Fatherhood Adventures

We threw out our first book, and the pieces that were left of it, this week.
It wasn’t something we wanted to do, but Beckett left us no other choice.

It was one of those flap books. You know, the kind with the pull down, yank or tear, flaps that reveal a photo of some sort. We have dozens of these books around the house.

Over the last year or so, it’s been interesting to watch the transition. When Beckett was younger and essentially immobile, we would show him the book, flips the pages and turn the flap down for him. At that time, a simple smile or any kind of reaction was enough to excite us. If he reached out and touched the flap with his pointer finger, it was cause for celebration. As time went on, his interest and curiosity has grown, of course.

It’s to the point now he looks at his books on his own. It’s great to observe him at play by himself, particularly when he squats like only toddlers can and flips through the books on his own, mumbling all sorts of stuff. It’s hilarious when he comes upon a cow and starts to moo, a dog and barks or a cat and meows.

He likes books, which excites us. The only thing we are now encountering is he’s extremely rough with his books, like everything else. What distinguishes his books from his blocks or balls is they can only take so much of a beating, and, according to my wife, this particular Sesame Street book we threw out this week had to go because he was tearing off the flaps and pages and trying to eat them. Hmmm, no objection there, that seems reasonable to me.

Sure enough, I picked up the book, found pieces of the pages torn off, flaps mauled and shards of the book bind ripped off. Oh, my sweet little boy.

Some moments are just priceless around the house, and the fact that you just never know when they will happen is the best part.

One such memory occurred last Sunday night after Beckett’s bath. I was letting him have free roam around his room while I figured out which pajamas he would wear that night. I was torn between the “Tough Guy” T-shirt and matching shorts or the “Silly Monkey” set. After his bath, he reminds me of a dog my family had when I was young. Fluffy, aptly named for she was no bigger than a minute and covered with white, soft hair, loved her baths and afterwards she would sprint around the house in a fit of total excitement.

Beckett does something similar. He runs around his room haphazardly, picking up toys and tossing them aside at a manic pace. It was during one of these sprints when I noticed he left something behind. I soon realized what it was, as he lifted his left leg to let go of what normally would be, and should be, constrained by a diaper.

I rushed over to get it off the floor before he stepped on it and made matters worse or even picked it up and (gasp) put it in his mouth, like everything else these days. I could not help but have a flashback to years ago, as I recall doing the exact same thing at one point in time when my Labs were puppies.

The good news was it was an easy cleanup operation and the little man seemed oblivious all the while. He just kept on sprinting around the room, lifting his leg along the way while I followed sheepishly behind. After all, I figured there was no reason to mess with his groove at that point. It was going to happen no matter what I did, and the best thing I could do was get it off the carpet as soon as possible.

Every kid is different, and I think that’s incredibly cool.

In my son’s case, he’s not much of a talker as far as words go. He will make plenty of noises and utter syllables, but he does not make much sense yet. He will point to a dog or door and say something along the lines of “do do”. He also surely knows how to say “no” and “ball” and will point at a banana across the room and say “nana.” He has also been known to bark at the dogs (which I find incredibly cute).

Of course, he’s only 14 months old and I would probably freak out if he started talking in sentences right now. The more I think about it the more I realize perhaps it’s a blessing he is not yapping it up yet. His squeals, moans, screams, giggles and the like fill the house with enough sounds as it is these days.

My wife read somewhere a while ago that kids focus on one thing at a time. I can see where that’s true. In Beckett’s case, walking and running took precedent over talking. The physical stuff seems to be the priority, and everyday there’s something new on that front.

All of a sudden one day, he started blowing kisses with his hand. The next day he was waving. The next he was stacking rings and then giving himself a round of applause. The next week he was stacking blocks. The next he was pushing the off button on the Comcast cable box (in reality, he picked that up on his own). The next he was opening and closing doors. The next he was climbing steps.

Nowadays, he’s running, all over the place. Whether it’s an illusion, I do not know, but it always seems like he is heading downhill out of control. Fortunately, after what seemed like an incredible amount of face plants into furniture, he has learned to run with his hands up to brace for impact. After all, his thinking seems to be what would be fun about avoiding contact with an inanimate object.

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.