Adventures In Fatherhood

Thanks to a few interruptions of power, I found myself in a tough predicament Monday night.

Over the last couple years, I have come to understand there are many curve balls that come with parenting. Some of these lessons have been easier to deal with than others.

Sure, there are many things that can be planned out and predicted, but an ability to adjust on the run and go with the flow seems to me to be the key with kids. It’s a lesson I am taught again and again with my children.

However, nothing prepared for what happened the other night when a surprise power outage left me reeling for a few minutes, although it seemed like an hour.

Our nightly routine was in full swing with some quality male bonding taking place in the house while my wife was at work.

All Berlin residents are well aware of the power outages that took place earlier this week. In a span of 24 hours, I counted at least eight different power interruptions at my house.

Unfortunately, one of these occurred at the worst possible time for me – around 6:30 on Monday night when I was busy giving Beckett and Carson a bath.

There I was in absolute darkness with two soaking wet kids in the bathtub. Carson was toward the back of the tub trying with all his might to stand up, while Beckett was seated inches away with shampoo in his hair.

Regrettably so, I was absolutely ill-equipped for this situation. However, I tried my best to mask my anxiety for the boys. The good thing was they could not see my face. After all, it was pitch black throughout the house.

My first goal was to prevent injuries and then to stave off any meltdowns over the sudden darkness throughout the house.

Fortunately, all went well and none of the Green boys lost their cool (externally at least because I surely had a little panic on my end).

That’s not to say there were not some anxious moments along the way.

Since it was so dark, I simply sat Carson down on a bathroom mat while I tried to get the shampoo out of his older brother’s hair without causing any kind of temper tantrum (for them).

While doing so, Carson apparently managed to maneuver over to the toilet to the standing position. Since I couldn’t see him, I knew this only because I heard the toilet flush, which sent me into a panic for other reasons.

Eventually, I was able to wrestle Carson back to his bottom and resume finishing the task at hand with Beckett, who seemed at least momentary to get quite a kick out of the fact not a single light was on in the house.

That curiosity wore off quick though, as the three of us sat in darkness anxiously awaiting some sort of light so we could get out of the bathroom.

While Beckett hung out in the tub, I tried to entertain Carson on the floor and keep him away from the toilet with all my might.

The anxiety got to Beckett eventually, as he started rattling off a random set of repeated sentences, all of which had something to do with, “Daddy turn that light on now.”

It was difficult for him to grasp the whole concept of a power outage, which he still talks about today.

Eventually, the lights did come back on long enough for me to get them to a bedroom and at least begin the process of getting them dressed.

After a couple of outages in various stages of dress, I was able to eventually get them downstairs in all their clothes.

When I let out a big sigh, Beckett turned to me and said, “wow, Daddy’s frustrated.”

To which, I said, “Actually, Daddy’s relieved.”

To which, he said, “Daddy had to go potty.”

I love that kid’s wit, particularly because he doesn’t even know he’s being funny at the time.

It’s suitable to discuss the prevent defense during playoff football season, and it best describes affairs around my house at times.

When both my kids are in full play mode, it can be quite overwhelming for a parent if the kids hold the man-up advantage.

I often wonder how my wife handles it alone during the day. From my perspective, when it’s just me and my boys, I know it can get a little hairy at times.

Most of the time my head is on a swivel, turning in every direction, keeping track of their antics.

Although mobile, Carson is easy to monitor for the most part. For instance, he’s not going to run upstairs on me without my knowledge, like his older brother will do on occasion.

One particular situation unfolded last Sunday afternoon that illustrates the point.

Afternoon naptime for both kids was approaching. Beckett had just been to the bathroom and was now running around the house “commando,” as he likes to call it.

Beckett was showing off his new somersault skills in the buff (an interesting visual I know), while Carson was crawling around the room trying with all his might to get to a chord strategically placed out of his reach.

I found myself going back and forth between the two of them, situating Beckett in a way that he would not roll into a piece of furniture, while keeping Carson from pulling items off a nearby table. They were being a bit manic and so was I.

Indeed, every day is a new adventure.

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.