Adventures Of Fatherhood

It’s not a welcome tradition in my family, but nonetheless it is one.

Friday morning (Fourth of July) marked the third time that one of our kids put us in the Emergency Room at AGH on either a holiday or a special occasion. This time it was Independence Day and a head injury for Carson.

The previous two special day ER visits were his older brother’s injuries. When he was just 19 months old, Beckett on Christmas morning needed stitches on his head after falling off a Diego potty that Santa had brought him and hitting his head. I remember that Christmas quite well, obviously. The good thing was it happened early in the morning, and we were back from the hospital by 9 in the morning. Carson was just seven weeks old at this time. It was merely just a blip and by the end of the day the trip to the ER seemed like it was a couple days prior.

A little under two years later, Beckett on his third birthday returned to the ER for stiches in his eyebrow after getting cut during a fall inside a shed that we decked out as a surf shack for his birthday. That left a scar.

About two years later, it was back to the ER for Beckett after he ignored our repeated warnings and jumped backwards into the pool hitting his chin on the side on the way down. That wound resulted in some sort of glue being applied to it and another scar. However, that incident was not a special occasion.

It appears Carson was feeling left out of all the ER fun because on Independence Day he and I found ourselves driving to the ER after a strange household accident. He was running to use the bathroom when he tripped over a child gate we still had set up for some reason. Somehow when he tripped over it he brought the entire thing down on top of him. Apparently, and this is an odd thing considering it’s a child’s gate, there was a sharp piece on the gate that caused a sizable laceration to his head. It was deep enough to worry us so off we went to the ER.

After Carson rearranged the entire ER waiting room’s furniture, cleared a couple shelves in another waiting area and stripped the hospital bed of all its linens, he was patched up with the help of three staples and we were back on our way. He was his normal self soon after, but his shrieks of pain and claw marks on my neck during the staple process will stay with me forever.

All these hospital visits got me thinking this week about all the various ailments and medical situations we have had as a family over the last six years. It’s remarkable to me.

Beckett has recorded four total ER visits in his six years; Carson has had two surgeries, numerous tests and an ER visit in his four years; I have had two separate surgeries for a double hernia and appendectomy since becoming a parent; and Pam had major back surgery eight months after Beckett was born.

Yes it sure is an adventure.

It’s funny what scares kids and what doesn’t.

Beckett will jump off the top of a playground, try to body surf a wave twice his height, go on the scariest ride at the amusement park and try the largest slide at the water park. He’s a daredevil, consistent with his gregarious personality.

However, fireworks are another matter altogether.

In fact, his fear of loud sounds has kept us from taking in any of the larger fireworks displays in the area on the 4th of July since he was born. This year we decided we were going to take him to one of the area’s displays. We didn’t bring Carson along, mainly because he’s a mess past his bedtime, and we thought we might have our hands full with our oldest child anyway.

When we told Beckett about our plans to take him to the fireworks in Willards, he had some reservations, informing us that he “would give it some thought and get back to you over the next couple days.” Even the idea of a playground, bounce houses and his cousins being there were not enough to convince him initially.

Over the next couple days, we broached the subject every now and again and told him how much fun it would be and that we would bring earphones along if the noise was too much for him. He still was not convinced. He remained that way all the way until and during the fireworks.

In all, he handled them well. He complained some about the sound and delivered a verbal play-by-play account that went something like this: “ok that wasn’t too loud,” “that was a little bit loud,” “Why was that so loud?” and “that’s not too bad, just keep them like that, and don’t make them any louder … oh you did it again.” He was apparently just talking himself through it and was overly concerned about the sound rather than taking in the impressive sights.

The next day Beckett was quick to tell Carson what he did the night before. We usually don’t like to tell Carson if we take Beckett to something without him for obvious reasons. Nonetheless, Beckett, who knows better than to rub it in, told his little brother that he would have never been able to handle fireworks because they were too loud.

Carson immediately ran to the door, starting jumping up and down and signed he wanted to go see them now. It looks like he will be coming along next year.