The Adventures Of Fatherhood – January 14, 2022

(The following is a reprint of an article from 2013.)

I walked around much of Monday with Beckett’s underwear in my coat pocket.

I just didn’t know what to do with it. Underwear is not exactly something I can leave on my desk or in a drawer or in my truck without raising some questions. Therefore, I figured the safest place was for it to stay in my pocket to ensure it returned home at the end of the day.

For some reason, my oldest son, 4, made sure to grab a pair of his underwear before we left the house earlier that morning. As we were leaving the house, he bolted upstairs to his room and quickly came down. As crazy as the mornings are around my house, I never even followed up to see what he was doing. He came right back without anything in his hands so I didn’t think anything of it.

I would not have discovered anything had it not been for the unusual bulge in his jacket as we were walking into school. When I asked him why he was bringing underwear to school, he looked bewildered, saying, “for show and tell, maybe.”

In typical bargaining fashion, he wanted to know in exchange for not taking his underwear to school if he could bring one of his superheroes, some individual called Wolverine, who was already in my pocket from the car ride to school because it was causing bickering between Beckett and his little brother, Carson.

I told him he could take his action figure so long as it remained in his coat pocket while he was at school. He was fine with that, but was quick to strike a deal over which pocket it had to be in.

“I can’t put him in the same pocket as my underwear Daddy,” he reasoned.

I agreed, thinking to myself because that would be weird, of course.

As a non-verbal kid at the age of 3, communication with Carson can be tricky, but there’s no disputing he has a way of getting his point across in some not so subtle ways.

Communicating with Carson is similar to what you would see when a detective speaks with a suspect who is undergoing a polygraph machine. The questions need to be worded as such as to elicit a yes or no answer.

With Carson, that’s the best way to get an answer to our questions. A simple head nod yes or a head shake no.

For instance, of late for whatever reason, Carson wakes up in the morning shaking his head no. That’s particularly funny because he almost always shakes his head in the affirmative to everything.

What’s causing him to express no appears to be a sudden distaste for breakfast. Of late, every morning I walk into his room he is sitting on his bed shaking his head no. It took me a couple days to figure it out, but he is in a phase currently where he wants nothing for breakfast, or at least not as soon as he wakes up.

The “no” mood quickly wears off and he returns to his “yes” mode until he is asked again about breakfast.

Ask him at 7 a.m. if he wants to get a bath, go to the doctor’s office for a shot or come to work with daddy, he gives an enthusiastic yes. However, mix in a quick breakfast question, he returns to a major case of the no head shakes.

Even later when he finally gets hungry and eats his breakfast, he still shakes his head no even while chewing his pancakes. There’s something about breakfast that brings on the no’s.

I don’t know how this came about, but it’s quite funny.

For Christmas, both kids received gift certificates to Toys “R” Us from family members out of the area.

Pam and I decided when the time was right we would take them to the store and let them pick out what they wanted.

I remember doing this one year for Christmas when I was around 8 years old. My parents decided to give my sister and me a certain amount to buy gifts with and we then went on a shopping spree. I remember struggling mightily with what to buy because I didn’t want to make the wrong decision. I ended up buying several games for my Nintendo.

Last weekend my boys got a similar opportunity but it was a smaller dollar amount. After all, Christmas was just a few weeks ago.

Initially, Beckett wanted everything. The larger items the better for him.

Fortunately, he was in a cart so I could just move on past something that I knew was outside his budget. However, I was unable to keep his attention away from some sort of Batman cave-like monstrosity.

Currently, superheroes or anything like that are huge for Beckett, and he received several gifts from Santa along those lines. He wanted this bat cave thing to supplement some of his earlier gifts. The problem was it took up his entire budget. Later, we found a smaller version he paired with some other smaller items that fit his budget.

While Beckett was pointing out everything he wanted in the store, I could see Pam a few aisles away pointing things out to Carson he would like and waiting for the head nod of approval or outstretched arms. He ended up settling on a handful of items as well.

As we were leaving the store, Beckett saw another big item he wanted. When I told him the cost, he said, “man, why is everything so expensive?”

I did not have a good answer.

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.