Adventures In Fatherhood
Ever since my 3-year-old has decided to start his mornings around 5, the days have become quite long and exhausting.
Depending on his mood, specifically how he is treating his little brother at any given time, these days can be wonderful or torturous. Most of the time, however, they are simply a little bit of both and usually include lots of highs and lows.
When the days start this early, the best thing for us is to get the kids out of the house as much as possible because trouble usually brews between them if we stay inside. By trouble, I mean any or all of the following situations could play out.
Beckett could find the time to teach Carson how to get to the fireplace around our strategically placed ottoman, chairs and other types of home accessories I don’t know what to call.
Carson could be playing with one of Beckett’s so-called toys, leading our oldest to knock it out of his hand and then sit on him. Interestingly enough, when I get to him in these situations he always says the same thing -- “look Daddy, Carson is giving me a piggyback ride, he likes it, see.” Meanwhile, Carson is underneath of him crying, with his arms and legs flailing.
Carson could be maneuvering himself underneath one of our chairs, pushing it across the room, eventually toppling it over and missing Beckett’s head by a matter of inches.
Indeed, being inside with the kids for too long can be dangerous for us all, as it seems they lose their listening ears quickly and seem intent on driving us crazy.
That’s why we get outdoors as much as possible, no matter the season. Since it’s summer, it’s even more the case and, of course, much easier.
Last Sunday morning, around 6:30, we realized both kids had already had breakfast, seemed to be getting bored and starting to wreak havoc in the house, so we decided to hit the beach.
As we had plans later in the day, we just went for a simple ride to Assateague without all the required gear that would accompany a full day spent at the beach.
We just took some towels, a kite and a soccer ball, figuring that would be enough to keep the boys satisfied for an hour or so.
I was actually looking forward to showing the boys how to fly a kite, as both seem to get a kick out of that sort of thing.
It turns out Beckett was more impressed with the long pier leading out to the beach on Assateague and Carson more focused on watching the sand fall through his hand.
That left me flying a kite by myself, and Pam repeatedly chasing after Beckett down the pier and Carson entertaining himself with one of life’s simple delights.
When I could convince Beckett to come fly the kite with me, I never was able to keep his attention long enough to feel confident he would hold on to the kite if I let him do it by himself.
I did manage to get one or two, “oohs”, from Beckett when I pointed it out high in the sky, but that was about it. Carson looked up a couple times, but he was thoroughly engrossed with the sand and shells.
Beckett simply preferred the game of chase with his mom on the pier.
After a while, a ridiculous amount of refusals to listen from Beckett led us off the beach. It was now 8:30 in the morning, causing me to remember something a fellow parent, whose kids were now in college, once said to me.
“When they are that age, the days feel like weeks and the weeks like years. Then, once they start school, the years seem like weeks and the weeks like days,” she said.
Along this adventure called parenting, there are some moments that I hope I will remember forever. Here’s a few that make me smile:
I came upon Beckett one day standing in the foyer, holding a badminton racket (no idea where he got that). He was strumming it like a guitar, while singing his favorite lyric from “Oh Susannah”. With one knee bent and the other extended, he was singing, “I go to Alabama with a banjo on my knee.” He repeated this about five times before he realized I was watching. Each time he screamed knee for some reason.
Walking into the kitchen one day, I found Carson in a precarious position. Somehow he had managed to get everything but his bottom in the Tupperware drawer. There he was with his head, two arms and two legs in the drawer with all the containers dispersed to the floor. All I could see was his butt peeking out the drawer. He was laughing.
Although it was not funny to Pam at the time, I looked over to my wife’s side of the bed one morning around 5 to find Beckett standing there in his pajamas. He was rubbing his belly with one hand and holding a quarter in his mom’s face, saying, “that’s money, mommy, that’s money.”
While pushing my boys in a jogging stroller last week, I had to cut my run short because a disturbing image kept repeating itself. The two of them were having a good old-fashioned slapping match. At first, I actually thought to myself it was kind of cute. That was until both their faces started turning red and they each started crying in pain from the other’s blows.
In my book, there’s nothing better than watching my kids have fun. A fun fascination of Beckett’s lately has been standing naked, or “commando” in his lingo, straddling a sprinkler in the backyard. Understandably so, that results in a huge smile and a case of the giggles.