We added a new vehicle to our family last week, and it’s incredibly difficult for me to let my kids in it.
At this point, there are a lot of rules about riding in our new Ram truck. There are no feet on the back of the chairs in front of them; no crawling through the front to get out; no eating or drinking; and no removal of fingers from places they shouldn’t be and wiping whatever anywhere. Although they think this is a bit harsh, errant sneezes and coughs are discouraged as well.
It’s been less than a week but slowly the new truck smell is starting to fade and little pieces of grass, dirt and stones are starting to become commonplace and the toy accumulation is starting to mount as well. I’m powerless to stop it, it seems.
I have to accept the truck is going to get dirty. It’s inevitable, but I was hoping for at least one week it could stay immaculate. That didn’t happen.
After soccer practice this week, I finally accepted it’s not going to remain spotless forever.
Beckett was filthy and stinky from practice and Carson was equally so from the game of chase and hide and seek he and I played to kill time during it.
Although I let them in the truck because their mother would kill me if I made them ride in the bed (which I would never do, of course), I did insist Beckett remove his cleats so I could put them in the plastic bag I brought along for that very reason.
When he asked for his water bottle, I asked for him to wait until we got home. After some persistence from him, I pulled over and let him have a drink.
However, he had to get out of the truck first.
The billboard on Route 50 caught my attention a few weeks ago, but I finally got around to checking out what fatherhood.gov is all about.
It’s a website devoted to what the president has declared as a crisis in this country. The website invites fathers to take a pledge.
The pledge reads, “Fatherlessness is a growing crisis in America, one that underlies many of the challenges that families are facing. When dads aren’t around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.
“President Obama grew up without his dad, and has said that being a father is the most important job he has. That’s why the President is joining dads from across the nation in a fatherhood pledge — a pledge that we’ll do everything we can to be there for our children and for young people whose fathers are not around.
“In response to President Obama’s call for a national conversation on responsible fatherhood and healthy families:
“I pledge to renew my commitment to family and community.
“I recognize the positive impact that fathers, mothers, mentors, and other responsible adults can have on our children and youth, and pledge to do all I can to provide children in my home and throughout my community the encouragement and support they need to fulfill their potential.”
I pulled up this website on a rainy Saturday at home. It stayed on my laptop all day because of the constant interruptions from my sons, ages 7 and 6, with requests to play this or that, roughhouse or eat or drink this or that.
It’s a shame this website and campaign is even necessary. I never did get around to renewing my pledge, but I will some day when things ease up a bit.
An old robe has provided some fun entertainment around the house.
My mom brought over a robe that I apparently wore when I was around my kids’ ages, and Beckett has really taken to it. I think his affinity is for all the wrong reasons, however.
Immediately after getting out of the shower and without drying off, he put the robe on the other night because it’s “like a wrap-around towel you can tie together,” he said.
That wasn’t the real reason I later learned. Later, I turned around to see Beckett flashing Carson repeatedly. It came with taunts about how it was too bad Carson didn’t have a robe as well so he could be naked all the time in the house.
It seems Beckett thinks just wearing the robe around the house without tying it suffices for an outfit. He does usually close it up as he walks around, but that’s only so he can pull a quick flash to anyone nearby.
After seeing his stuff multiple times one night, I insisted he at least put on some pants because he wouldn’t stop. He then shed the robe because it was no longer fun.
All the while, Carson, who seemed to not be paying attention to what was going on for the most part, snuck upstairs. I only knew that’s where he was because his pajamas were balled up on the first step leading upstairs.
I should have known what was coming. He came down the steps in the robe in full flash mode. I counted 10 flashes before he even made it downstairs.
Apparently, we need some rules for the robe now as well.
(The writer is the editor and publisher of The Dispatch. He and his wife, Pamela, are proud parents of two boys. The weekly column examines their journey and all that goes into it.)