Fatherhood Adventures – January 13, 2017

Fatherhood Adventures – January 13, 2017
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After three hours of asking, we finally agreed to take the kids out in the snow last Saturday morning.

It was basically a blizzard with temperatures in the teens. At that point, we had about nine inches of snow on the ground (with three more to come). We didn’t last long, even though we were dressed like we were about to spend the day on the slopes.

I assumed the kids would get outside, realize how frigid it was and then be content inside the rest of the day watching the snow fall. That did happen but it didn’t occur as soon as I thought. I figured it would only be about 15 minutes until they were whining about the snow in their eyes and gloves and the brutal wind, but they lasted about an hour.

Like he always is, Carson is a worker bee. He’s incredibly responsive when it comes to chores and likes hard work. While he wanted to shovel the snow, he found out early on he’s not strong enough yet. Seemingly frustrated with only being able to kick the snow that I left behind from shoveling, I told him he could clean off his mom’s vehicle. Rather than play in the snow, he took off and did the job well before moving on to the trash cans, nearby benches and my truck.

Beckett is the other extreme. He’s not going to offer to help typically, but he will lend a hand when asked. Instead of looking for a job to do, he’s basically a dare devil. Rather than help clear the vehicles, he likes to use them as a launching pad into a snow drift. Since it wasn’t conducive to snow ball making, he would instead pick up huge chunks of ice from the plows and throw them at anyone and everything, including stop signs.

One thing both kids have in common is that if they fall down in all their snow gear they struggle to get to their feet without help. After helping them each up numerous times, there came a point when I just left them on their own to figure it out. After a few snow angels, eventually they were able to get to their feet without our help but not without complaints.

When the whining reached a mild roar, we knew it was time to go in until the snow stopped. The only issue there was it was a 12-hour snow event.

After two snow days that essentially amounted to a really long weekend, my kids were reluctant to go back to school Wednesday.

That’s unusual for both of them because they like school and never complain about any part of it. We are blessed that’s the case, but understand well that could change at any time.

On Wednesday morning, despite the weather delays, both were full of angst about school. Beckett, playing the victim card, was annoyed that Carson had a two-hour delay and he only had one hour. Carson was whining about putting his school things into his backpack and kept looking at me puzzled with his palms up, like he thought he was on summer break or something.

I was having no part of it. If they were looking for commiseration, they had come to the wrong person. I was glad to see them heading back to school. They needed it. I know I needed it.

The good news was as he was walking away from me into school on Wednesday Beckett turned to me, smiled and said, “Dad, I’m actually glad to be back at school.”

That was a nice turn of events on what I would describe as a morning to forget up to that point.

Though not as tough as it once was, homework is a daily challenge.

Because of after-school practices and activities, we prefer both kids do their homework immediately after they get out of school. Most of the time this works out fine, but Carson needs a little break before starting.

Beckett wants to get his homework done as fast as possible. While we like the haste to begin the work, there are times when he’s careless and obviously rushing through it.

He struggles the most currently with using the week’s spelling words in sentences. If he had his way, he would put all 18 words into one long sentence.

In fact, I recall earlier this year a time when he actually began his sentence with, “This week’s spelling words are …” He then proceeded to list every single one and announced himself as done. We didn’t let that get to school.

On another occasion, he came up with this sentence for “write” and “wrote.” It was, “The past tense of write is wrote.” I actually thought that was clever until I noticed he followed the same format for the remaining words, even if it wasn’t true.

I wish I could say he’s come a long way with his writing, but that’s not really the case. He just doesn’t seem to enjoy it. This week he wrote five long sentences while using 18 spelling words. They made sense for the most part, but it’s clear he’s trying to use as many words as possible while writing the least amount.

When I asked him about the fact he only did five sentences, he remarked how I should be proud of him because he wanted to cram them all into four sentences. He then deflected and tried to change the subject to how it would be so much better if he could just type them.

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.