Adventures Of Fatherhood

Picking up my kids from school is a funny experience.
One day this week I had the privilege of picking up both of them, and let’s just say their reactions give the self-confidence quite the boost. Based on their obvious excitement and eagerness to see me, it’s like they are being released from prison after a long sentence.
In Beckett’s case, the relief of the escape is evident immediately. As soon as he is ushered out the door by his teacher, he immediately sheds his book bag, drops his lunch box and pulls out his tucked-in shirt. He then usually asks to be carried across the parking lot like a sack of potatoes or in piggyback ride fashion or on my shoulders. If I wasn’t there to gather his belongings, he would forget all about them.
Clearly, after the long day of school, he is need of some serious silly time. It’s been less than a month since school started, but it’s quite evident the kid wants to goof off for a while after leaving school. He can be quite manic after school actually and must run and play to burn off all the stored energy.
It’s as if all his craziness has been bottled up in school all day and it just flows out of him as soon as school is over.
Although only in school for three hours a day, Carson is much of the same and usually greets me with a huge bear hug, but most of his excitement, at least initially, is directed at the nearby school buses. One of these days I will let him take a look inside, but for now I just pull and lead him away back toward our boring vehicle.
Once strapped in the vehicle, he has been known to scream at the top of his lungs, making me think he has some sort of antics he needs to get out of his system as well after school lets out. A scream is usually an achievement we praise because he’s a non-verbal kid currently, but when it lasts more than a few minutes it can wreak havoc on the nerves.
Both kids fortunately seem to enjoy going to school and never fight it, but there’s no question they particularly relish when it’s time to head home.

It’s amazing what does and does not interest my kids.
I have learned this summer that Beckett and Carson are not fascinated in the least bit by fire.
Earlier this summer, a boat caught on fire in the ocean just a few streets south of where we were on the beach. While I was fascinated by the scene and watching the fire boat pump water on the smoking vessel, I could barely get my kids to even look at what was taking place just a couple hundred yards off the coast.
Beckett indulged me and took a break from boogie boarding for a few seconds. He muttered something akin to an “oh wow” and then raced back toward the water in search of another long ride. I never did mention it to him again after I heard him tell a nearby swimmer the sirens were probably for the fire on a boat “somewhere down there,” motioning with his hand to the south in a clearly uninterested fashion.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, I couldn’t even get Carson to turn his attention from sand castle making for a split second. I even tried to pick him up and put him on my shoulders so he could see it. He pitched a fit over that so I just returned to him the task at hand.
A similar scene unfolded on Sunday when heavy black smoke was visible above the town’s skyline from the beach. As I worked to find out what was happening, both my kids once again showed no interest whatsoever. I think at one point Beckett placated me, saying “man that’s pretty cool,” and Carson was not moved enough to even point a finger at it. Instead, when I asked him if he wanted to go on my shoulders to get a better look, he nearly lost his balance with a series of vigorous head shakes “no.”
A few minutes later, a sand crab surfaced, attracting all the kids in the vicinity. That clearly was more popular than anything having to do with a fire in their little minds.

It seems diapers will continue to be a fact of life at my house for some time to come.
Potty training with Carson has been a major challenge, but there does appear to be some success being achieved on that front in recent weeks.
Just as the end to diapers appears to be coming into focus, a new development has emerged that slapped that reality straight out of my head.
Fletch, the geriatric dog of the house, has left us no choice but to put a diaper on him at night.
When Pam first suggested it, I was reluctant to subject him to that sort of humiliation. However, after about a month of daily cleanup duties in the house and the fact one of my sons slipped and fell in a pool of urine recently on the floor, I acquiesced.
The irony of what’s happening in the house cannot be overlooked. With Carson starting to more frequently use the facilities, the 14-year-old lab of the house now needs diapers to make it through the night.
Beckett commented on that the other night when we were all giving Carson a standing ovation for signaling he needed to go potty and then following up on it. As he and Pam were leaving the bathroom with Carson, Beckett grabbed me and pointed at Fletch, sporting his new diapers.
Pointing at the old dog, he said, “well maybe you can use some of Carson’s Pull-Ups on Fletch now.”