The Adventures Of Fatherhood – April 2, 2021

(Frankly, this week got away from me with work and kid appointments. Therefore, here’s a previous post-Easter weekend column from 2012 when my boys were 3 and 2 years old, respectively.)

Easter weekend has quietly become one of my favorite times of the year.

This year, in particular, was quite significant for my family on several fronts, including an odd deadline we set for our oldest son, a new vigor for Easter egg hunts and a harsh lesson in the danger of toddlers eating candy for breakfast.

•Since he was born, Beckett has had a love affair with his pacifier.

However, it’s always been a bedtime thing and he was never much interested in using it during the day. Consequently, we were not in a rush to take it away from him.

But, make no mistake, the infatuation at bedtime ran deep, and we have been reluctant to mess with it. As most parents will attest, smooth transitions to bedtime are imperative to home happiness, and we have been in a good routine with our kids for more than a year. The binky had a lot to do with that for Beckett, 3.

Carson, 2, was never much for the pacifier, and he has been without it for months as a result. We just decided if he did not want it let’s just take it away.

For Beckett, ever since I can remember, when it came to bedtime, he immediately sought out his binky, and we decided months ago it had to go.

We initially began the conversation of losing the binky while we were on vacation last October. He was not at all ready, and we gave in since a smooth bedtime routine is so crucial.

Then we tried Christmas, working in Santa Claus and the fact he was going to deliver it to our neighbor’s little girl, Opal. That was met with tremendous resistance at the time and we didn’t push it.

Last month sometime, we decided we were going to work the Easter bunny into our plan, and we were firm on this decision this time around. Maybe that should be reworded because I was resolute on this plan. Pam, in typically mommy fashion, was not so sure, saying something about how he needs it and that it was sad. Beckett, of course, had his own reservations, most of which were largely discounted.

Come Saturday, the day before Easter Sunday, there was a lot of pacifier talk, particularly when we spotted the Easter bunny in Berlin.

The plan was we were going to leave the pacifier in his empty Easter basket at bedtime on Saturday and the Easter bunny would deliver it to our neighbor’s newborn, Lomax, who we alleged desperately needed a binky because he’s a baby (or at least that was our motivation).

Without the pacifier, the actual falling asleep process now lasts a little longer these days than usual, but I am proud to report Beckett has stepped up and proven he’s a big boy.

•For Carson, 2, this was the first year he truly got to participate in Easter egg hunts. He was involved last year and recovered his share of eggs, but it required a tremendous amount of help from parents and grandparents.

This year he took part with much less assistance and seemed to thoroughly enjoy cracking open his eggs and examining contents. He had a mild interest in the egg hunts themselves, but once he had a few eggs he was content to just sit on the ground and get busy uncovering what was inside.

Speaking of Easter egg hunts, last year Beckett was like Carson this year. He didn’t seem at all interested in the competition aspect of gathering eggs as quickly as possible. Instead, he was overly anxious to discover what was inside.

This year he went about gathering his eggs with more gusto, understanding now that he can dive into eggs with as much detail as he likes later.

•Note to self: church and candy do not go well together.

We should have known better, but we relented in the spirit and excitement.

After growing weary from the begging and pleading, both kids capped off breakfast on Easter morning with candy and too much of it.

That’s why church that morning was a bit of a fiasco, leaving Pam and I sweating and frazzled by the end of the service. At one point, the knot on my tie had dwindled to the size of a nickel from Beckett and Carson repeatedly tugging on it in competitive fashion.

Fortunately, the kids’ Sunday School on Easter featured an egg hunt, allowing us some time to actually take in the holiday service and for the kids to burn off some energy, and, of course, consume some more candy.

Last Sunday was a special holiday service and therefore ran longer than usual, meaning the kids returned from Sunday School to take part in communion.

Soon, the sweats returned for their parents and my tie shrunk to the size of a penny and my collar began tightening around my neck.

As we were walking out of the church, growing more irritated by the minute, I couldn’t help but apologize for the ruckus my kids were making during the service.

One nice lady offered up a nice comment. “Oh, don’t worry, it’s always worse for the parents than anyone else,” she said.

I can’t disagree with that one bit.

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.