Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as a family was an interesting experience last weekend.

The St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival in Ocean City is one of my favorite events of the year. It was when I was a kid and continues today as a young adult (at least that’s how I like to refer to myself).

Prior to having a family, I had a pretty decent streak going where I attended the festivities each year and consequently had too much fun just about every year.

During one parade in the late-90s, I even participated and volunteered to don the “purple moose” costume for the landmark saloon on the Boardwalk.

Priorities have a way of changing quickly with kids and that often revolves around balance. It’s undoubtedly been a good thing for me.

Figuring that Beckett and Carson might be a nightmare with the crowds, we sat out last year’s event, and it was cancelled in 2010 due to weather. Therefore, it has been a few years since I attended.

This year we packed up the kids and headed into town. All in all, it was great fun.

Close to the stage in the 45th Street Village area, there was a makeshift dance floor set up and that’s where we spent most of our time.

Despite being parents for almost four years now, Pam and I left our bag with snacks, drinks and other kid essentials in the car. That was quite the goof and mistakes like that drive me crazy. We should know better. Of course, we didn’t realize it until we needed it for a snack, and it was too far to venture back through the crowded streets with two strollers.

Food is often the answer when our kids get bored and eventually forgetting that bag became more of an issue, particularly for Beckett, who was not content after wolfing down a hot dog (without the roll, of course). Carson seemed satisfied simply observing the crowds from his stroller and wiggling a little here and there to the Irish tunes.

Fortunately, an extremely nice woman (whose name I did not get) came prepared and bailed us out more than she will ever realize.

Somehow along the way, Beckett got a hold of a bag of cereal she had brought along for her granddaughter, who was cutting some rug on the dance floor, and therefore she had a new best friend.

It seems her granddaughter had munched on the Lucky Charms already, picking out her treasured marshmallows and leaving behind the other stuff. Beckett was quick to munch on the remainder of her snack.

It was no easy chore attempting to get him to return the food, and the friendly lady let him go at it and we are grateful.

Her kindness gave us another hour and has also led to some Lucky Charm requests from Beckett later in the week. We thank her for that.

Yes it truly does take a village, appropriate for a few different reasons on that day.———————————————————

Everyone calls us crazy, and that’s probably accurate, but Beckett is getting a set of drums for his birthday in a couple months.

The kid has a need to jam. So much so that over the weekend we gave him some paper towel rolls and set up a makeshift drum set in the living room.

What followed was comedy as he ordered Pam to man the Elmo keyboard and me to shred up the Elmo guitar, while he played the drums and belted out his favorite tunes. He seemed to enjoy the idea of playing drums while singing in an ode to Phil Collins.

The set list that day ran the gamut from Sesame Street and Laurie Berkner to Bob Dylan (he likes The Mighty Quinn) and The Wonder Pets theme song. There were some other tunes mixed in that nobody else knew but him.

While all this took place, Carson was taking the opportunity to scale some furniture, slam the French doors and steal a drum or two from Beckett when his head was turned.

The old paper towel rolls took such a beating they started to shred, causing a decent temper tantrum from Beckett.

To stave off a complete loss of all sanity, Pam resorted to duct tape and that did the trick. It actually seemed to make them better.

The drum fascination seems to be popping up everywhere, including in church on Sunday. You see, featured prominently in the sanctuary is a drum set and Beckett fixates on it, of course.

Consequently, thanks to a friendly fellow parishioner, we use a few minutes on the drums after church as a reward for good behavior. He has excellent rhythm for a 3-year-old.

If a set of skins keeps him entertained, I am all for it. Surely, it will be a regrettable purchase down the road, but in the meantime perhaps it will reduce the number of taps Carson takes on the head from Beckett.

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I drove to Salisbury on business the other day and the entire time listened to The Muppets’ Just Dance video playing in the back seat. I didn’t even realize it until I got to Salisbury and discovered news broke that Peyton Manning had decided to join the Denver Broncos next season. Rather than listening to the latest on this, I was listening to the Cookie Monster.I don’t know what that says about me.

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