Fatherhood Adventures

Ever since my first day as a father, I have had a burning desire to give my son whatever he wants, whenever he wants it. And ever since I became a “dada”, I have been fighting that instinct.

I presume this to be how all parents feel, particularly when a child is at the ripe age of 17 months, but I am starting to realize it’s important to not give in to that impulse to spoil.

My problem is it goes against all of my instincts to not give my son something he wants. I am not talking about when he is trying to close his head in the freezer or doing the ‘running man’ imitation in the bathtub every night. It’s not about what he wants to do. He can’t do everything he wants whenever he wants. That’s too dangerous, and parents must protect their little ones from themselves, particularly at my son’s age. He just does not know any better.

What I am talking about is what he wants or, in some cases, what he doesn’t know he wants. It’s the material stuff — the books, the strollers, the car seats, the crib, the clothes, etc. There’s this insatiable desire to provide and give him the best of everything. I need to get that under control and the same goes for my wife. It’s tough, though, when we get on average five kids catalogs a day marketing all the latest and greatest stuff.

The first thing I ever bought for my son by myself was a little chair, which features his name spelled out on the backrest and a cover set in a unique pattern. My wife had shown these cute things to me in those catalogs, and we both said Beckett needed one. Therefore, one day I picked out the cover design as well as the font for his name. It’s special to me because it was the first thing I ever bought for him on my own, but most of all because my son loves it.

Seeing him sitting in his chair drinking his morning milk or watching Diego or flipping through a book or even throwing a tantrum always makes me smile.

The problem here is when he’s excited about something I got him it makes me want to get him more stuff, which he might even like better. His mother faces the same obstacles. That’s why we already have a few boxes of toys and other odds and ends bound for the attic.

Bruises continue to pop up in random places.

The good news is it’s not those deep bruises that hurt to look at. Those are the ones sporting a vast array of colors, none of which seem possible all in one spot. We have only had a couple of that variety, most memorable being that nasty black eye from a few months ago that was well documented with dozens of photos. Those types of bruises are not from everyday slips, stumbles and tumbles.

The innocent kinds that pop up every other day or so are from superficial falls, tweaks and bumps. These bruises come about without any tears or essentially any reaction at all. They just happen and do not seem to faze him in any way.

It’s funny how some falls and bump show up while others do not. It’s amazing to me what leaves a mark and what does not.

The most common places I find these little gray bruises, usually the size of a pencil eraser, are along his forehead. It’s a little scary that it’s the head. That’s the one spot you want to protect as much as possible. Hence why my wife wanted to order him a helmet.

Of course, bruises do appear in other places, like his feet, arms and legs, but it’s the head that gets the most frequency.

At the end of the day, a good bath reveals what he was up to on that particular day. I found two the other night – one on his knee and the other on the forehead, again. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but here’s my educated guess.

He was running at the park or in the house and tripped on something or maybe nothing at all. His knees probably hit the ground first followed by his hands bracing for impact and then the noggin. I hope I am mistaken, but I’m fairly certain I’m not.

When should he get his first haircut?

It’s a question that’s briefly been discussed a few times around my house, and let’s just says this – it’s a decision I will leave to my wife.

There are some things I am particularly passionate about when it comes to my boy, while other things my wife takes the lead on. The hair situation clearly falls into the latter.

Beckett is currently sporting shoulder-length blonde hair with lots of curls. Of course, I think it’s the cutest thing I have ever seen, but I do feel like the time may be approaching to at least consider a little trim.

Pam cannot bring herself to even mull the possibility of a hair cut at this time. To her credit, she has given his bangs a trim to keep the hair out of his eyes.

I understand where she is coming from here, but every now and again I do wonder if the time is not right. In particular, a haircut is on my mind when it comes to brushing his hair. This is something he does not enjoy because he wants to hold the brush.

This is my fault. Months ago, he was sitting in my lap facing me and I was brushing his hair before the three of us went to dinner. He surprised me and grabbed the brush out of my hand quickly. As soon as he got it in his hand, he opened his mouth and started to use it as a toothbrush. I laughed hysterically, which, of course, caused him to have a huge belly laugh of his own. It was a hilarious and memorable moment.

Unfortunately, now, when it comes time to have his hair brushed, a ‘keep away’ game ensues with me trying to quickly brush his hair without him grabbing it. When his will eventually overpowers mine, I hand it over to him and he starts to brush his teeth, what else, and, of course, we laugh.

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.