Adventures In Fatherhood

Venturing into my kids’ rooms late at night is a great way to end a day.

Usually by the time their bedtime rolls around (8 p.m. in our house, no negotiations), all the signs have presented themselves that they are ready to crash.

A little crankiness and wide mood swings usually are present with Beckett (who turns 3 in a month) and Carson (16 months) typically just rubs on his eyes or whines a little to let us know when he’s had enough.

Consequently, it’s a good thing for the kids when they are put down for the night — for us parents, too.

There’s nothing quite like the feeling after putting the kids to bed. It’s a unique combination of relief and exhaustion, and most of the time the kids cooperate and fall asleep in short order.

Ever since they were babies, we have enjoyed walking in their rooms and observing them asleep before we call it a night.

When they were newborns, we were fanatics, particularly with Beckett as it was so new to us and we were worried about everything.

Nowadays, we don’t do the stalker thing every night, but at least a few times a week I like to look in and watch them sleep for a minute or two.

For whatever reason, probably because he’s younger, I go into Carson’s room first, doing my best to tip-toe in as quietly as possible.

Carson is almost always found in the same position — on his stomach with his knees tucked under his belly and bottom sticking up and out. I refer to it as “seeping”, for some reason. Maybe because I feel like it lets air “seep” into the nether regions. Regardless, it makes sense in my mind.

While Carson maintains a tight package as he sleeps, his big brother across the hall is an entirely different story.

Beckett is often found in various sleep positions, mostly involving some form of sprawling. He doesn’t fall asleep at night, he just passes out. That’s the only conclusion possible after finding him one night with half his body on the bed and the other half on the floor.

Other times it’s just hilarious the position he’s asleep in. He looks like he just collapsed, as his arms are extended over his head, his legs spread out in what looks like an uncomfortable position and his mouth agape in a fashion that bewilders.

It’s amazing to me how peaceful kids look while they are asleep, and it’s a beautiful sight. Presumably, all of us appear this way in a slumber, but there’s something about spying on the little ones because they can epitomize rambunctious just minutes before and seem so angelic in their beds tucked in for the night.

I imagine it won’t always be this way, and eventually late-night trips into the room will probably be akin to violating privacy. Until then, I will continue to be the peeping dad.

The little guy of the house can no longer be confined.
Consequently, a new chapter in Carson’s life has begun, and the same goes for his parents.

Two kids on the move in the house is a lot different than one, and we are finding this out currently.

For months, Carson has been content in his little enclosure that keeps him out of harm’s way. By that, I mean it keeps him safe from Beckett, who likes to jump on his little brother’s back for piggy-back rides that merely result in Carson being pancaked on the floor.

These days Carson can bust out of his kid-safe enclosure fairly easily. He’s now strong enough that he can get out of it on his own whenever he wants. Usually, he’s content for a few minutes in there playing with his toys, but in short order he’s ready to roll, likely due to the fact he envies his big brother’s ability to run all over the house.

Fortunately, the house is still baby proof from when Beckett was Carson’s age, so there’s no need for a wholesale canvassing of the house for potential harmful items. Basically, there’s nothing below four feet holding any value that can be broken.

However, that doesn’t mean Carson does not often put himself in harm’s way.

Like most his age, Carson is a climber and he likes to try to scale everything. I actually marveled watching him try to climb up the refrigerator the other night until I remembered I’m there to keep him safe, rather than simply observe his will at work.

Carson also really gets a kick out of climbing stairs and is adept at going up them now. Coming down is another matter, one that hasn’t truly been tested yet.

He’s also quite accomplished at maneuvering around furniture. If there’s a chair, Carson wants to crawl through its legs and invariably bangs his head trying to sit up underneath it. If there’s a couch, he wants to walk along it. The same goes for any kind of chair or ottoman.

As I watch my youngest cruise around the house, I can’t help but think to myself how far he’s come and how the days of thinking my laidback son with the casual attitude could be numbered.

When he’s on the loose and exploring, he’s anything but cool and relaxed, a temperament I have come to adore. He’s going fast and hard and having a ball doing it.

It’s bittersweet. I want him to be more active and involved, but at the same time I know I’m going to miss the days when there was one rambunctious toddler and one kid I could rely on to be mellow.

It’s just another reminder they are constantly growing and changing before my eyes.

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.