Watching football over the last four-plus years since my kids came along has been tricky business for me.
With my young boys, I have learned there is no sense in trying to get either one to watch the weekly Ravens game with me. The game is just too long and requires too much attention. Or as Beckett has been prone to say with eyes rolling, it’s “just so boring.”
That’s why when the Ravens schedule is released each summer I pay particular attention to the start times of the Ravens games. I want to watch every game, but I realize parental duties get in the way of that often. Yes, the days of watching two or three football games on cold winter Sundays are foreign to me now, but I hold out hope that they will again one day be familiar to me.
When this season’s schedule came out, I cringed when I saw this current stretch of the season, as the Ravens had two back-to-back 4:15 p.m. games, one last weekend and another this coming Sunday.
Night games are the best for me. I have no problem getting to watch them in peace, as the boys are asleep.
If the games are at 1 p.m., Carson is napping, and Beckett usually can entertain himself for at least half the game. My strategy there is to play with him during the first half in the hopes he will be tired enough for some down time during the second half.
The late-afternoon games are the worst-case scenario for me as both kids are awake, and I stand little to no chance of being able to enjoy the game in the confines of my own home, even if Pam is willing to keep the kids entertained. No matter, the games are played during dinner and bath times, and it’s not fair to make her do it all while I veg in front of the television. Guilt is a powerful force.
Last Sunday, I appeared destined to watch the highlights later as neither kid was even willing to allow me to keep the game on in the background. They wanted the Fresh Beat Band or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
Later, after dinner and baths, the kids surprised me tremendously and Beckett actually watched part of the game with me for a while. Carson even ventured into the room every now and again for a quick lean on my leg before returning to some nearby toys.
When Beckett was watching the game next to me, he would ask after each play, “who is winning now?” That was followed by “are you happy or sad right now?” That was followed by, “why did that guy hit that guy? I thought we didn’t hit people.”
During several conversations in between plays, Beckett seemed to be picking up on how the game was played. One thing he had a difficult time understanding was the whole “down” concept and the fact that words can mean several different things depending on the usage. That then morphed into a dialogue about what other words have double meanings, including how the current season can mean something altogether different than a fall at a playground.
By far, his favorite part of the game was punting because he could identify with that from his soccer duties as a goalie. He didn’t quite understand why some punts were a good thing and some not so good, but he was learning and firing questions faster than I could answer.
As we continued to talk back and forth about the various nuances of the game, he would quickly remind me to watch the game when I turned to talk to him.
“Daddy, watch your game while you talk to me. I am. I don’t want you to miss anything,” he said. That was followed a couple minutes later by, “Is it over yet?”
It was a proud moment for this guy.
Carson, 3, is now wearing the same size clothes as Beckett, 4.
While Beckett is still much taller than his little brother, Carson more than makes up for the height difference with a considerable advantage over his big brother in the girth category.
Carson is thick. It’s so much so these days that he no longer can fit in most “3T” pants, which are the perfect size as far as length but way too tight around his stomach. The same basically goes for “3T’ shirts as a result of his booming mid-section, but fortunately there are some that still fit him depending on the cut of the shirt.
There are some “3T” shirts that we have taken out of the rotation because they simply make him look he’s priming for an aerobics class dating back to the 1980s.
The boys are just 16 months apart and we knew there would come a time when they would basically be about the same size, but we figured it would be down the road a bit. It turns out Carson’s noticeable belly bulge has brought him up to par as far as clothes go a little sooner than expected.
We have embraced the chubbiness factor around the house. He and Beckett essentially eat the same thing and neither is overfed. It’s just that Carson is simply a little thicker and has not shot up the way Beckett has recently.
For the time being, I am enjoying the little round mound of fun, particularly when he runs with his shirt off around the house. That’s when I like to call him “jiggles”, which almost always results in him grabbing his belly and shaking it around some for me.
That’s a video moment for certain.