Adventures Of Fatherhood

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All the televisions and computers below five feet have one thing in common — little fingerprints all over their screens.

That’s what modern technology has done to my kids. It has spoiled them into assuming every single technological device, from an ATM machine and phone to the car radio and computer, function with touch screens, like an iPad or iPhone.

Like most their age, my sons have an innate tech prowess that amazes me constantly. They pick up any sort of technology and master it within minutes. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cell phone, tablet of some sort, portable gaming device, a television remote or an xBox One console.

They can become familiar with all of them in minutes without reading the instructions or any guidance at all. It continually impresses me and should serve them well in the future.

One thing I have noticed that cracks me up is this touch-screen assumption. They assume everything works this way. That’s why my boys will walk up to the laptop I’m on and start touching the screen incessantly.

Additionally, while Beckett knows the television is not touch screen, Carson for the longest time has thought the television worked that way as well. That’s one of the reasons why all the televisions in the house are now elevated beyond his reach.

On rainy weekend days, I will often bring the boys to our office to run because it has long hallways and it’s a great place to play hide and seek. The only problem is Carson goes around touching all the computer screens trying to turn them on.

He stands at them touching the monitors and gets frustrated when they don’t work. Beckett shares his pain and has implored me to get all touch-screen monitors before their next visit.

 

Uninterrupted nights of sleep will never be taken for granted at my house.

Thanks to my FitBit sleep tracker, I can tell I have not had one full night’s sleep without a little one’s tap on the shoulder, a toilet flushing or a dog howling at the fire alarm this entire month. When I set out to try and see when my last full night of sleep was this week, I gave up in short order because I got too tired flipping through all the FitBit data trying to find one.

The main culprit these days is Carson, who at least once a night has been waking up to use the bathroom. It’s a good thing because potty training has been a challenging obstacle for him. However, the problem is he can’t be trusted at his age and rarely uses the facilities and then returns to bed in quick fashion. Most times he stomps into our room and wants to get in our bed. He’s non-verbal but clearly and easily gets his point across even in the dark.

Unlike his older brother Beckett, who went through this phase as well, Carson typically does not just crash with us. No, he prefers to unintentionally deliver some devastating kicks to the stomach or so tightly wraps his arms around one of us — usually his mom — that it’s difficult to breathe.

Some nights Pam or I will go sleep in his bed with him until he falls back asleep. That’s exactly what the parenting books tell you not to do, but there are some nights when at least one of us needs true rest. The only problem for me when I do that is I can’t stretch out entirely and am uncomfortable most of the time.

One night last weekend Carson was especially difficult to get back to sleep. It was about 1 in the morning and I got out of bed to take him back to his room after using the bathroom. We walked back in and got in bed together. When he thought I was asleep, he hopped over me and took off out the door. When I caught him in the hallway, he kept pointing at me to go back to his room, signaling he was headed for my bed to sleep with his mom. I had to make a judgment call at that point and forced him back in his room with me instead of handing him over to Pam, who later said she would have been fine with that. That I will remember.

Earlier this week, Carson slept the entire night without leaving his bed. It was a major positive, but as luck would have it, of course, I had to get up at 4 a.m. to settle the dog, who was howling at the fire alarm at the bottom of the steps. I assume he does this because it hurts his ears, but the fact he had two paws on the steps leading upstairs makes me think it’s a protective thing. Maybe it’s his way of letting us know something is up, even if it’s not in our house or even anywhere near us.

The good thing about the dog is he goes right back to sleep unlike the youngest member of the house when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

A major relief in all this is Beckett has finally discovered the wonderful world of sleep. He embraces it now and is even starting to sleep past 7 in the morning on a routine basis. For the first six years of his life, he was up and out of bed by 6 a.m. daily, and he was not exactly a quiet early riser.

Throughout these interruptions at night, I keep reminding myself of what I was told when I first became a parent by several people. I was reminded that I will never sleep at peace again after becoming a parent. My mistake at that time was assuming that was a figurative statement rather than literal.