I was the parent that everyone wants to avoid last weekend.
If you have ever taken your kid to the Kite Loft store on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, you understand how excited the little ones get when they walk in there.
With Pam toting Carson around on her hip, I was tasked with keeping Beckett from destroying the store, and it really was not a simple chore, as he was crazed from the moment we walked in.
I can’t say I blame him, as the place is a feast for the senses for even adults. At one point, I got distracted by a hat I liked until I snapped out of it and found Beckett kicking a ball across the floor, nearly taking out some fellow shoppers along the way.
As I chased him around the place, making sure he did not knock a display over, fall down any steps, throw a boomerang or Frisbee across the store or haphazardly pull toys off shelves, I found myself bumping into several other customers (one lady I believe told me to “watch it” after my shoulder accidentally touched an inappropriate region).
There I was not exactly a small guy (seemingly getting larger with each passing day) hunched over trying to keep my son in check, while also not trying to deck anyone in the process.
It was a challenge and one of those times when I walked out of the store breathing a sigh of relief that nothing terrible happened. There were no injuries and no goods damaged enough that I felt I had to buy it to make it right.
As I happily returned Beckett to his stroller to give me a break, he was quick to say, “wow that was fun.”
Indeed, the Kite Loft is the place “Where Fun Begins.”
On a few occasions, we have been asked if our kids are twins, and that never ceases to amaze me.
Although they are just 17 months apart in age, it cracks me up that people can mistake them for twins. Now I understand that not all twins are identical, but this is just crazy.
For one, they are about 10 pounds apart in weight and more than six inches in height. Clearly, just from a physical standpoint, Beckett is older than his younger brother. Additionally, Beckett has blonde hair and green eyes, and Carson has red hair and blue eyes.
My wife always handles the twin comment better than I do because I find it difficult to believe any rational mind would make that mistake. I just usually laugh and let her address it.
One man, while we were out to eat months ago at a roadside restaurant in North Carolina, was overheard saying to his friend, “look at those little boys, they must be twins.”
Appropriate or not, I just ignored them.
Ever since Beckett moved to the “big boy” bed a few months ago, we never know where we will find him asleep.
Thanks to the wonders of the video monitor, we are able to keep track of him, and it’s baffling the positions he can crash in.
He can sleep sitting straight up. He can sleep with his head on the floor and the rest of his body in the bed. He can sleep sprawled out atop an ottoman in his room. He can sleep with his head wedged under a chair. He can sleep atop a toy. He can sleep snuggling on the floor with a stuffed dog.
It’s been adjustment to just let him do his own thing at night. When he was crib bound, he didn’t always fall immediately asleep, but we at least knew he was confined.
Now, he likes to wander a little and play some before he passes out wherever he wants. The only constants are he makes a mess of his room and he’s not in his bed.
That’s why every night I go into his room before we call it a day, pick him up and return him to his bed, where he usually does stay for the rest of the night.
I look forward to this each night for a couple reasons. One, to see exactly what position he fell asleep in and, two, because he’s usually so out of it he says silly stuff.
Most of it is just odd gibberish and makes no sense, but it’s special to me.
Kids sure do keep you on your toes, as there’s something new seemingly every day.
One thing I have learned through this adventure is to expect the unexpected.
One day last month Carson woke up and looked like a completely different kid, sending my wife into a panic. His entire face was swollen, particularly the space in between his eyes.
After some frantic pediatrician calls, she was calmed somewhat when she was told he was simply having a seasonal allergy reaction, like many others kids in the area.
Nonetheless, it was difficult to accept at the time, as his entire face was so swelled up it looked like he had been in a fight.
Eventually, after a couple days and some good allergy medicine, the swelling subsided and we had our little boy back. It was a scary thing, though, as neither of us had ever seen a reaction like this.
Plus, we could only imagine how miserable he must have been feeling to look that way.
We often joke Carson, 18 months old yesterday, is our high-maintenance child, as he has dealt with a number of challenges — such as three surgical procedures — in his short life.
What’s interesting, though, is his demeanor never changes. He’s a laidback kid with a mellow temperament and perhaps it’s fitting that he be the child who has to deal with obstacles every step of the way. Everything just rolls off his back.
I could learn something from this tough little guy.