Adventures Of Fatherhood

It’s a different kind of night’s sleep when it involves a bed with my wife and 4-year-old son.

Although we go to great lengths to keep our kids out of our bed to maintain some sanity, we have been having a frequent visitor in the middle of the night in our room for the last few months.

It’s usually sometime between 2 and 5 a.m. and it involves Beckett stomping over to my side of the bed. He doesn’t say anything. With his eyes closed, he simply stands there and lifts up both his arms in a pathetic sort of way. It’s simply too much for me to resist.

I know what I should do — I should get out bed, turn him around and walk or carry him back to his bed.

I have done that multiple times, but what ends up happening is I either end up sleeping with him in his bed, along the side of his bed or he wakes up and pitches a fit because he wants to sleep with us.

No matter the case, it doesn’t work out well for me.

Therefore, I usually choose the path of least resistance and pick him up and situate him in between Pam and me in our bed.

That’s when the fun begins.

It always begins innocently enough with him charmingly snuggling in between us, but morphs into something altogether different that has nothing to do with charm.

When it comes to sharing a bed with Beckett, it usually turns into a competition for space and that’s why Pam and I find ourselves waking up on the corners of the bed with Beckett sprawled in the middle in some fashion.

The best way to explain it is our arrangement on the bed resembles a big “I” with Beckett in the middle and Pam and me on opposite sides, and our son perpendicular to us.

It’s a major problem for whoever ends up near his feet because he gets a severe case of the “jimmy legs” and can be quite the bother if you don’t enjoy being kicked in the ribs, stomach, back and face (in extreme circumstances).

There are some times when Beckett doesn’t simply fall asleep and seems confused over the time of night.

For example, during a bad storm recently, he wandered into our room mumbling something about a monster bowling in his room. I assumed he was referring to the thunder, which has at times been explained to him by Pam as the angels bowling. I am not sure how the monster got in the picture but that’s just the little boy’s imagination.

Whatever the case, he was having some issues falling back asleep on this particular night, so we let him jump in our bed. He immediately began requesting the television be turned on so he could watch the Wiggles. He then heard some scrambling about from the dogs, who are petrified of storms, and suggested I go tell them, “it’s okay.”

Since the dogs were getting quite antsy, I did pay them a visit downstairs.
When I came back upstairs a few minutes later, Beckett was asleep on my side of the bed.
I had been played.
The pool is the featured attraction so far this summer with my kids.

While the ocean and beach intrigue them both, they are fascinated by the pool and it takes top billing.

That’s why we spend most of the weekends in our pool.Although both kids love it, there’s a major difference between how the kids approach the pool.
In Beckett’s case, he’s a mad man, fitting with his larger-than-life personality.

The major thing with him this summer is working toward swimming, rather than relying on the swimmies, or water wings, on his arms. My goal is to have him out of those swimmies by the 4th of July because I think he’s ready.

The issue here is he would rather work on diving or doing flips in the pool than swimming, but most of the time I can get him to concentrate on swimming by dangling a proverbial carrot.

He’s extremely excited about someday going down the sliding board at our pool, but we say he can’t do it until he learns how to swim on his own.

The adjustment this summer has been gradually weaning him off of the swimmies and making him paddle and kick and focus on keeping himself afloat.

Of course, he would rather work on his acrobatic moves, such as cannon balls, banana splits and belly flops into the pool, but that sliding board has a way of keeping him focused on the task at hand.

On the opposite extreme is Carson, 2 ½, who is still wearing the water wings and prefers at this point to just take it easy in the pool.

What I have found with Carson is it can be quite painful to force too much on him in the pool because he has no problem grabbing on to some skin or hair when he doesn’t want to be separated from me. It only takes a few instances of chest hair being pulled out to drive home that point.

That’s why he ends up spending quite a bit of time in his pool float, which he loves. He’s not much interested in the whole swimming thing at this point. He would rather be put securely in his pool float with a bunch of balls and toys and he’s content all day.

Give him a juice box and he’s thrilled. Add a splash from Beckett’s nearby cannonball and seems to be in heaven.

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.