Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Privacy and patience are on my mind this week.

It has occurred to me over the last few weeks there’s quite an irony with these two concepts when it comes to parenting — you need patience to be a parent and that includes accepting privacy is an antiquated notion.

First, let’s talk about privacy, or the lack thereof in my world.

For the parents of young kids, there’s no such thing as privacy.

That fact is confirmed over and over again, but most recently involved the other morning around 6 when my 3-year-old son walked in on me in the shower with his pajamas, scaring the daylights out of me and resulting in an errant shaving gash.

“Hi Daddy, I’m going to have a shower, too,” Beckett said as he barged right in without a care in the world, including the fact he was wearing pajamas.

Eventually, I convinced him to take a seat on the toilet while I finished my shower. By this time, he was soaked and I went about explaining to him how people need privacy sometimes. He wanting nothing to do with that conversation and instead fired off some questions to me about Diego’s bellybutton.

Although I was quite confident the talk did not resonate at the time, I found out first hand later in the week that it fell on deaf ears. Again, around the same time, he flung the door open to the bathroom and rushed to see what I was doing.

This time, I was already showered, and he seemed disappointed.

It appears he had so much fun catching me in the act of showering the other morning that he wants to do it every morning.

Desperate for an uninterrupted shower this week, I locked the bathroom door one morning, and there’s nothing Beckett detests more than a locked door.

Consequently, I showered, while he banged on the door and yelled for me. Not exactly the ideal way to start the day.

Later, I again tried talking to him about fairness and privacy, two concepts either foreign or simply found to be unacceptable to him because he wouldn’t let me finish even one sentence. Instead, he wanted to rattle off all the people he knows who have motorcycles. He’s up to eight currently.

This privacy invasion is not only relegated to the mornings. Whenever he notices either myself or Pam not in the room at any time, Beckett is quick to inquire, “where’d Mommy go? Is she in the shower?”

Surely, this is just a phase that he will make his way through in short order, but I hope it’s sooner than later. I miss my solitary morning shower.

As far as patience goes, that’s currently being put to the test with Beckett’s potty training and Carson’s desire to climb everything.

With Carson (now 21 months old), he wants to scale anything and everything, including and not limited to the bathtub, the couch, the fireplace, bookshelves, the car, the crib, an umbrella, barstools, other chairs, balls, the entertainment center and the list goes on and on.

Unlike Beckett, who has a major aversion to the word “no”, Carson just laughs whenever he hears it. Clearly, it has not registered with him yet, but we are often working on that.

That’s why I have to take an especially deep breath when I find him trying to climb in the same toy shopping cart over and over again.

While not exactly my shining parental moment, my patience was put to the test the other night when Beckett and Carson were fighting over who was going to climb in this flimsy shopping cart. After a few attempts, I eventually showed them what happens when my patience threshold is eclipsed.

Long story made short, the shopping cart ended up in the side yard. That surely got their attention, giving me a chance to remind them what happens when they don’t listen.

Again, not a proud moment, particularly when I muttered, “you guys lose it forever,” but the point did get across nonetheless.

One of the greatest tests of patience to date with this parenting adventure has come with Beckett’s potty training.

The little guy is doing well with it so far, but there have been times with it has tested my patience, something I struggle with anyway.

On the home front, since we committed to it wholeheartedly, potty training has been going fairly smoothly.

However, it’s a different story when outside the home.

Twice last weekend, while out to eat, Beckett said he needed to go to the bathroom. Subsequently, I stopped eating and rushed him to the nearest restroom.

Both times, he couldn’t concentrate on the job at hand because of his new surroundings. Rather than do what he needed to do, he wanted to swing the bathroom door, play with the hand dryer, pull out the toilet paper, turn on the water in the sink, brush his teeth (not sure why) and talk to a stranger in the neighboring stall.

During both instances, when we got back to the table, he said he had to go. Of course, he did because he never went in the first place because he wouldn’t concentrate on the task.

When we went back to the restroom, he immediately went for the bathroom door again, swinging it back and forth. He basically did everything again that he did previously.

A couple of deep breaths later, he finally focused and the mission was accomplished.  

As for the food on my plate, yes it was cold by then.

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