Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Monday morning is never fun, but the start to this week seemed to begin a little different than any other I can remember in a long time.

Pam works early a few mornings a week including Mondays, so I’m in charge of getting the boys ready for the day.

That involves breakfast, getting them dressed and packing lunches, among other daily things that can come up along the way to make each morning unique.

While not entirely unusual, Carson began his day by swatting his plate of bananas into the nearby grandfather clock, a family heirloom on Pam’s side. It was an impressive swat if I say so myself.

No less than five banana wheels — or slices some may say — stuck to the clock. I wasn’t exactly thrilled to have to do the cleanup duties at the time, but as I was scraping off the banana from the clock I did take a moment to marvel over the sheer strength in which Carson sent those banana pieces flying.  I even tried to toss a few banana wheels on it myself to see if I could get them to stick. Apparently, I wasn’t doing it with the velocity Carson  did because none of mine attempts stuck.

As I was cleaning up, Carson was laughing at Beckett, who was doing his best Daddy imitation, putting a hand on one knee, getting red faced and telling him “no” over and over again. They both got a huge kick out of that. He was going at the imitation with so much gusto that I even had to turn away for a minute so they couldn’t see me laughing.

Beckett has begun to catch on to my immature side and he knows when I’m struggling to be stern with them. That’s why he followed me around the house, pulling on my pants to turn around so he could see my face. I was able to keep it together, though.

Next, Carson sent his sippie cup flying across the room with another impressive swat, leading me to quickly gather up their belongings and head out the door. It was 7:30 in the morning and I was ready to get on with the day.

On the way to the truck, Beckett always grabs my morning paper from the driveway and throws it up in the air a couple times before eventually losing interest in it.

However, on this particular Monday, he only got one toss in before he noticed Fletch, our 13-year-old Lab, scrambling after something against the house. That’s unusual for Fletch, who can barely even get up a stair or two anymore due to hip issues.

Something had his attention for sure, but I couldn’t deal with it until I strapped Carson in the car seat. Once that was done, no easy feat for our 2 ½-year-old who despises being constrained, I saw Beckett standing near Fletch, saying in that familiar Daddy mocking tone with hand on knee, “no, no, no Fletch”. However, what he said next shocked me, as he stomped after Fletch. “Stop it right now, Fletch, stop eating that bunny …” he said.

It appears my geriatric dog was treating this baby bunny like a tennis ball, throwing it up in the air and doing all sorts of bad things to it.

I know my dog and I don’t believe Fletch had any intentions of hurting the bunny, but I had to get him away before he caused any harm by “playing” with it.

That was not lost on Beckett, who helped me wrestle our beloved lab away from the bunny and into the truck. My son was actually more in the way than anything, but he is all about helping now and wanted to be involved.

The only problem was he just kept talking throughout it, giving a bizarre play-by-play account. All the while Caron was beginning to cry because he was being left out of something.

As much as he likes to help, Beckett, 4, also likes to think he’s in charge of what’s going on at all times. So there I was pulling Fletch, who looks more like pickle than a dog with his 90-pound physique, away from the poor bunny, and Beckett was barking orders.

“Fletch, you keep on walking you bad dog, and Daddy you spank him on his butt. Daddy, Daddy .. spank him, spank him … Daddy, Daddy?,” he was stammering as I lifted Fletch into the truck.

Once he was locked up inside the truck, Beckett recapped the incident for Carson while I investigated, and I’m happy to report the bunny was nowhere to be found, so I made up an optimistic story for the kids that I hope was the reality. It had to do with the bunny running off with his family to play in a field and eat the neighbor’s carrots or something like that.

On the way to the kids’ daycare, Beckett continued scolding Fletch, saying some of the funniest things I have ever heard. I was unable to understand all of what he said because he was speaking so fast, but it had something to do with putting Fletch on a sliding board and cutting his toenails, a “doggie timeout”, “no treats until the weekend”, “telling mommy and mom mom” and “I’m going to make you run around the block backwards.”

As if that was not enough excitement for a Monday morning, once I dropped the kids off at daycare, I sat in the truck for a few seconds to catch my breath, spotting dear old Fletch panting in the back and staring at me in the rearview mirror.

Little did I know this Monday morning still had a curve ball. My truck wouldn’t start. Long story short, the battery needed to be replaced.

It was at that moment when I realized I had left my cell at home.

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