Adventures Of Fatherhood

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Dealing with sick kids is not my forte, but unfortunately, I have been getting a lot of practice at it of late.

It has been a rough stretch at our humble abode over the last several months, as I can’t recall a period of time when at least one member of the family was not dealing with some sort of illness.

When it comes to sick kids, there is no question Pam is much better at taking care of the boys than I am.

My problem is when illnesses go beyond one or two days I start to lose my patience, then I get overly concerned and then I get bothered. That’s why I was practically begging the pediatrician to prescribe something to our kids after they both struggled through a wicked virus over the last week.

It was not a major deal until this week when Beckett went down for the count. Carson, 3, has not been feeling great, but he has not been knocked off his feet like his older brother for a matter of days.

Beckett, 4, on other hand, has been worked over by this virus, resulting in him missing first day of school all year this week.

I had been rooting for him to follow in my footsteps. I was not much of an award winner when it came to academics in school, but I did score several perfect attendance awards, for what that’s worth. Apparently, my fear of falling behind in the classroom or missing a sports practice overtook any illness I may have had along the way.

Beckett appears to have a little bit of that in him as well because he wanted to go to school badly despite the fact he spent a great deal of the night before vomiting. He even at one point said to me, “I’m fine, I can go to school. I won’t tell anyone I’m sick. It will be my secret.” He then proceeded to vomit his breakfast.

It was difficult to explain to him that anyone would be able to look at him and know he was one sick little boy, but I did admire his desire to go to school and told him how his toughness made me incredibly proud before pointing him in the direction of his mother for some much needed coddling and chin wiping.

When I left for work that morning, Carson, too, started to put his jacket on to leave the house as we normally do for school each day. Carson is an unabashed mommy’s boy, but in this case he seemed disappointed to not be able to leave the house with me as he does each morning. Unfortunately, the virus also derailed him for one day so it was Pam and the boys at home that day with me checking in now and again.

At one point, Beckett called me on the phone and asked that I get some “icey pops” from the store for him and Carson. That’s the kind of sick kid coddling I can take care of I thought to myself. As I was standing in the frozen food aisle, contemplating the many choices and what he would like, I got a text from Pam that read, “please check for food dyes”. Well, I don’t know how familiar you are with that sort of thing, but finding kids popsicles without dye is quite challenging. Eventually, I found one.

All in all, having sick kids stinks for everyone, but I know I am glad there is a mommy in the house to deal with it.

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When I cook, the kids seem to be on heightened alert.
Carson, in particular, appears to be keeping a close eye on things.

While I enjoy cooking, for the most part, I am prone to use too much heat when I am manning the stove, oven or grill. That played out recently when I was cooking a big country breakfast of scrapple and eggs and the smoke detector kept going off.

The kids have grown accustomed to this and often laugh when I take a newspaper or magazine and wave it in front of the detector to stop the sound. Through the smoke in the house, I was able to determine Beckett was giving me the sort of eye roll I would not expect to see from my son until he is quite older. Carson was standing by giggling, pulling his shirt up and rubbing his robust belly.

On another occasion, I had some pork chops in the oven and the detector went off again. Before I could get to it, I saw Carson out of the corner of my eye, pointing to the detector and waving his hand furiously. When that didn’t work, he grabbed the remote control and did the same thing. When that didn’t work, he cried for me and pointed up to it.

This sort of thing happened to Pam the other day when she was cooking a couple grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids for lunch. However, she knows the proper way to cook and it wasn’t the smoke detector that was ringing. It was the toaster oven chiming the timer had reached zero.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Carson waiving a magazine at the smoke detector, despite the fact he was a good seven feet from it.

She hadn’t seen it before and even gave me a buzz to let me know about it. Little did she know that plays out quite often when I am in the kitchen.

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