Adventures Of Fatherhood

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At this point in his life, Beckett’s interest in soccer seems to be purely social.

He’s more of a charming extrovert than an intense competitor, which just seems strange to even write since he’s not even 4 years old.

Nonetheless, he’s clearly not much for the competition aspect of soccer most of the time, but there are bursts of interest here and there, and that’s fine with me. I just want him to try hard.

During last weekend’s indoor soccer game, Beckett was an active participant for the first five minutes or so. He seemed to be focused, meaning he ran along with the other players in an interesting game of “magnet ball.”

After a few jogs from one end to the other, however, his interest seemed to wane. Before I knew it, his shirt was no longer tucked in his shorts and he was nowhere near the ball and had apparently stopped listening to his coach’s instructions. Instead, he was chatting up anyone willing to listen.

I have no idea what he was saying, but I’m thinking the conversation might have started with something like a “knock, knock.”

Due to the recent dusting of snow, he think he’s being pretty clever when he digs into his memory bank and conjures a “knock, knock” joke from an old episode of the Doodlebops. It goes, “who’s there?”, “snow” is the reply and the punch line is, “Snow-body but me.”

At one point, during last weekend’s game, Pam, who was playing chase with Carson around the Worcester County Recreation Center, came up to me. I said, “he’s doing great, he’s running hard.”

She had this funny look of bewilderment on her face, pointing out that he was running while flapping fake wings.

“At least he’s running,” was my response.

He only played a little bit the rest of the game. It’s just as well because his attention was lost anyway. While he was on the bench, I overheard him talking to some girls on the other team. It was something about, “your eyes are not as blue as my brother Carson’s.” At one point, he said, “my eyes are green, see …”, leaning in entirely too close.

Later, when his coach motioned to put him in, he was quick to let her know he didn’t want to play. Why would he? I know in his mind he was thinking why when I can talk and play here would I go out there.

After the game, the highlight for many of the kids, or at least my son, is the post-game snacks.Before his coach gave them out, she asked if anyone knew what holiday was coming up.

Quickly, Beckett offered up, “Kwanza”.
He was serious, and it gave us all a great laugh.

So it seems at this point in his athletic career his role is to keep the team relaxed and laughing. That’s cool with me.

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I have grown accustomed to a cluttered house with two kids under 4, but there are times when it’s too much.

That’s why I have been known to reference the “front yard” a lot.

For some reason, that’s the place I tell the kids I am going to put (throw) their stuff if they don’t take better care of it or put it back where it belongs.

For the record, nothing has ever been thrown in the front yard, but, in true adult meltdown fashion, I did once toss a football in my neighbor’s yard after the kids would not stop throwing it inside.

Also, after repeatedly tripping over it and the kids ignoring my requests, I did once give a toy shopping cart a good hurl toward the driveway one rainy day in the not-so-distant past.

Pam, who was not present for any of these temper tantrums, is quick to remind me that sort of behavior is not setting the best example for my sons.

To that, I point to a recent exchange with Beckett.

One of Carson’s favorite things of late is pulling off all the cushions and pillows from the couch and then falling down atop them on the floor.

He has gotten hurt a couple times during these falls so we don’t allow him to do it. I should say we don’t like for him to do it.

One night, while I was in the kitchen, Beckett reported to me that Carson was pulling off all the cushions again. He has become the tattletale of late, but it’s helpful at times to have a reporter on hand.

When I told Carson no and tried to move him away from the couch, offering any number of distractions, Beckett said, “do it, daddy” and Carson laughed really hard. I didn’t know what he meant. He kept saying it and saying it, and Carson kept laughing and laughing, and Beckett finally offered up, “throw him in the front yard, daddy, do it.”

Carson then ran to the front door and motioned for me to pick him up.

I finally realized Beckett wanted me to heave his brother in the front yard because he was not behaving. It seems Carson, too, was on board with it.

I never would have thought this would turn into something fun that they wanted to do. It was meant to be a way to modify behavior, a silly one at that. Instead, now they each want to take turns being thrown in the front yard, even though again nothing has ever been tossed in the front yard.

Apparently, I need a new strategy.

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