Fatherhood Adventures

Things do not always turn out in reality as you anticipate in your head. However, in the case of the messy side of parenting, I have to say it’s just about how I thought it would be.

With two kids in diapers, and my toddler eating just about everything I do or at least the same kinds of foods, the poop patrol has been quite busy around my house these days. I apologize for being a little off color here, but this is no politically correct way to address this topic. The fact is there are times when it came be quite overwhelming.

It’s to the point these days I wonder if my sons are in cahoots. I know it’s not possible, but I have been thinking lately that Beckett, the 19 month old, and Carson, six weeks, are conspiring against their parents already, sending subliminal messages to each other when one has done the deed. Either that or it’s like a yawn and it’s become contagious in some way. On numerous occasions over the last month or so, as soon as one diaper has been changed, a familiar odor typically begins to waft through the house from the other one. It’s remarkable to me.

The frequency of dirty diapers in our house can be quite shocking, depending on how everything is moving for the boys. Last Sunday, when everything seemed to be operating as intended, I counted seven dirty diapers, and I don’t mean wet, that I changed between the two kids.

All of these were doozies, too, meaning they had to leave the building immediately. Let’s be clear: the diapers, not the kids.

That’s how I judge the severity of a diaper – whether it has to be removed from the house instantly or can be put in the diaper genie. If there’s any worry that the house will soon smell like a port-o-potty, which seems inevitable at times, then it gets removed. The diaper genie is pretty good at concealing odors, but it can’t pull off miracles.

When it comes to dirty diapers, nothing bothers me anymore. Not even the road diaper change rattles me like it once did, although I admit taking care of business on my home field is a lot easier than at a mall or restaurant.

In the early days when Beckett was an infant, I admit some of his messy diapers did have an impact on me. There was no fainting or vomiting or anything that extreme, but there were plenty of “good heavens” in there. A few shock and awe moments, as I had never changed a diaper until he was born, but I guess he trained me well for what was to come.

As a result of that on-the-job teaching, nothing fazes me today. I have been changing multiple diapers daily for the last 19 months. I have seen it all and understand full well that they can come in all shapes, sizes and smells, all the while learning tricks to get the deed done as quickly as possible. As anyone who has ever changed a diaper understands well, this is not one of those stop and smell the roses moments of parenthood. I am not too interesting in carpe diem when it comes to diapers.

This is simply the customer service side of parenting. Last week, I mentioned how my two little boys had me hearing voices that really were not there. Fortunately, a couple nights of decent sleep (four or five straight hours) have quelled the voices. Unfortunately, this week, I found myself smelling poop when it was not there, as I went back and forth between the boys smelling their bottoms when in reality there was nothing there.

I just keep telling myself this is all normal stuff all parents deal with, though I worry it’s probably not.

Months ago, Pam was all about getting the kid helmet. I thought she was crazy at the time, but I am beginning to think it might not be such a wacky idea and could even be quite reasonable.

I don’t know what’s going on with Beckett these days, but there was a stretch last weekend when all he did was bang his head on objects around the house. Consequently, a number of tiny bumps and bruises have appeared on his forehead, leading us to be thankful he has a lot of hair to cover them up.

This can be painful as well as concerning to watch. Nowhere was this more evident than at the park on Saturday. He was bouncing off the walls that day so he needed to burn off some energy for everyone’s sanity.

For whatever reason, he seemed to be in some sort of trance because he was banging his head into everything he could find, from slides, poles and fencing to the ground, the stroller and my kneecaps.

It was not too long ago that I thought this was hilarious. While I still get a kick out of this beefcake mentality, it’s more concerning now than ever because he has taken this head banging thing to new levels and with increased vigor.

It was difficult not to cringe as he walked around head butting things. Although I was shadowing him, putting my hand in between his head and the desired object, there were times when he was deceptive and accomplished his mission. I was shocked when he raced up to a telephone pole in the park, put both hands around like he was going to pull it in for a kiss and just starting banging his head on it with reckless abandon. When I tried to stop him, he just laughed and went on to the next object. It’s a fun challenge to him or maybe he’s just a little crazy.

At our last pediatrician appointment, we asked about this fondness. We were assured it’s normal and that he would stop when it hurts, all the while thoughts of long-term damage race through our heads.

The good news here is he doesn’t try to head butt his infant brother, at least not yet. He’s still at the point now where he simply kisses him on the head and runs away, possibly wondering when he’s going elsewhere.

The baby bores him at this point, and that’s just fine by us.

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.