Fatherhood Adventures

Some more thoughts on the life and times of my son as he closes in on his first birthday this month.

— He wants everything we have.

There are some big changes going on around the house, as it seems whatever anyone has at any given moment my son must have. Whether it’s the TV remote, a cell phone, a screwdriver, a fork, an Ipod or a cheese steak, he seems to have a sense of entitlement. All basically wants to do is grab it, stick it in his mouth and decide on his own if he wants to keep it or toss it.

Lately, as he becomes increasingly attentive, it’s gotten a little absurd. He wants to explore everything, and he has been known to get a little annoyed if that’s not possible.

Beckett is pretty much a happy kid and rolls with the punches pretty well, but he can throw a mean fit when all does not go exactly as he hopes. For example, no matter how long you play on the floor with him, if you get up and do not take him with you, he will typically holler at the top of his lungs for a bit and give you the sour, pout face. You know what I mean here. It consists of a pair of sunken eyes tightly squeezed together, eye brows hunched, nose tweaked out, chin extended and the corners of his mouth headed down. There may even be a tear or two, depending on whether his heart is really in it or not, but most of the time this is more about being a bit overly dramatic than anything else. If it weren’t for the high-pitch crying, it would actually be hilarious. Even with the screaming, I find it a little funny.

With his new attention to detail come some new challenges. It’s important to be aware that he’s no longer oblivious to what’s happening around him, specifically what you are doing at any given time.

The best example of late seems to be whenever the faucet is turned on in the kitchen he loses his cool. The reason being he thinks he’s getting a bottle. He has come to identify running water with eating and that’s become a bit problematic. I wonder how long we are going to have to sneak around using our kitchen faucet. Hopefully, this is outgrown soon enough.

Furthermore, if he spots a bottle of any kind, whether it be Gatorade, water, beer, wine or pop, he thinks it’s for him. If he hears anything being shaken, he also assumes it’s his. The same goes with food. If the refrigerator or cupboard is open, we have his full attention, and it seems he can somehow spot the Gerber or Beech Nut label from across the room. If we are preparing something for him and not going about it at the pace he desires, he can get a little hot under the collar and out comes that sour face that only a parent can love and find adorable at the same time.

— It seems silly to say, but I think there’s a point when all parents come to the realization their baby is becoming a little person. There were brief moments of this before, but what was once fleeting is now frequent.

It goes without saying we understand Beckett has always been a person, but my wife and I are constantly amazed at the daily transformations we observe. There’s a personality developing, and he’s not a helpless baby anymore. He still relies on us for most obvious things, but he’s able to do some of the basics on his own now. Whatever he can’t do, he is sure to bring to our attention.

There’s no question his emotions and feelings are clear at any given time. Just because he’s not putting together words yet does not mean he can’t get his views across. It’s primitive communication but it’s effective nonetheless. Body language, facial expressions and babble can do the trick.

One thing we have known for sometime is he’s a tough kid. I have watched him take innumerable falls in his short life and I am constantly impressed with this little bruiser’s resilience. While his ability to shake off a fall during this phase of learning to walk has been impressive, what’s not is this strange habit he has in his crib.

He has this odd fondness for banging his head hard against the sides of the crib. On a number of occasions, we have woken up in the morning to the sound of him doing just that. We don’t what to make of it, but he seems to really enjoy it, for some bizarre reason. On a couple occasions, he has done it with such force it’s left a slight bruise on his forehead.

On one hand, I admire my boy’s toughness and part of me adores that bruiser mentality, but we need to get a grip on this now before he starts walking around the house banging his head against the wall, other objects and maybe even people. My problem is I would probably laugh at that for a moment before I intervened.

— About a week ago, we were headed out to dinner and were reminded again how parenthood has altered our priorities.

We were driving away from our house when Pam and I realized neither of us grabbed a pacifier before we left. There was no decision. We turned around, mainly in case of a meltdown that could be staved off fairly easily with a bink. I don’t recall if we even discussed whether to go back home. It was a no-brainer.

After retrieving the trusty pacifier, we were about the same distance from our house when my wife realized she forgot her wedding rings. In the pre-baby days, that would have called for a turn around because she, like most married women, feels strange when she is not wearing them. Well, let’s just say we did not even consider going back home for the rings, and it wasn’t because we had just turned around.

Life sure has changed, and we couldn’t help but laugh at how we would have it no other way.

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.