Adventures Of Fatherhood
Big changes on several fronts have been occurring with our oldest son, Beckett, and it’s been wonderful to observe.
Many parent friends have told me over the last couple years there comes a time when kids start to turn the corner and noticeable maturation takes place. They advised it would be like the flip of a switch and it happens on the little ones’ timetable.
One comment that has stuck in my head over since I heard it the first time was, “just wait till the phase when they want to start making you happy with the things they do and say.”
At the time, that seemed so foreign to me, but I think we are entering that period with Beckett, who turned 4 years old six weeks ago. He appears to be maturing socially and emotionally and growing physically at a significant clip.
First, the physical growing part has been quite astonishing as he has shot north in quick fashion, leaving behind shoes, shirts and pants that once fit perfectly and now look ridiculous on him.
As a matter of fact, when he went last week for his 4-year-old well check at the pediatrician, his height and weight were identical -- 41 inches and 41 pounds, both of which put him in the well above average category.
We always knew he was a little bit “thicker” than other kids his age but the height change has come about in just the last couple months, as a significant growing spurt has taken place.
Perhaps most impressive of all the changes of late has been the social transformation, which has been met with much praise and joy from his parents.
Beckett now handles most aspects of life with an even keel that has never been seen previously. He seems to want to behave and make us proud and does not appear to get as frustrated as he once did over banal matters.
Rather than throw a temper tantrum if something doesn’t go his way, he tries to talk it through or better yet attempts to address it on his own. If neither of those work, he just moves on.
Also, he seems to want to do things for his mom and dad now, instead of relying on us to do everything. Rarely does he need our help anymore because he likes to be independent and when he can’t do something on his own, he asks politely if he can “have a helping hand” (I love that expression and have no idea how he heard it).
At times, he seems fixated on making us happy. That’s exciting to see, as it for so long seemed to be a one-way street with his parents focusing on keeping him content and happy.
That’s why he often can be heard saying something along the lines of, “That was good that I put the juice back, right?” or “See, daddy, I didn’t hit Carson back after he smacked me, That’s good boy behavior, right?”
In church on Sunday, rather than getting antsy in anticipation of the Sunday School part of the morning, Beckett grabbed my hand and actually started swaying during the singing of some songs.That was a proud moment for this dad.
Another gratifying moment came the other morning when he stormed into the bathroom while I was showering. He used the facilities and then stripped down and joined me in the shower.
After a back-and-forth conversation over how he took a bath last night and didn’t particularly need to get cleaned again, he said, “but I want to be like daddy.”That was a special exchange for me.---------------------------------------------------------------
While I was swelling with pride in church last Sunday, Pam was sweating literally, as a frisky Carson forced her to leave the church service and escort our crazy 2 ½-year-old elsewhere.
Although our boys are just 16 months apart in age, the drastic swings in behavior and mindset are tremendous.
While Beckett is getting easier to be with and less demanding, Carson is going the opposite direction. Once the laidback son, he is now a terror and seems to relish being the center of attention in a sadistic sort of way.
Unfortunately, it’s usually because he is misbehaving and acting crazy. That was the case in church last Sunday.
One of his favorite things to do of late is to seemingly polish his skills as a professional furniture mover. He has become quite proficient at moving any and every piece of furniture in the house. He doesn’t care where he moves it, so long as he gets to relocate it somewhere. It can be a dining room chair, a love seat, an ottoman, a bookshelf, lawn furniture, tables, beach chairs, etc.
When he tries to move something quite heavy, I often stand back and watch to see if he is capable. For example, he tried to pick up a heavy chair the other morning to no avail, then got frustrated and threw a huge temper tantrum, complete with throwing, kicking and screaming.
When I laughed at him, he also chuckled and then landed a surprisingly wicked right hook slap to the side of my face. He laughed even harder after that, particularly when I reacted with a stern “no”.
That’s usually when I call to Pam with a “do you know what your son just did? You better talk to him.”I am an unabashed buck passer.