Adventures Of Fatherhood – February 24, 2017

Adventures Of Fatherhood – February 24, 2017
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It all started as a fun game we thought Carson would enjoy.

Earlier this month, Pam downloaded the app Farmville 2 on Carson’s iPad. We figured it would be something for him to monitor every day because he could create, build and maintain his very own virtual farm.

After a week, it morphed into Pam and me sending each other texts to remind each other to check on the farm if we ran home at any point during the day.

About a week later, we decide to hide the app on Carson’s iPad because he kept ruining our progress and all the things we were trying to do on the farm.

One of the objects of the game is to accumulate coins and keys, which allow you to create more farmable land and buy new animals, such as chickens, cows and pigs, to expand the goods you can sell at the market.

The game can be as easy or complicated as you want it to be. It’s a simple game to Carson. He could care less about what’s going on in his cornfields his tomato patches, his ovens or his ponds. He simply wants to spend all his coins and keys as fast as he can on scarecrows, fences and the like around the farm.

At one point, Pam and I were trying to accumulate enough keys to expand our barn, which serves as storage for the milk and crops grown on the farm. It takes time and we refused to take the easy route and spend money on it. After all, our kids pretty much have designs on any money we make these days.

For a while, neither of us said anything about the coins and keys always being used up. I guess we figured one or the other was doing it or maybe we just concluded it was a silly game and didn’t matter..

It turns out it was Carson who was cashing in all our hard work. He would open the app, spend all the coins and keys on silly things around the farm, like a shovel, dog house and cat pen.

The next time I picked up the iPad the game was open to the purchase screen where he was trying to buy even more new items. Thankfully he does not know the password because he was trying to spend $199.99 on a specific type of cow.

After that we decided Carson was no longer permitted to play the game and waste all our hard work on our farm.

The next day after we hid the app on the iPad he asked where it was and we just played dumb. Apparently the children of the house are not the only ones who have a mild electronics addiction.

Growth spurts are something to behold.

Over the last few months, Beckett has jumped up in height and is now all of a sudden a skinny, almost frail 8-year-old, despite eating anything and everything in sight at home.

His pants that were too tight in the stomach area when school started in September are now loose and baggy. When he takes his shirt off, he’s nothing but bones and I can count his ribs.

The other night I was remarking how tall he was getting standing next to me. Apparently that brought on a thought he had at some point previously. He took me upstairs and showed me that his feet now touch the footboard of his bed.

That has led to requests for a new king-sized bed with him saying so and so in his class at school has one. When I asked him what would he have to look forward to in the future if he had a king bed now, he replied, “I’ve set a personal goal of having a trampoline bed in high school.”

While not one to predict the future, I’m quite certain that’s not happening, at least under my roof.

Every week Carson has a spelling test.

Over the course of the school year, the list has grown from 10 words to 13 with the three additional being optional for extra credit consideration.

Carson wants nothing to do with the extra credit words. He’s passionate about his disinterest in trying to spell them correctly. It’s almost to the point it’s hilarious how poor his efforts are on the extra credit words. In fact, we laugh because it’s disturbing.

As a non-verbal child, phonics is a major challenge, as you can imagine. For him, there’s no sounding out of the words to help with spelling. He has to rely solely on memorizing, at least at this age.

The good news is he typically does well on his spelling tests with the exception of the one chosen extra credit word, which comes from the three optional words on his weekly list.

For example, last week the extra credit word was valentine. His reply confirms he’s just being stubborn.

His attempt at spelling the word was, “vzqsrba.” Phonics may be a weakness of his, but that was a blatant lack of effort.

There’s no way that was not deliberate, but what we should do about it is not as clear.

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.