The Adventures Of Fatherhood – October 27, 2023

At some point years from now, the boys will be given all these columns as I am keeping binders for them.

I happen to be flipping through some of them the other day updating the binders. As I was flipping back through the last 15 years of writing this diary of sorts (more than 800 columns to date), I had a few gasp moments. Some regretful musings to be certain, but there’s no point fretting over something on my mind 10 years ago. It may seem silly today in the big picture, but it’s a space for honest reflections. My hope is my kids appreciate the candor years from now when reading these pieces.

In the meantime, since I’m a glutton for punishment here are some “oh my” moments that brought back memories yesterday as I flipped through the binders of columns.

  • June 2011: “See what happens when you run around the pool — you bleed”: In a desperate attempt to illustrate the point, it was what I said to Beckett after he stubbed his toe and cried. I was desperate to try and drive the point home and lately whenever he runs he says, “I’m going to hurt my toe.”
  • July 2010: “Do not step on your brother’s head”: Again, I would have thought this would never have to be said, but it’s something Pam and I both find ourselves saying to Beckett, who has a disturbing penchant for wanting to inflict pain on Carson.
  • March 2014: Although they were reluctant, we forced them to frolic in the snow a bit, hopefully for the last time. Carson refused to wear his gloves and never took them out of his pockets in a form of protest apparently. Beckett threw some snow balls initially, but instead preferred to trash talk how neither I nor Pam could hit him from across the street. I then fired one, a little too hard.
  • April 2015: When the kids started getting a little too rambunctious for our nerves, including Carson inadvertently shoplifting on several occasions (all items were returned), we decided to walk along the beach. Apparently, that decision was made a little late, as Beckett managed to pull a beer bong off a rack and stuck it in his ear, while Carson hummed into the funnel side. Apparently, and I was happy they didn’t know what it was, they thought it was something similar to the can on the string. I quickly put that back before I was made to pay for it. The last thing I needed to be carrying along the Boardwalk was a beer bong saying, “I Got Bonged In Ocean City.”
  • July 2013: Both kids find it fun to try and race a vehicle driving down our street while balancing on the edge of the sidewalk. However, if a lady bug is found on a swing, they scream in fear it’s going to bite them.

Both kids will pick up a horseshoe crab or sand crab found on the beach, but they will run away with reckless abandon if I try to show them a spider in a web.

Neither kid has an aversion to heights at all, but if either sees a bumble bee they will run inside and seek shelter immediately.

  • November 2010: Walking back into the house can be a tricky time as well. While I sort of tip-toe lightly, Beckett’s eyes widen as we walk into a clean house. You can hear the excitement in his voice as he says, “wow Mommy it’s so clean”, before he immediately heads for his toys.

As much as my wife detests clutter, it seems Beckett craves it. I find myself stuck in the middle, but my wife would say I tend to my son’s side of looking at things more so than her point of view.

If you talked to her about it, she would probably cite as an example one particularly memorable situation on a Sunday afternoon during a football game. Pam had been busy early in the day tidying the house, and a nice lazy afternoon had developed for all of us. Apparently at some point, and I don’t even really remember doing this, on my way to the refrigerator for something, I kicked aside a truck so I could open up the fridge.

Pam seemed to notice it immediately, firing off something along the lines of, “really, you didn’t see that and didn’t think you should pick it up, rather than kicking it aside.”

  • January 2010: During one particularly rough bath night, Beckett refused to sit down in the tub and was incredibly difficult. It was his way or no way, and I was feeling the same.

Eventually, I wrestled him to his bottom and managed to get the job done. When I turned to grab the towels, he saw his chance to get even with me for making him stay seated (or at least that’s how I interpret it) and dumped a huge bucket of water on the floor, sending me scrambling to keep it contained and away from Carson.

Meanwhile, as I am rushing around frantically, there’s my little Carson, having the biggest of belly laughs and pointing.

  • June 2010: Toddlers lose their cool, but there are clear lines of demarcation between a true fit of annoyance and a cry of significance.

For example, when Beckett fell off our slide a couple weeks ago, it goes without saying that was a justified ball session. That’s a cry of fear and pain, and these can be as tough on the parents as on the child. However, when my toddler gets upset over not being allowed to have his 20th cracker of the day, that’s not a real cry. That’s more like a screaming session intended to sound like he’s crying. That can be deemed fake almost every time.

As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with a little crying, but I do start to get a little frenzied when they both go at it at the same time. It almost seems intentional.

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.