Adventures In Fatherhood

There’s nothing like the discovery of a dairy allergy to get a kid rolling.

This seems to be the case with our 14-month-old Carson, who has been battling a nasty case of what was believed to be reflux since he was born.

It turns out it wasn’t so much reflux but more a case of an allergic reaction influencing his digestion.

It’s been terribly challenging and frustrating for us to watch our little guy consistently spit up whenever he was laid on his back or was crawling around or essentially doing anything.

Basically, our best bet was keeping him upright and sedentary, but even then he would often have trouble keeping down his meals. Let him loose on the floor or put him in a bouncey seat and matters turned toward the messy quickly.

Four different formulas, three various medications and hundreds of loads of dirty clothes later, a long visit with an allergist and dozens of pricks later, we have now discovered the problem. He has a dairy allergy.

Although he was on a friendly formula that had little milk products in it already, it was enough to cause him to spit up practically all the time. Now that we have switched to another doctor-endorsed, soy-based formula, he has been rocking and the spit ups have been minimal.

Fortunately, he’s now able to stomach standing up and becoming more active. Consequently, we are seeing him break through numerous hurdles and we expect to soon have two kids walking around the house (gasp!).

It goes without saying we grasp the enormity of the baby of the house having a dairy allergy and what that means for his diet, at least in the immediate future.

It breaks my heart to know when we order a family pizza that he will not be able to have a slice or that he cannot join us for a milk shake or a bowl of queso with chips.

However, I am choosing not to obsess on these facts at the moment. I’m just happy to see him able to be active and play like a normal toddler. I’m also hoping it’s an allergy he outgrows and that it’s not a permanent issue.

In the meantime, our focus is on getting our little guy walking, as visions of him chasing his big brother around the house dance through my head and worry my heart.

After a few weeks of observing these two at play, I’m sure we will be regretting the days when we worked so hard to get him walking on his own.

That will be when the noise level around the house, as well as the injuries, likely climbs to an all-new high for us.

If he’s awake, he’s talking.

That’s the deal with my oldest son, Beckett, who turns 3 in May.

He’s a chatty kid who always has something on his mind and wants to make sure others are aware of what he’s thinking. He’s a classic extrovert in that way.

When he’s in a good mood and cooperating and behaving, it’s a wonderful thing because a lot of sweet pleasantries come out.

However, if he’s frustrated at something or just being a bit of a menace, it can be exhausting.

In stark contrast is Beckett’s younger brother, Carson, who always tends to the quiet side and is more introverted.

As seems to be human nature, parents worry about everything when it comes to their kids, and Carson’s tendency to say little has been a source of concern over recent months, but I think I had a revelation the other night.

While home alone with the kids after work, I found myself in a situation – I needed to bang out something on the computer for the paper.

The computer is typically off limits when Beckett is awake because he either wants to play on it himself or he gets irritated when the attention is not on him. We usually just stay off of it for those reasons.

Fortunately, I was able to get through it in short order, but Beckett was babbling incessantly about what he wanted to do and how he desired to do it.

In varying levels of loudness, as I was trying to send an email, it went something like this, “I want to jump on the trampoline, I want to go in the pool, I want to take a bath, I want chicken nuggets, I want to go for a car ride, I want to make Carson laugh, I want Daddy to pick up.”

All the while, it’s 7 p.m. and all he’s really going to do is get ready for bed. He knows the routine, of course. I think he just was trying to test my patience, or maybe I’m giving him too much credit here (I doubt it).

Nonetheless, while he was rambling without seemingly taking a breath, my nerves became quite rattled until I looked over at Carson, who was standing up in his play area giggling and playing a game of peek-a-boo.

I like to think he was simply observing the situation and cracking up at how I was reacting (picture hands covering and rubbing the face in exaxperation) and the antics of his older brother (imagine a little boy running around the house talking about how he wants to jump on a trampoline when it’s dark and 20 degrees outside).

I got to thinking it’s pretty easy to figure out exactly why Carson is not talking much – there’s no time for him to speak and really no need for him to at this point. He’s content just sitting back and being entertained.

Indeed, the adventures continue.

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.