Adventures Of Fatherhood – May 10, 2019

Adventures Of Fatherhood – May 10, 2019

There are times when the noise in and around the house reaches a mild roar.

It was particularly this way one afternoon this week when Beckett came downstairs before going outside to play. Since he had just finished his homework, I told Carson he could play a game on his iPad while I finished up some work on my computer. The noise from the game combined with neighborhood kids hooting and hollering, dogs barking incessantly nearby and banging from a construction project resulted in quite a bit of commotion.

As soon as Beckett came downstairs, he asked me how in the world I could work with all these noises. He said it’s enough to give him a migraine. I didn’t actually think he was waiting on a response. I just kept writing, saying instead something along the lines of, “I know, it’s a little crazy right now.” When I looked up, he was still standing there, saying, “no, I really want to know.” For a second, I thought he was looking to see if I was wearing ear plugs.

I then went into a wordy explanation as to how parents become adept at tuning out certain noises when they really must concentrate. As I was explaining, I was talking over laughing clowns from Carson’s game, annoying truck reverse beeping sounds from the street, a screaming television from another room, a dishwasher running and a video playing on an unattended nearby iPad.

He looked at me for a few minutes. I assumed he was just going to say something snarky, like you lost me with, “Well you know Beckett, sometimes …”

Instead he simply said, “Lucky.” He wanted me to teach him how to tune everything out.

The next day he said he wanted to do his math homework at the kitchen table amid the typical roar present in our home. He said it was because he didn’t want to miss anything. He wanted to see if he could “tone it out as well” (he meant tune, of course). He gave it a shot and thought he did a good job until he realized he skipped three problems.

“I’m going to try again tomorrow and Carson I want you to be especially annoying tomorrow,” he said. Carson responded with a thumb up.


For as long as I can remember, we have worried about the spring of Carson’s third grade year.

The concerns stemmed from the knowledge he would be undergoing mandatory testing over a two-week period. Each day during testing he would need to be on a computer for either 60 or 75 minutes for reading and math evaluations. We have long heard about how important these test scores are for the school as well as the teachers.

In the weeks leading up to the tests, we talked about them quite a bit in an effort to help Carson prepare for what was coming. We noticed his anxiety level seemingly on the rise and the return of some old behaviors. It was around this time we got an email from his special education teacher advising us she thought the best thing was to not broach the subject of testing anymore with him. Since anxiety is the enemy with Carson, and typically the root of behavioral problems, we agreed with that play.

Though we didn’t share our concerns with him, we were preoccupied over the last two weeks with how he was doing during testing. Apologies to the school system and his teachers, but we were not sweating his test scores. We just wanted to make sure he got through the tests in the allotted time, and there were no negatives behaviors while the tests were being administered.

Fortunately, the teachers understood our concerns, and were excellent with communicating with us. Now that testing is completed for this year, I am interested to see how he scored, but I’m mostly relieved he got through it without anything of significance.


Rowdy is how I would describe most kid sleepovers we have hosted.

Last Saturday night would certainly be the exception. Getting the kids to sleep is typically the hardest part of any sleepover. I usually am forced to confiscate every electronic and get a little heated with the kids to settle down. I recall the last sleepover I hit my limit at 1 a.m.

Therefore, with Beckett having a couple buddies stay over last Saturday, I figured I was in for a long night. It turns out Beckett was asleep before 11 p.m. and the other boys were close behind. I was shocked when I went into his room at midnight and found everyone asleep. They were just exhausted.

When I got to thinking about it, I could see why. After a full morning of soccer, I took them to see the new Avengers movie that afternoon. They had to be tired after talking through the entire movie, eating $60 worth of food and running to and from the bathroom multiple times. When we got home, after overeating pizza and cookies, they played basketball outside for three hours.

They had every reason to be asleep early, but it had just never happened before. That was my kind of sleepover.

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.