Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Twice a week my son plays soccer. Therefore, twice a week I laugh a lot for about an hour.

The 3- and 4-year-old soccer program, offered through the county’s Recreation and Parks Department, provides some hilarious moments to us parents.

The best part of all is no score is kept, but there’s a general sense of who is winning and losing among the coaches and parents.

It’s not that it matters at all because there’s usually only a few goals scored in a game anyway, and the kids could care less about the outcome. It’s largely considered a strong outing when the players head in the right direction on the field.

It’s fun to watch the kids play this game of “magnet ball”, as they all follow each other around the field. Most of the kids (particularly my son) don’t even watch the ball move from one point to another. They simply follow each other around the field.

In each game, there are a couple kids who dominate because they actually have focus and attention on the ball, which they actually want to kick. That gives them enough of an advantage to stand out from the crowd at this age.

What’s my son doing? Well, it depends on if he actually feels like participating, and most of the time he seems averse to getting into the action.

Sometimes he prefers a game of tag on the sidelines with his teammates or just drinking copious amounts of water.

Other times, he goes the shy route and portrays the role of daddy’s little boy, burying his head in between my legs and begging to be picked up.

During the times when he actually takes the field during a game and wants to participate, the soccer ball is the farthest thing from his mind and coincidentally it’s usually nowhere around him.

Instead, he prefers to hug, and sometimes kiss, his teammates and even players on the opposing team.

If there’s nobody around him, he has been known to sit down on the field, try and stick his head through the net in the goal or even do some somersaults.

Last Saturday, on his way to hug one of the players on the other team that he knows from his pre-school, he tripped and inadvertently ended up knocking a couple kids over.

The referee stopped play and gave the other team a free kick, mumbling eventually “pushing”. I would not have known what to say there either to stop play, but I think “touching” would probably have been my call.

The competitor inside me wishes Beckett would be a little bit more attuned to what’s going on in the game, but I have to remember he’s 3 years old and does not even understand the concept of the game.

That’s at least what I told myself the other day while he repeatedly jumped in and out of mud when he was actually supposed to be playing defense.

It would be nice I must admit to see my son express an interest in the ball itself at least a couple times during the game.

On a play on Monday in Snow Hill, he was playing defense and was about five yards in front of the goal. The ball literally bounced right to my son and he took a step out of the way, allowing a kid on the other team to dribble unimpeded to a clear shot at the goal. Fortunately, as they are prone to do, the boy barely made contact and the goalie was able to stop it.

When I asked him later why he chose to move out of the way of the ball, rather than kick it, he simply asked, “do I get a treat now?”

What’s key is he has fun and burns off some energy. That’s a guarantee each and every day, and that makes me happy.

However, I do hope one day to see him actually kick the ball in a game.

A loud thump from the second floor of my house is never a good thing.

This was especially the case on a recent morning around 6.

I had made it an early start that day so I could knock out some work in some peace and quiet. It was still dark and the house was silent, which is an unusual occurrence these days with two little ones rolling around the place.

It was heavenly until I heard that unmistakable thud.

As soon as I heard it, I knew what it was. Carson had finally achieved what seemed impossible for so long — he climbed out of his crib.

Expecting to see some sort of injured child, I raced up the stairs to find Carson’s door opening and him running out with the biggest smile ever. He was so thrilled with what he had accomplished. He squealed in a pitch I have never heard from him, a confirmation of his obvious delight with this new feat.

He seemed perfectly fine and had no consequences from the three-foot drop from his crib.

Once the shock of it wore off, we realized life was about to change for us. Fortunately, the crib mattress had one more rung it could be lowered to, and that seemed to work until Tuesday when he again escaped.

This time Beckett was involved. Due to the recent escape, we have a gate outside Carson’s door so he cannot get out of his room and cruise the house. He’s a little too young for that freedom. However, the gate was no match for Beckett, who easily scaled it and went into his room apparently.

What happened next I do not know, but when I got to Carson’s room I found Beckett basically congratulating his little brother and excitedly reporting to me that Carson climbed out, landed on his feet and “now I’m calling him a big boy, okay?”

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