Fatherhood Adventures – July 29, 2016

Fatherhood Adventures – July 29, 2016
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Nothing tires kids out more than swimming in my opinion.

That’s why we try to get in as much swimming as possible during these warm weather months.

I love the look on my boys’ faces after long days spent on the beach or pool. They are exhausted and their bloodshot eyes tell the story.

I get a kick out of seeing other kids this way as well, particularly out to eat. Everyone has the same dazed and confused look around the table. Depending on how old they are, many times there are children asleep at the table or close to it.

For us, the easiest times with our boys are when they are physically exhausted. The fine line seems to be understanding when they are overly tired. That’s when the irrational stuff starts and that’s not good for anyone.

I ran into a father, who I didn’t know, the other day in the grocery store checkout line who apparently knows what I’m talking about. His 7-year-old daughter was so exhausted after a day at Assateague that started at 7 in the morning that he put her in his grocery cart.

As we were checking out, we both laughed at his daughter who was fast asleep. He said a few minutes earlier she took out a display with Rice Krispy treats in a fit of rage over not being allowed to have one. A few minutes after being relegated to the cart, she was down and out, wet hair and all.

That says summer to me.

It’s probably not healthy for me to keep track of this sort of thing, but the number of sunglasses Carson has cost me to date is up to seven.

One thing I will not tally is how much money that equates to because that would surely be unhealthy.

A few of the sunglasses I have lost are in the ocean. I blame myself for those because I should know better than to wear them in the ocean in the first place. Add an unpredictable kid to the mix who makes bad decisions and the odds are against me walking out of the ocean with my shades.

I remember these ocean situations well. The first time it happened Carson was only a couple years old and was on my shoulders. He randomly grabbed the sunglasses off my face and tossed them (impressively far for a toddler I recall thinking). They were gone immediately, but Beckett enjoyed diving under feeling around for them for me.

About a year later, the exact same thing happened and I vowed to learn from it, recalling the Randall Terry adage, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” I indeed felt like a fool.

On the third time, when I realized I still had my sunglasses on my head in the ocean with the boys, I took them off and stuck them in my bathing suit. While riding a wave in with Carson on my back, he evidently grabbed them and tossed them again. I didn’t even realize it until we got back on the beach and I went to put them on. As I was patting myself down, Carson laughed and pointed to the ocean with one hand while displaying three fingers on the other (yeah he was keeping track and was right that was the third pair of sunglasses he cost me).

From that point on, I vowed to just buy reasonable sunglasses until he matured and could be counted on to stop obsessing.

That’s why I didn’t feel as frustrated as I probably should have been when he threw my sunglasses off a cliff in Tortola earlier this year. While on a Disney cruise, we were amid a harrowing cab ride on the island when the driver pulled over to give us a nice elevated vantage point of the landscape. As I was pointing something out to him, while hoping the cab driver was not going to get us all killed on the way to the boat, he chucked my sunglasses yet again. Since the cruise had just begun, I was forced to spend a ridiculous amount of money on some crappy shades on the ship.

That’s the most challenging thing with our special needs son. Although I know to expect the unexpected, there are times when I still get caught flat footed by his bizarre behavior. It’s just impossible to predict when erratic behavior will occur. For instance, I didn’t see it coming a week or so ago when he took my sunglasses that were by the pool and intentionally scrapped them along the concrete before throwing them into the yard. He did such a good job of rubbing them on the concrete they were rendered worthless. This was the same pair from the cruise ship so I wasn’t exactly sad to see them go. In fact, when I threw them away, Carson proved he had some sentimentality and fished them out of the trash for me on several occasions.

That put me back in a local store buying yet another pair of mid-range sunglasses and this time I am going to be using a strap.

About The Author: Steven Green

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The writer has been with The Dispatch in various capacities since 1995, including serving as editor and publisher since 2004. His previous titles were managing editor, staff writer, sports editor, sales account manager and copy editor. Growing up in Salisbury before moving to Berlin, Green graduated from Worcester Preparatory School in 1993 and graduated from Loyola University Baltimore in 1997 with degrees in Communications (journalism concentration) and Political Science.