Fatherhood Adventures

I can’t get through a football game anymore without a nap.

I have always loved Saturday and Sunday afternoon football games, but they have taken on a bit of a new meaning of late. It’s become more of a time for me to nap with my little boy than to actually root on any particular team.

Last Sunday, my wife, son and I went to a few holiday gatherings in the early afternoon before returning home in time for the 4:15 p.m. game between the Steelers and Cowboys. Beckett was in Daddy Day Care, while Pam ran out and took care of some errands that are made difficult while lugging around a 20-pound baby.

The plan was for me to feed Beckett (his three-course meal consisted of lamb from a jar, of course, green beans and bananas) and put him down for his afternoon nap. All went according to plan, but instead of putting him down in his crib, I figured I would watch some of the game while he drifted off to his familiar series of moans that we have become accustomed to in recent weeks and then take him up to the nursery.

Well, I made it halfway through the first quarter before both of us were crashed in the chair. As a matter of fact, the house was full of napping males when my wife returned home. Beckett and I were out in the big chair in front of the television surrounded by a 90-pound black Lab on one side and an 80-pound yellow Lab on the other.

It’s funny how a football game I looked forward to all day lost its significance in favor of a nap with my son. Looking down at that sleeping boy was all it took to convince me a little afternoon siesta fit the mood of a cold, blustery Sunday. So, there we were sleeping through the supposedly exciting football game, while my wife took her time, strolling from aisle to aisle at a local store humming Christmas music heard over the speakers.

The game of the day for me was the Ravens/Redskins matchup, but that didn’t start till after 8 p.m. and I knew there was no chance I would stay up for all that. Those games start and end way too late for me. I don’t even stand a chance of staying awake for them. All I can hope is to make it to halftime. That’s why I get excited for those afternoon football games, but it now appears I cannot even stay awake for those.

Beckett’s first encounter with Santa Claus went just about as expected. There was nothing that stands out as far as the first meeting. No crying, no frightening looks, no accidents. In other words, nothing really for the baby book except some great photos. It was only memorable because it was his first experience on the lap of a chubby man dressed like a candy cane, sporting a white beard and matching hair. Otherwise, it was fairly uneventful.

The introduction took place at Worcester Prep’s annual Holiday Bazaar. It just happened that Santa and Mrs. Claus was our first stop. They were there with a big sleigh, all staged perfectly before a holiday backdrop for a photo op and framed keepsake.

My wife handed him over to the jolly one and we hoped for the best. There was no crying, but plenty of wide eyes and a few tugs on the beard and attempted grabs at Santa’s glasses. Most of the photos consisted of him looking up at Santa in bewilderment. Later, we even jumped in and got some Greens meet the Clauses photos.

We now have some good “first Christmas” snapshots to savor, and I really liked his little black hat and overalls, featuring a reindeer in holiday garb riding in a snazzy vehicle with oversized buttons as wheels. The outfit was a result of what happens when my wife goes into the Children’s Place at the Ocean City Factory Outlets. It’s a good thing she does the clothes shopping. Otherwise, he would have been sitting on Santa’s lap with carpenter jeans, sneakers and a long-sleeve T-shirt saying something like, “I am on Daddy’s team” or “Daddy’s little helper.”

Our 7-month-old may not be crawling yet, but it’s coming soon enough, and we are constantly reminded how extremely mobile he has become in a short amount of time. He can get around and essentially move wherever he needs to go.

The effort is there to crawl, but the ability not so much. He is passionate about trying, but it’s just not working. He uses his arms to push up off the floor with all his strength, manages to lift his little butt off the ground and even moves his knees toward the upright position, but he cannot master the move yet. It’s fun to watch him try and figure it out on his own. Through his many attempts, he is learning how to move around and get where he wants to be and that’s a little scary for his parents.

Whether its through a series of barrel rolls or using his arms to pull himself along or a combination of both, its amazing how quick he can get from point A, say the center of his mat full of toys, to point B, perhaps halfway under a chaise across the room. Leave him in one place to make a bottle and before you know it he’s under furniture doing what looks like advanced yoga moves. It’s a sign of things to come and a reminder nothing below three feet is off limits any longer.

In the meantime, we are keeping him as far away from the Christmas tree as possible. We figure as long as there is a closed door between him and the tree we are golden. He will not be able to open doors on his own for a while. At least we hope.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.