Adventures Of Fatherhood

Adventures Of Fatherhood
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In response to the kids making a beach day miserable last weekend, they each were sent to their rooms for an hour — without electronics — to think it over.

With an afternoon free of sports and other commitments and knowing soon the weather will turn, we headed to the beach. For whatever reason, on this particular day, the misbehavior and non-listening were absurd. Despite repeated threats they would be going straight to their rooms when we got home if they didn’t start making better choices, the bad decisions continued.

It was as if they were trying us on every level possible and eventually we packed up and left earlier than we had planned because they were so rotten and making us miserable.

Pam and I were not happy about it and the kids knew it. I don’t think one word was spoken by either of us and even Beckett was quieter than usual because he understood he and his little brother had aggravated us to a new level.

Carson took the quiet ride home to grab a quick nap. That further frustrated me actually considering it was 5 p.m. and I knew it would mess up his nighttime schedule.

As soon as we got home, we had the boys hit the showers and head directly to their room for an hour. Neither seemed to be expecting it, despite the fact we both told them what would happen if they continued to be so bad on the beach.

“I didn’t know you were serious about that,” said Beckett as he marched upstairs.

Carson followed behind hunching his shoulders like he was an innocent party in the whole thing, but I had the sand up my nose and in my ears to prove that was not the case from his sand-throwing exploits.

For some reason, they were just a wreck and ruined a beautiful day on the beach. Why that was the case I have no idea.

What I do know is those 60 minutes spent in their room was the quickest hour of the weekend.

I’m not one for vehicle bumper stickers but one that came home from school with Carson the other day will have to find a spot.

Compared to one year ago when he was struggling in school with behavior, Carson, 5, is off to a great start in kindergarten. I like to think he has matured over the last year but I also give credit to his teacher and aides at Ocean City Elementary who seem to have built a solid rapport with him in a few short weeks.

The highlight of his first month in all-day school was being deemed a “Star Citizen” for demonstrating kindness and a caring way. That happened to occur the same week I received an award for professional achievement, but I was definitely more excited for Carson’s honor because it was a reminder how far he has come in improving his behavior in school.

Although there are still temporary losses of sanity, something seems to have changed with him over the last couple months. A definite maturation seems to have taken place.

I try not to overthink this change, but Pam and I have embraced it and he is well aware of how proud we are, although he’s reluctant to accept the praise. Whenever we show him the “My child was honored as a Star Citizen at Ocean City Elementary” sticker, he turns away embarrassed because he’s not one for being in the spotlight and gets uncomfortable easily. That just makes us fuss over him more.

It’s exciting for us that he is showing other people his kind heart through his actions because he can’t by his words since he’s non-verbal.

It’s comforting to know others see what’s inside him, like the other weekend when he randomly started walking up to strangers on the beach and hugging them or last week after Beckett’s soccer game when he put his arm around his brother’s coach during the post-game huddle.

Now we just knock on wood, live day to day and hope the school year continues in the right direction and decide which vehicle gets the sticker.

With Beckett this school year, independence has been the goal.

Along we talk about school every day and look at the work brought home, we are trying desperately to let our second grader know he’s accountable.

For example, one night this week Pam reminded him he had a math test the next day, and he showed no interest in studying. Rather than fight him on it, we are letting him make his own decisions. If he doesn’t want to study, then he will have to deal with the consequence of a bad grade. It will be on him.

Fortunately in this case, he did just fine on the test without further studying — at least while at home.

There was an indication this approach may be paying off the other night when he asked me to quiz him in advance of his reading test the next day. It was a good thing, too, because he was not ready for it.

It was a typical parenting week, full of ups and downs, but mostly ups.