Adventures Of Fatherhood – June 1, 2018

Adventures Of Fatherhood – June 1, 2018

For his 10th birthday, Beckett wanted two things — a dirt bike and a sleepover.

The first we took care of on his birthday, and two weeks in we are hearing concerns about it not going fast enough.

The sleepover idea had to wait a couple weeks for schedules to ease up, but it sounded fine to me until I was later informed he and his mom teamed up to cook up a doozy – it was going to be a three-kid sleepover.

It’s just one night. It would be fine (according to my inner voice). Then came the big shocker – he wanted his three buddies to stay for two nights. That gave me some indigestion I must admit. I was quite relieved to learn only one buddy would be spending both nights.

All in all, it was smooth and uneventful, which is exactly the goal when it comes to sleepovers in my mind.

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One thing I certainly noticed was the energy level in the house hit an all-time high with all these boys in the house. That’s saying something considering our two sons are 10 and 8 years old and we have two small dogs who like to mix it up often as well.

In addition to their live wire natures, it was also extremely loud. There was constant chatter that oftentimes sounded like arguing when it was really just talking, or trying to talk over each other. Throughout the day and night, Pam and I went upstairs a dozen times intent on settling these kids down from whatever they were arguing about only to discover everything was fine. They were just screaming at each other from a few feet away about this game or that. When asked why they were using their outside voices, each one of them made it clear what we had been hearing was their inside voice by together demonstrating what their outside voices sounded like. At that point, I just shut the door tight.

Besides the constant and mild roar, another thing I noticed about our small group of boys is they eat a lot. Twenty pancakes and two dozen sausage links for breakfast is not enough to feed four boys evidently. There’s also no amount of ice cream cake that fills them up I learned.

I also realized getting a quality photo of four boys is a losing battle. I actually gave up on that pretty early, particularly when one of them – my kid — suggested so and so partner with so and so to give so and so a “wet willy.”

That was a term I noticed later that Carson picked up. He greeted me the next morning with one as I was helping him get dressed. When he did it, he signed Beckett is crazy. I let him know that may well be the case but he wasn’t ridiculous enough to give his dad a wet willy at 8 in the morning.

All in all, the boys behaved well together. It was a memorable for them and nobody wanted to part ways when it came time to go back home. That’s a success.

The only hiccup was a “mad dad” sighting around midnight the first night when the chitter chatter would not stop. Going into a sleepover, I was aware sleep was the last thing on my son’s mind and I assumed that was the case with the other boys, as they all appeared to be cut from the same cloth.

That’s why I wasn’t too harsh when I walked up to Beckett’s room and started planting the seed for sleep at 11, giving a 30-minute countdown. When 11:30 p.m. came around, I told them it was time to turn off the electronics as well as the lights and get some sleep.

After about 30 minutes and several visits, I had to step up the intensity. Since a majority of the chatter was coming from my son, I got particularly tough on him and heard one boy say something along the lines of, “I think he was serious that time.” I quickly barged back in when I heard a “poop” joke and a bunch of giggles.

Eventually they all fell asleep, only to wake up six hours later ready to start the day.

There was a stretch recently when Pam and I had multiple events away from the kids.

This is unusual for both of us to be gone from the house a lot. We had a planned weekend away followed by a couple week night events that were unexpected. I think it was four nights over a 10-day period when we had sitters for them.

When we told Beckett that his grandmother would be coming over one particular night and that we would be home after he was in bed, he said “wow, again” and then asked me, “so are you becoming those parents who are never around for their kids?”

I laughed because I thought it was silly, considering it came on the same day I went on a field trip with him, but he made it clear he was serious.

When I woke him up the next morning for school, he said, “oh you’re here, surprising.”

I’m quite sure that was some serious sarcasm coming from my 10-year-old kid.

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.