Adventures In Fatherhood

Over the course of the Memorial Day holiday weekend, I found myself often amazed at what was coming out of my mouth.

When I say these are “aha” moments, Pam likes to tell me I’m citing an Oprah line. I actually never realized that was something Oprah cites a lot, but I guess a little bit of her has crept into my psyche after years of her shows being on the television in the background at home.

Nonetheless, many times throughout last weekend, I thought to myself how I never would have imagined saying many of these things to my kids before becoming a parent.

Here’s a look at some of the phrases from the week that left me scratching my head after I said them:

“Put the brick down and step off the concrete”: During a particularly challenging morning playing in the backyard, I had to say this repeatedly to Beckett, who knows he’s not allowed around the pool without an adult and is surely not permitted to throw a brick in the pool. I never could have predicted that I would be saying something like that to my son.

“I can’t believe you just threw a brick in the pool”: What I said aloud to him after he ignored my order, running away laughing in an evil manner.

That’s not something we do in the bathtub when others are around”: What I said to a clearly tickled Carson after a certain bodily function overwhelmed the air in the bathroom.

Walk, walk, walk”: What is repeatedly said around our pool as Beckett cruises at will in and out of it. Since I found out that never works, I resorted to, “run and you’re done,” which believe it or not is fairly successful because he seems to like when I rhyme.

“See what happens when you run around the pool — you bleed”: In a desperate attempt to illustrate the point, it was what I said to Beckett after he stubbed his toe and cried. I was desperate to try and drive the point home and lately whenever he runs he says, “I’m going to hurt my toe.”

“You have to close your mouth”: This was probably the most used phrase of the weekend, as I spent hours in the pool with Beckett, who has become quite the water bug. However, he has not mastered the fact that when he goes under he has to close his mouth. Consequently, he often comes up coughing, all the while saying, “more, more, more.”

“Aim for the leaf, buddy”: Something Pam and I said many times over the weekend as we continue working on potty training with our oldest. Perhaps a little embarrassing and surely straight out of the too much information department, we find it most convenient to teach him outside and it’s proving to have the most success.

“Please, please just stop talking for one minute”: Before becoming a parent, saying something like this seemed implausible, but there are many times when Beckett simply will not stop speaking. When it comes to putting him to bed and trying to get him to settle down during our nightly prayers, it can be particularly frustrating to have him veer off our normal routine with a little diatribe about watching one of his dogs do his business in the backyard, wanting to go down a slide on his stomach or wondering what kind of day our neighbor’s cat had.

”No, no crawling”: I said to Carson, who sometimes resorts to getting on all fours rather than walking when he wants to get from one point to another quickly.

“Stop standing up”: It seems harsh to utter, but not when it’s your 19-month-old boy repeatedly doing all he can to get upright in his high-chair.

No, no, no do not eat that sand”: What I said to Carson while he stared intently at a handful of sand and seemed to be contemplating whether to stick it in his mouth.

“Do not step on your brother’s head”: Again, I would have thought this would never have to be said, but it’s something Pam and I both find ourselves saying to Beckett, who has a disturbing penchant for wanting to inflict pain on Carson.

“Stop pulling on his shorts”: In response to one of Beckett’s new favorite moves, yanking his brother’s pants down while he’s walking.

“Do that again and you lose the iPad all weekend”: This one actually came from Pam after Beckett repeatedly stuck his tongue out at her one particular morning. I was upstairs and I overheard her saying it and I had to laugh. It worked for a few minutes, but he did lose it about 10 minutes later when he stole a toy from his little brother, causing him to fall over.

Why would you guys do that? You are scaring the birds.”: Uttered as a result of Beckett and Carson both banging on a window, chasing off some birds enjoying a recently stocked feeder.

You really don’t need me”: I said in response to Beckett at bedtime one night saying, “but Daddy I need you to fall asleep with me.” It sounds so much worse than it really was.

“The soap does not go in the toilet”: What I muttered to Beckett after he put a bar of soap in the toilet and flushed it.

The adventures continue and summer makes everything even more exciting, as we spend more times outside and new challenges arise. It’s going to be fun indeed.

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.