Adventures Of Fatherhood

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An optional clothing policy would be a huge hit around my house.

If Beckett had his way, he would be “commando” at all times. He rarely likes to wear any clothes and questions if he can sleep in the nude why he can’t spend the day that way. For the record, he doesn’t go to bed in the nude typically, but he has demonstrated a penchant for shedding clothes during the night even though he says he doesn’t remember doing it.

It’s difficult explaining the do’s and don’ts of society to a 5-year-old unfamiliar with what’s acceptable and what’s not. That’s why the discussion over why he can’t leave the house naked often ends with someone answering the question of “but, why?” with a simple “just because” out of exhaustion.

Carson, 3, is not as much of a nudist as his older brother, but he does have specific issues with shirts and has been throwing temper tantrums lately when it comes to getting dressed. It’s to the point now that he is almost always shirt-less at home and he even ventured into the grocery store the other night without a shirt on. He turned some heads with his curvy physique.

There he was in all his chubbiness walking up and down the aisles rubbing his bowling ball-like belly and pointing to items on the shelves that he seemingly wanted to put in that round mound.

It was such a distraction I forgot to get nearly everything that was needed at home, but it was worth it.

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Pam took a stab at teaching a 5-year-old how to open crabs the other night, and it was a loud experience.

Beckett loves crab meat and he enjoys crabbing, but he has never really given picking crabs much of a chance and we have not pushed it either.

In fact, rarely do we even eat crabs with the kids because it’s just not enjoyable at their present ages. We usually end up doing all the picking while they do all the eating, and that’s not a lot of fun for anyone. That’s why getting crabs out is one of our favorite date night dining options.

Thanks to Pam, Beckett now has an interest in picking crabs and the mallet is why. Now he’s all about it and wants to smash all parts of the crab no matter if there’s meat inside or not. If there’s no crab around, the table, or his little brother, will do just fine as well, as far as he is concerned.

At one point, the banging was becoming such an issue that we promised we would save all our claws for him if he left us alone for a little bit so we could eat in peace. He listened well and we had about 30 crab laws lined up for him by the time he returned. When we called him over to start cracking, he could barely contain his excitement.

I don’t think I will ever forget the image of him standing over the table with both hands around the mallet, which he held high over his head like a sledgehammer ready to ring a bell at the carnival for an oversized stuffed animal.

Once we showed him the proper technique, he still wanted to go about it the way a carney would at the traveling fair, but we were able to convince him otherwise with the help of some incentives.

Overall, he did a good job of banging on them and only crushed two or three into smithereens. After all the banging was complete, we asked him if he wanted any of the meat and he gave us one of his “oh yeah, I do.”

He then said, “wow, that’s so sweet and juicy, like chewing gum.”
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Bedtime at our house is one of the best times of the day.

That sounds cruel, but it’s not meant that way. Sure, when it’s time for the kids to go down for the evening, neither Pam nor me are worried about going through withdraw from our boys. Usually, by the time bedtime rolls around, the boys are both in need of some sleep and their parents are seeking rest, but that’s not the point here.

We are currently in a great phase where the kids do not fight us at all when it’s time for bed and the actual process of getting them down for the night is quite enjoyable, albeit different experiences.

Carson digs books, while Beckett prefers stories. They both accept prayer time, with Beckett quick to say his favorite version; while Carson will never left you leave his room without a folded-hand session.

While neither fight going to bed, it’s a lengthy process for sure. It’s about 30 minutes on average, but it’s treasured time.

Beckett’s stories need to be long and detailed and must include at least four or five superhero references to capture and sustain his attention. To him, the perfect story is a superhero being defeated, the bad guy thinking he has won and then the superhero shockingly staging a comeback. That’s how my stories usually go at least.

For Carson, bedtime is all about the books. It used to be three books were good enough. Now it’s five at a minimum and oftentimes more.

Along with reading, a key part of the process with Carson is giving all the stuffed animals in his room a good night kiss, but it must be an Eskimo kiss. Therefore, there’s lots of love to spread around to Winnie the Pooh, Tigger the Tiger, Elmo, Donald Duck and the like.

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