Both kids are a handful, just for different reasons.
Indeed, Beckett, 3, and Carson, 22 months, each pose their own unique set of challenges with the end result being the same — they are simply a lot to handle (I say that lovingly, mind you).
Most of the arduous handling these days involves protecting them from themselves, resulting in a lot of running around with knees bent and back arched, some heavy lifting and many creative and different ways to say a simple, “no”.
Because of their age differences (16 months) and personality traits, it’s interesting to reflect on how they each are consuming and demanding in their own different way.
A few examples to illustrate the point:
It’s a tossup here as far as who gets the prize for being the most dangerous in the bathtub. Both pose their own set of hazards, just in unique ways.
Carson is reckless, spending most of his time on his feet trying to climb out of the tub. It’s a game to him because he knows I’m going to be there to stop him. It’s evident because whenever he starts to lift his leg to maneuver himself out of the tub he starts laughing as if he knows it’s an exercise in futility.
Beckett, on the other hand, has calmed considerably in the tub. His main objective in the tub is to dump as much water on his head as possible, using a couple buckets that are popular with my kids. He says the same thing after each dump over his head. “Daddy, I’m a water bug,” he always says in a gargle sort of fashion.
Generally speaking, Carson treats eating like most of us would tackle a marathon (slow and steady), while to Beckett a meal is a sprint.
Watching Carson eat is a beautiful thing. He’s methodical and seems to relish every bite. He actually closes his eyes during some bites, confirming his deliberate nature.
On the contrary, his big brother rips through his meals so he can quickly move on to something better. At one point recently, we were having lunch in our backyard and Beckett took off with his peanut butter and jelly sandwich and actually went down the sliding board while chewing a bite and holding the sandwich in one hand. That pretty much sums up Beckett’s eating style. He’s more of a “to-go” type.
Additionally, Carson is not picky and has been known to eat just about anything and as much as we are willing to give him. He’s predictable. Conversely, there are times when Beckett is obstinate and will not eat one bite of lunch or dinner.
As is the case in most households I know, both little ones try to maneuver onto the fireplace in the house because they know it’s off limits and has been forever.
Despite strategically relocated furniture and other safety measures, they still manage to get to it every once in a while.
Once there, Carson just sits and plays, while Beckett uses it as a slightly elevated platform to launch himself to other nearby furniture.
This is basically an age thing we think.
Carson is weary of the pool and not likely to jump in on his own. He’s more into being held in the pool by his mom or me and does not seem to be interested in being adventurous in or around the pool.
Again, on the opposite extreme is Beckett, who is fanatical about the pool and poses quite a danger to his own well-being.
On one hand, as a guy, I love that he wants to pull off backwards cannonballs into the pool, but, as a dad, I have to keep him safe. That’s why when I see walking backwards to the pool I quickly jump in because I know he’s aiming to “pull off a cool trick”, as he puts it.
Generally, on the beach, Beckett is a roamer and Carson is a nester.
Sit Carson down in the sand with some toys and he’s content, but Beckett is in perpetual motion and is fond of joining other people’s area on the beach.
Unfortunately, he’s not too polite, as a couple weeks ago he wandered on to a neighboring group’s sheeted area soaking wet and got comfortable. Before I pulled him off the sheet, he managed to grab a hat and a bag of chips, which I promptly returned without incident.
In a reversal of roles, Carson seems to not be fond of his car seat and is constantly trying to free his shoulders and arms from the restraints. Oftentimes, his hands and arms get stuck, leading to a temper tantrum.
No such problems with Beckett any longer, although he once had the same desire to escape.
While they both love a playground, Carson is the kid we have to keep a close eye on today, as he’s often unaware of the dangers posed by those bizarre elevated openings on play sets and what could happen to him when he tries to climb a slide the wrong way.
Beckett can basically handle himself at the playground and will usually keep close by and follow the most basic elements of courteousness and politeness. By that, I mean he’s not going to push another kid out of the way to get to a slide or a climbing wall.
At least, he doesn’t do that anymore.