There is nothing cool about being a dare devil, especially when it comes to your child.
Time and time again, I have watched my son, Beckett, learn something new and then proceed to add dangerous twists and turns to the new skill that lead to bumps, scrapes, bruises and cuts.
Swimming is probably the most opportune example. As soon as he learned to swim, he had to be in the deep end of every pool, saying the shallow end was “for babies.” Then while in the deep end he thought it would be a challenge to only use one arm and keep the other behind his back.
The same dare devil spirit goes for the ocean, which he does respect, but likes the fact the waves can pummel him and knock him off his feet. That’s why he has to be kept on a tight leash because left to his own devices in the ocean he will be out over his head within a couple minutes. It’s his personality to constantly be pushing the limits. I have mixed feelings about that.
The latest fascination is with his Razor scooter, which he has become quite adept at in recent weeks. He has multiple tricks he can pull off on it that are quite impressive for a 5-year-old boy, but I’m biased, of course.
While I appreciate his penchant for wanting to try new things, this constant desire to risk bodily harm is driving me crazy.
Last weekend, after he tried to jump a curb and nearly crippled a dog when he crash landed during the Berlin Fiddlers Convention, I turned some heads with my reaction I’m sure.
Beckett often wants to go outside and play and I reminded him at that moment that he will never be allowed to play outside without his parents watching over him if we can’t trust him that he will not hurt himself. He has to prove to us he will not be reckless all the time.
He said, “but I didn’t get hurt.” To which, I responded, yeah, but you almost crippled that old dog with your scooter.
While I carried the scooter up and down Main Street and he pouted along my side, the conversation turned into a long talk about how crippled is spelled and why we didn’t give him a cool name with two consecutive “p” letters rather than back-to-back “t” letters.
The end result of this thrill-seeking mentality is constant damage to his body. That’s why at bath time it’s always entertaining to examine his body carefully to see what kind of day he had by the new bruises and scrapes he accumulated.
At this point, both knees are scratched up from wiping out on scooter tricks and he has a huge bruise on his rear end from falling off a picnic table that he was using as a catapult for a 180 spin maneuver he was trying to complete.
Accepting the fact I can be ridiculous at times is not difficult for me.
The latest example is my absolute fascination with a used 12-passenger van I recently purchased.
The van will be used as a delivery vehicle for this newspaper, but I must admit I have additional uses in mind, including carting around my kids and their friends to events as well as adult escapes to concerts.
Not too many people share my excitement. My wife placates me I think when I talk about how much I love it because she thinks it’s funny. For weeks when I was looking for a used van, I would comment while we were driving how sweet a certain van was that was parked nearby. I would even check out random vans in parking lots. She would have most likely preferred a different sort of used vehicle, like an old Jeep, but she knows it was something I sought for a while so she goes along with it.
My kids, however, do get excited about it. That’s why during a milk shake run last weekend we all piled in it. I put Beckett in the far back seat aisle with Carson just one row ahead of him.
Both of them got a quite a kick out of being so far away from me while I was driving, but not nearly as much as I did when they couldn’t hear me talking to them because they were so far away from me or when I faked I couldn’t hear their silly requests for a video system to be placed in the van due to the distance.
I just kept telling them that I was sorry that I couldn’t hear them and that it would have to wait until we got home. Maybe that’s part of the fascination.
The sounds of whistles and duck calls have filled the house of late, and that’s a great thing, believe it or not.
Usually, that’s not something any reasonable parent would embrace, but the fact Carson is responsible for the sound with his own breath is worthy of excitement for us.
As part of his speech training, the therapists have encouraged us to work with him on blowing out of his mouth rather than out of his nose as he has been prone to do.
It took a lot of practicing and many unsuccessful attempts, but one day over the summer he picked up a duck call, blew into it and it made the sound we had been hoping to hear. It was a cause for celebration actually.
Consequently, the sounds of a duck call and anything else that he can blow into and make a sound have been heard throughout the house. It’s so incessant now that it can rattle the nerves a bit, but we love it.
It’s progress and we embrace it, even if it brings on a headache or two.