Adventures Of Fatherhood

There are some conversations that just deserve to be bottled and read years later as a reminder of a distant snapshot in time.
Since I would worry about placing that bottle in a safe place somewhere and never finding it again, the next best thing is preserving it in this weekly rambling.
While in the ocean last Saturday on Assateague on what was a fairly rough day for the summer, Beckett made a new buddy. Since I had my hand firmly clenched to his the whole time because the current was running and he is reckless, I was able to hear all of it.
Beckett, 5, and an 11-year-old boy had been having fun ducking and jumping waves for a while and Beckett eventually initiated a conversation whenever his mouth was not inundated with salt water. He inquired about the boy’s name and the response was Victor.
After a couple waves and introducing himself as well as me (followed immediately by my age, for some reason), Beckett spit out some salt water and turned to Victor and said, “No I think I’m going to call you Fifi. How about that?”
Victor simply laughed and said to me, “little kids these days are so funny.”
We then proceeded to play the “over, under” waves game with Beckett and Victor shouting “here’s Fifi” every time they emerged from the breaking wave.
When we ran into him later in the parking lot, he immediately called out “Fifi” like they were long lost fraternity buddies.

Unlike his big brother, Carson does not fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow at night. Instead, he likes to party in his room a little bit.
Watching how all this unfolds on the monitor can be quite entertaining, particularly now that his room has been redesigned and he is in a big boy bed.
As shared before, Carson is a stuffed animal kind of dude, and he seems to have developed certain allegiances along the way. Winnie the Pooh is by far the top choice, followed distantly by Elmo and Mickey the Mouse and a random selection of bears and dogs that have not been given names yet that I know of.
Thanks to the wonders of the “baby” monitor, we are able to watch his antics, which usually include kissing all the stuffed animals in his room and then holding a little reading session for his favorites. In the middle, front and center, is always Winnie.
It’s fun to watch as he theatrically reads to them and it’s particularly enjoyable because he does not speak yet. Therefore, lots of grunts and moans and finger pointing and other body movements can be seen.
At one point this week, Carson fell asleep in his chair while apparently reading to the stuffed animals. Later, what was funny was the stuffed animals were in his bed tucked under the blankets and nearby Carson was passed out in the chair in an uncomfortable position.
When I went in to maneuver him into bed, I had to move aside about a dozen stuffed animals of varying sizes. He was indeed holding court in his room.
The next night he lined up all the stuffed animals against the wall and was seen standing and reading the book, “Eek! There’s a Mouse In The House,” with the personality and passion of a preacher with a lot on his mind and a point to be made.
Usually these antics, which can become quite addicting, last for about an hour before he falls asleep. It’s fine by us and we like that he entertains himself.

After excellent behavior and impressive levels of patience at the eye doctor’s this week, I wanted to reward Beckett.
These visits can be incredibly trying for Beckett as well as the parent who goes along. It’s always a long appointment full of a lot of waiting, and a 5-year-old with little patience and a will to basically be doing anything but what’s presently at hand can be quite a handful. Truthfully, I even find myself teetering on a nervous breakdown of sorts, as we move from one waiting room to the next to the next, struggling with the uncertainty of what’s going on.
Fortunately, Beckett handled the visit extremely well and I was tremendously impressed with my son. He didn’t want to be there and abhors waiting, but he shined on this day and accepted that this was one of those times when things were out of his control.
I told him I wanted to buy him something special for lunch as a treat. When I asked him what he wanted, he spouted out some goofy requests (like going on the AquaLoop at Jolly Roger and riding on the OC Rocket), but eventually his response warmed my heart.
“I want a scrapple egg and cheese sandwich,” he said in pure Eastern Shore fashion.
I just smiled proudly and looked at him and he gave me a coy smile back recognizing full well how much I liked that response.
Those moments — the 30-second exchanges of connection — are so cherished.

About The Author: Steven Green

Alternative Text

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.