Adventures Of Fatherhood

Our kids are just 17 months apart in age. At some point, I believe that will be a good thing. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

At this point, though, with Beckett, 5 ½, and Carson, who turned 4 in November, there is a lot of refereeing and overseeing that needs to take place.

It’s most commonly a case of the older brother physically picking on the little brother, but there are also times when Carson is the one dishing out the chin music on Beckett.

One thing about my boys that I can always count on is neither are complex at their ages. They are not discreet about anything they do. That’s probably why they don’t get away with anything. They haven’t learned to be more covert yet.

Consequently, there is no code to crack when something occurs between them. I have watched Carson, while giggling, walk by Beckett and randomly give him a push from behind and a slap atop the head. Conversely, I have also seen Beckett tackle his little brother on the beach in blindside fashion. If Carson doesn’t immediately fall to the ground, Beckett will shove him directly down and then sit on his face. Along with giving his little brother a close-up of his posterior, his other favorite move after pushing him down is to try and walk across his belly.

On the other hand, I have also witnessed Beckett on the floor flipping through a book and Carson wander over to him nonchalantly, kick him in the leg and then slam his bottom down on him with all his might.

While we as parents feel there is a need to address these sorts of instances immediately, oftentimes when it comes time to separate them after things get too rough, they are hugging and laughing about it with Beckett saying “let’s do it again” and Carson signing “more.” They might each be in pain or even have marks from being on the business end of the other’s blow, but it’s fun to them, nonetheless.

It’s to be expected I guess that they will be rough with each other and they are that most of the time, but it’s those random moments when I see Beckett greet Carson in the morning with a “Good morning buddy, there’s your juice” and a huge hug and kiss on the cheek that makes all the roughhousing a little easier to digest.

The same goes for when I see Carson randomly give his big brother a bear hug that takes Beckett’s breath away or when he reaches for Beckett’s hand while they are walking on the soft sand to help steady his course.

These ups and downs are just a part of being brothers I guess. Boys will be boys.

When I dropped the kids off at school on Monday, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the teachers.

Like most local students, our boys were coming off 16 straight days of no school, and we figured there would be an adjustment period. So much so I felt like we should bring a bottle of wine (or maybe a case) to school on the first day so the teachers could receive what I imagined would be a major need for some liquid therapy after the first day back.

Apparently, the boys’ teachers were accustomed to this sort of long break and understood their students might be a little off their game after such a respite, which I referred to as a departure from their “real world” during the long break.

What made this particular hiatus seem so long was that it included Christmas, a bevy of family gatherings and other special events, like New Year’s Eve, that oftentimes resulted in the kids staying up later than usual at night and lots of activities they normally do not get to do during other times of the year.

For instance, one particular night, Beckett stayed up till almost 11 at night because cousins were visiting from out of town. We were thinking the next day could be interesting all along, but I was also hoping he might sleep later in the morning. That happened to a degree, if you consider waking up at 7:30 a.m. sleeping in.

No question there was an adjustment to head back to the routine associated with school. Beckett discussed how “boring” it was going to be to get back into school mode, but also said he was excited to see his friends and teachers again after a long respite. He did seem sincerely interested in heading back to school, but he certainly embraced the long period when the rules were loosened some in all aspects of his life.

When I asked Carson about school, he just vigorously shook his head, “no”. However, when I asked him if he wanted a milk shake, he did the same thing. He was just in a “no” kind of mood apparently. As we were walking into school the first day, he actually seemed eager to get into the classroom, but it also might have been the wind chill of 10 sparking a pep in his step.

At pickup time on Monday, I was anxious to hear how the kids’ days went and both impressed us by seemingly rolling back into the routine without much kicking and screaming.

Additionally, both kids have accepted the dreaded return to their normal bedtimes and early mornings out the door without much kicking, although there were a few screams of agitation the first couple days, but those were coming from me.