Adventures Of Fatherhood

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It takes one to know one I guess.

That’s what I have been thinking lately when Carson and I engage in our daily battle of wills over the most mundane things.

It has come to light recently that our 4-year-old has a touch of obsessiveness. It’s not appropriate to label him with the acronym we are all familiar with at this young age, but there’s no question he can be particular and is prone to being difficult and fastidious about certain things.

Some things get to him more than others, but generally everything has to be done the way he wants it. He’s not so much a neat freak or overly worried about certain things being in their particular place. He can be that way, but it’s more about doing what he wants when he wants and not being obstructed. If that goal is disrupted, he throws a fit and becomes unruly.

For instance, during most mornings, he and I square off over turning off the front porch light. Because it’s daylight, I want it off, but he insists on it being on. Sometimes it makes getting out of the house a ridiculous affair because he goes crazy over this little thing.

Additionally, the other morning, he was sweeping the floor with the broom. That’s something he enjoys doing. It’s not so much helpful as far as cleaning the house, but it’s fun to watch him scare the poor dog, who is worried about being blindsided (and with good reason). I always let him do his sweeping, but when it’s time to stop there’s always a fight that results in me wrestling it away from him and putting it away. He then fixates and must bring it back out and throws a fit until I let him leave it on the floor in the middle of the living room.

This sort of bad behavior makes me question whether he’s just being rotten and making bad decisions or a control fanatic and being compulsive. I think the answer is a combination.

The boy is an enigma. He will sleep with 30 books in his bed spread out all around him and even atop him, but will under no circumstances sleep under the covers.

On some things, I don’t see a problem with compromising. It’s not going to ruin my day if the porch light stays on all day, although I don’t understand why it’s such a huge deal to him. However, there are some things I can’t budget on, such as I will not allow him to pull every towel off the rack after he washes his hands. I will also not let him fool around in the bathroom after going potty, as we are already down one toilet and several toys from an earlier lapse in judgment.

After thinking about how to make life a little easier with him and these tendencies and trying out various approaches on him, I have decided to focus on better ways for me to handle it.

It turns out I want it my way as much as he wants his way, and therein lies the problem. I can’t believe it’s a unique issue to my household, however.

Someone clearly has to give and most of the time it’s me caving in. That’s humbling. I’m conflicted about it and unsure if I should be giving in to his demands in favor of things being on a harmonious level while keeping my heart rate down, his temper cool and his eyes dry.

I have decided the best policy for me is to handle it on a case-by-case basis and if it’s harmless, such as him wanting to set the beach chairs up his own way in his order, to not sweat it. When it comes to other cases, like when he insists on walking down the steps backwards or throwing the remote control across the room, I will insist and put my proverbial foot down.

I have no idea if this is the right stance to take, but I’m going to try it out for a while.

 

Shirtless weekends for my boys are the norm during the summer months, and it cracks me up.

It’s interesting to observe their different physiques at their respective ages, 6 and 4 years old, while they spend all this time without their shirts.

Beckett is slender and clearly in a growth spurt up. The good thing about seeing him shirtless is being able to track all the wear and tear his body takes. He gets dinged up all the time but rarely complains. Despite not a word about when he gets hurt, his body proves otherwise, as there are little bruises and scratches all over him.

Carson is not slim. He is round and chubby and seems proud of it. He has a gut and he makes no pretenses about it. He is not one to hold it in. That’s a good thing because it would be a struggle for him. He usually can be seen rubbing on it and enjoys comparing my belly with his while we lie flat on his bed at night.

While their builds are completely different, both kids seem to feel energized with their shirts off. As a matter of fact, on the way out the other morning, both boys took their shirts off in the car before we could even get out of the driveway.

When I asked why, Beckett said not to worry they would put them both on. Carson apparently had other ideas and put his and his big brother’s shirt down his pants as a way to hide them.