Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Since it’s been a tad on the hot side of late, and surely you have noticed, we have been hunkering down at home and spending most of our weekends splashing around the pool with the kids.

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Much of that time lately has been devoted to working with Beckett on swimming.

While he can never get enough of the pool, his fascination with it and swimming has been heightened of late, thanks to the nightly television coverage of the Olympic swimming trials.

During an evening recently when he was particularly stubborn when it came to going down for the night, he snuck downstairs and watched a few races with us. He was immediately hooked and became a bit obsessive. The only problem was he did make it quite difficult for his parents to enjoy because of all the demands and concerns that he vocalized the entire time.

In between questions like “what’s he doing?”, “did he make a grande splash (he loves Spanish)?” and “is she going to win?”, he would often lose his cool and demonstrate a 4-year-old’s typical lack of patience.

Although he did not at all like the analyzing from the commentators in between the races, it was the commercials that really seemed to get under his skin. All he wanted was to watch the people swimming and do without all the other filler.

He became so fascinated by it that he actually tried to imitate Michael Phelps in the recent butterfly race in our pool on Sunday.

While Beckett has come a long way in a couple months and is becoming a good swimmer, it only took a few seconds for him to realize he was not ready for that skill.

As he spit out the water and blew it out his nose, he said, “yeah, I’m not there yet.”

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Not a lot of time has been spent working with Carson, 2, on swimming, and it has become quite apparent that fact was not lost on our youngest boy.

Pam and I both felt it was a little early to start teaching him. I personally didn’t think he was ready, but Carson has given us reason to not underestimate him.

With Beckett asleep in nearby reclining chair, Carson had me and the pool to himself and he wanted nothing to do with his float because he had something on his mind.

Apparently he has been an astute observer because as soon as I put him on his stomach in his vest he went to town kicking and paddling with reckless abandon. He was splashing all over the place and using both his arms and legs.

He even put his head down in the water, but I don’t think he will be doing that again soon, as his mouth was open and he clearly does not understand the whole holding your breath concept yet.

Nonetheless, he was quite impressive. I showered with him praise, but he didn’t seem to care too much, pointing at Beckett, who apparently he wanted to watch him.

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There is absolutely nothing cool about a sunburnt kid.

Fortunately, we have not had to deal with that yet, but we had a scare last weekend when Beckett started looking quite pink all of a sudden while swimming, causing us to panic a little. I particularly was feeling guilty because I applied the sunscreen on this particular day.

Concerned but knowing what a sudden pool ban would do to his day and ours, we threw a rash guard on him and a hat and much more sunscreen and all was fine. At that point, any skin that was showing was blanked with white lotion.

We later learned what appeared to be sunburn was largely just flushed cheeks due to the heat, but it was a scare enough for me to be overly cautious from here on out.

My goal is to never have to write in this space about the trials and tribulations of a sunburned child. My imagination over that is enough.

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It has been so hot lately that all sorts of insects have been showing up in our pool, causing two different reactions from my sons.

As a result of two recent stings, Beckett is severely freaked out over any sort of bug and wants no part of them. He is quick to point them out and makes it clear he wants them removed from his sight as soon as possible. He now calls everything a bee, whether it’s a fly, wasp, bird, butterfly or an ant.

Carson, on the other hand, seems to enjoy the company. Rather than scream as Beckett does, Carson tries to pick up any bug he sees near him. Last weekend a beetle of some sort landed on his hand and he had a good laugh over that, while Beckett jumped out of the pool and ordered it to be removed or he was going inside.

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Because of all it involves, such as drying off and taking the wet swim clothes off, there are four words you never want to hear from your child while swimming — “I have to poop.”

I dread it so much that I actually ignored it once the other day to see if maybe the need would pass if not acknowledged.

A few minutes later, he repeated it, so I called for his mother.
I never did get an answer.

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