peek in on them and observe them asleep, remarking to each other how sweet they are and how at peace they look, forgetting altogether the five time-outs Beckett had earlier in the day for ignoring our pleas to stop running around the pool or the numerous times we had to pull Carson out of the dishwasher (his latest fascination).

All days spent with my kids are cherished, but with that disclaimer now reaffirmed these are some bumpy times.

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