Fatherhood Adventures

Personal space is a
foreign concept to me at this point.
There’s basically no such thing and both my boys seem to enjoy reminding me of
this fact at every turn.
There are so many daily examples to illustrate the point, but a couple recent
moments stand out today.

— After a recent spell
of sleepless nights, we had no choice but to break one of our rules and bring
Carson, our 9-month-old, in bed with us one night (around 3ish) for two reasons
– to not wake up Beckett, the 2-year-old, and to hopefully get a couple hours
of uninterrupted sleep. It was a desperate measure to maintain some sanity in
the house.

On this particular
night, Carson was incredibly feisty and irritable and was fighting sleep in a
big way. It could have been a host of things, including some new teeth being
cut and a mysterious skin irritation, but the point was he was not sleeping as
he normally does, and it was taking its toll on his parents.

Eventually, our little
guy did fall asleep, but not without a few memorable, albeit not enjoyable,
scenes. He spent the first 15 minutes or so kicking me in the stomach while
trying to grab his mommy’s nose, lips, ears and hair. He was using my stomach as
his platform to push off so he could grab whatever he was fancying at that
particular time.

Fortunately, he did
eventually fall asleep. Pam was awoken to him inadvertently hitting her in the
face while he was trying to grab a cheek, and I was startled awake by two
little feet kicking me once again in the gut.

That’s an interesting
way to start the day. I got to thinking over my third latte of the day how I
once detested alarm clocks and would do whatever it took to wake up before that
terribly annoying sound greeted me for the day. However, I never realized how
good I had it back then. I will take the blaring of an alarm either day than
those surprisingly powerful kicks to the mid section.

It’s worth a mention I
have not used my alarm clock in months. Who needs one when the kids are up
around 6 each morning?
— Beckett seems to be in quite the needy phase these days.

Included in this stage
is something new whenever the blender is used, and you have to be prepared for
it. It’s another example of how that invisible wall of personal space doesn’t
apply to my kids.

As soon as the blender
starts, and its admittedly quite loud, he sprints over, hugs the back of my
legs and buries his head squarely in my rear end. If the blender continues
longer than he likes, he maneuvers himself around front, continuing to hug my
legs and bury his head in the most sensitive of regions.

While hilarious and
sweet at the same time, it’s something you have to be prepared for as well. It
goes without saying it was quite surprising the first few times.

Along the same lines, no
matter what Beckett is doing at the time, if I sit down in a chair, he will
come over and get in my business.

If I am reading the
paper, he wants to be in my lap, looking at it and tearing it, saying, “Daddy’s
paper.” If I am eating a sandwich, he must have at least a couple bites. If I
am tying my shoes, he wants to take them off. If I am fiddling with my phone,
he wants to grab it, all the while saying, “hello?” If I am on the computer,
forget about that because he once watched a “Doodlebops” video on our laptop
and that’s all he associates with that now. If I am taking a sip of something,
particularly a drink with a straw, he demands a taste or runs away screaming in
a nasty tone. If I need to use the restroom, he either wants to come along or
pitches a fit.

Indeed, there’s no such
thing as personal space anymore.

I hear a voice
throughout the day, and it’s driving me a bit crazy.

Of course, it belongs to
my firstborn Beckett, who basically never stops talking. If he’s awake,
something is coming out of his mouth. It might be incoherent talk, but he’s
articulating something, and you might hear it over and over again like a record
is skipping.

I don’t know what was
going on the other night, but he must have said, “here you go” about 50 times
before he eventually moved on to something else. The funny thing was he was not
trying to pass Pam or me anything. He was simply sitting at a desk shuffling
papers back and forth and stacking toys. If I’m not mistaken, the next phrase
he harped on was, “more please” (not quite as many times, maybe just 20 times
in a row). He just says whatever is on his mind at any given time, wears it out
and then moves on.

It’s amazing to me how
much he talks. He basically is speaking from the moment he opens his eyes in
the morning to when he crashes at night. Rarely, if ever, are there moments of
silence. It’s to the point now we panic when it’s quiet out of fear something’s

Most mornings he’s the
first to rise, but not for long because there’s no sleeping possible once he’s
awake. His energy level is astounding, and it’s evident minutes after he’s up
in the morning.

What’s been remarkable
to observe over the past few months has been his improving ability to speak
sentences. There’s less and less babble and gibberish and more clear words,
phrases and even some sentences now and again.

This is a good thing, of
course, but there’s also a downside, and that would be the mild roar that seems
to pervade the house, as well as my mind.

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.