Adventures Of Fatherhood

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When Beckett came in our room minutes before 5 the other morning (it was a Saturday, of course), I asked him why he was up so early.

I had to ask him several times before getting an answer as he roamed around our room aimlessly and throughout the second floor.

Finally, he answered me by saying, “Because those birds keep chirping at me from outside, and it was annoying me. Will you come downstairs with me and make my breakfast?”

That was one early start to the day, and over the next couple hours I reflected on how I dearly miss lazy weekend mornings. That’s a foreign concept to me and presumably all parents of little ones.

I am assured by veteran parents that soon enough my kids will be sleeping in and it will be a challenge to get them moving in the morning.

That’s certainly not the case these days, especially with Beckett, 4, who is up by 6 every morning and can be incredibly insistent that at least one parent come downstairs with him soon after he first opens his eyes.

Oftentimes, he does head downstairs by himself. However, the banging and other odd sounds makes Pam and me uneasy enough that one of us always jumps up and joins him downstairs. It’s the fear of the unknown that motivates us. It’s typically a good thing because his favorite place to explore is the kitchen and particularly the refrigerator. In fact, I found him one morning last week eating a Popsicle with the freezer door ajar and it wasn’t even 6:30 a.m. yet.

Carson, Beckett’s younger brother, has occasionally demonstrated a proclivity for sleeping in, but he is usually disturbed by his big brother’s antics throughout the house.

By antics, I am referring to his flying leaps down the stairs first thing, his boisterous bagel and juice chants shortly thereafter and his animated announcement of the location of my morning paper outside.

There is no question Beckett is a morning person. He’s actually an all-day guy. He never really slows down till he passes out in bed, When it’s time for bed, though, he goes down and out easily, and he’s apparently doing a supreme job of recharging his batteries because when he wakes up he’s immediately back to his high-energy self.

So much so that when he comes in early to our room in the morning he is usually all dressed and ready to start the day. It might not be the clothes he ends up wearing that particular day but he definitely dresses himself to express his eagerness to start the day. As a matter of fact, he has been lately coming in with his swimsuit and rash guard on, asking if I will jump in the pool with him. As usual, he is moving much faster than the rest of the house.

Carson, on the other hand, is a bit slower to get rolling in the morning. Unlike his big brother, he’s not one to eat as soon as he wakes up and he’s a slow starter. It often takes him several minutes to come downstairs in the morning and he prefers a few moments to himself before engaging others.

However, Beckett usually helps him get in the swing of things bringing out Carson’s 3-year-old energy and spirit that usually leads to the scaling of the furniture, turning over end tables, knocking books off the shelves and kicking of his brother.

All this usually plays out before 7 in the morning (insert deep breathes here).
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Observing my kids while they are dancing provides a clear window into their personalities.

Carson is the smooth type who seems to enjoy the actual music and moves with the beat in a reserved manner, while Beckett is more of the exhibitionist and seems more interested in doing cartwheels and flailing around to actually listening to the music and trying to stay on beat.

As their dance moves would seem to indicate, Carson is more of the introvert while Beckett is clearly an extrovert.

It’s quite common at our house to find Carson standing in the living room wiggling his hips and moving his arms to the music. He occasionally brings out the air microphone (his clenched fist). Whenever he starts using this mock microphone, which is particularly interesting because he has yet to find his speech, he always bends down toward the ground as if to bust out a huge note. It’s quite hilarious to sit back and observe.

Carson’s wildest move is some high-knee stomping action while clapping simultaneously. This is a sign he is really feeling the music and usually he tries to coax one of his parents into joining him. That becomes challenging for me, particularly when it’s the Dora the Explorer theme song playing.

Conversely, Beckett prefers to dance alone and it’s a good thing because he needs lots of room for his theatrics, which usually include wild jumping, shaking, head bopping, hair tossing and arm and hand flailing. He has also been known to work in some furniture jumps and somersaults into his moves. When he really gets into it, we usually relocate some furniture and pull Carson away so he doesn’t get bumped into inadvertently.

No matter their differences, these impromptu dance sessions sure are excellent video occasions that I can’t wait to show to them and their friends when they are teenagers.

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