Adventures In Fatherhood

There’s nothing like a little surgery on a kid to hit you where it hurts.

Our youngest, Carson, about to turn 11 months old next week, had tubes put in his ears last Thursday in what by all accounts was a routine outpatient surgery.

No matter how many people we spoke to regarding how minor and simple the procedure was going to be for him, it was still a difficult process for his parents to wade through for the first time.

Despite all the assurances, like “he will be fine, it’s no big deal,” there’s still a tremendous fear of the worst, and it starts the moment it’s learned the surgery is necessary and continues until days after it’s completed.

My wife had it the worst because work obligations prevented me from being there on the day of the surgery with them. Fortunately, her mother kept her company while the surgery took place.

Thanks to a few pictures sent by text message, I felt like I was there, and I was happy to be kept in the loop. Pam sent me a photo of him, decked out in the hospital gown, trying to eat the wires attached to him. It was a priceless shot, serving as confirmation that he had no idea what was about to happen and that’s probably best.

It’s that feeling of helplessness and vulnerability that is overwhelming for a parent from an emotional standpoint. That’s why word that all went fine brings such an unimaginable sense of relief.

Later that day, walking in the house and seeing his smiling face after what he went through that morning, never mind how minor it was, is a memory I cherish.

It constantly amazes me how adaptable little ones are at such a young age. It seems as we grow older we become less and less that way. We become obstinate and set in our ways, for whatever reason.

The littlest ones among us have an easygoing attitude and approach that I admire. Carson constantly amazes me how he simply rolls with the flow and takes what comes his way with such ease.

At some point, as happened with his older brother, I expect him to change and to become a little bit more particular and demanding. With that will surely come a little bit more irrational behavior and quite a bit more stress, but in the meantime I will just enjoy his even keel to its fullest as long as it lasts.

Having a tattletale in the house has been an unexpected development in this parenting adventure.
Yet this is now the case with 2-year-old Beckett, who seems keen on giving detailed play-by-play accounts of routine happenings. It can be quite hilarious at times, particularly when it involves something not exactly worthy of further discussion.

For example, Beckett and I recently discovered a new playground that had previously been uncharted territory for us. It was by far the biggest playground set he has ever played on. As to be expected, there were a couple of tumbles while he learned the ins and outs of the slides, steps and rock wall.

Upon returning home, after being asked how his walk was with his dad, Beckett quickly informed his mom in his usual third-person way.

“Beckett fall and got boo-boo,” he said, pointing to me with one arm and his bottom with the other.

That stemmed from a ride down a big slide that was a little faster than I thought. Subsequently, my little guy got a little air at the end of the slide.

It was one of those dad moments where I was astonished over the distance he traveled in mid-air when I surely should have been more consumed with confirming he was okay. Fortunately, all was fine as he got up, saying, “more, more.”

It was only after running all over the playground set and having a ball that I noticed a sign saying, “for ages 4-10.” Oops, perhaps that was a little lapse of judgment on my part. Beckett was sure to let his mom know about it when he got home. He later said, “playground was too big and Beckett cried.”

Not 24 hours later, Beckett was again playing the role of the rat.
It has become a little morning routine for us to run out and grab some breakfast and a jolt of caffeine. He enjoys getting out and going for a ride because that gives him a chance to demonstrate his vocabulary, again giving the blow-by-blow account of what he spots along the way.

Although sometimes it makes no sense, it goes something like this, “tree”, “red car”, “big truck”, “Barney”, “daddy driving mommy’s car”, “bike, vroom”, “Mom Mom”, “Diego”, “store”, “Elmo”, etc.

During a recent trip to Dunkin’ Donuts for a morning latte, a familiar routine played out. As we pull up to the store, he immediately starts screaming, “donut”. He particularly loves the glazed little donut holes. Of course, I grant his request (demand) and sometimes (should be more like rarely) I join him in the treat.

After returning home, it was quite obvious Beckett had a few donuts as his face was covered with glazed icing. When Pam asked him how his donuts were, he turned to me immediately and said, while rubbing his stomach, “Daddy had some, too, yeah”. A minute or two later, he also said, “Daddy burped.”

Apparently, I need to teach him a little bit about the brotherhood of men.

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.