The latest edition of “The Daddy Chronicles,” starring an 18-month old who’s starting to talk, starting to get rebellious, and hugging everyone in sight


And a Happy Friday to you! It feels like May here in New York City, I was honestly sweating last night sitting in my apartment, and not just because Duke blew a huge lead and lost in the ACC Tournament.

Thursday was a big milestone for my little guy; he turned 18 months old. Hard to believe he’s been with us that long, but every day he gets less and less like a baby and more and more like a little man, with lots of thoughts, desires, and definite likes and dislikes.

So I figured it’s time for a new edition of The Daddy Chronicles. Hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them; I know it’s impossible to stop time, but I feel like with these occasional blog posts about Nate I’m at least “capturing” a few of the moments along the way.

And away we go…

— So the big development in last two months is he’s started talking, ever so slightly. In addition to “Dada,” which he’s said for months, he’s now saying “momma” when we walk past framed photos on the wall with my wife in them; “Poppa” when one of his grandpa’s is around, and “no, no,” when he doesn’t want more food, or milk, or a particular book. He’s also about halfway to saying “shoes,” because he says “sh” when I say we have to put them on to go outside.

— Proof that hugging can be dangerous: My son loves to hug people. His parents, his grandparents, random kids he sees at his My Gym class. Couple weeks ago he was playing on the trampoline with this boy about his age named Wiley (or Wylie, not sure how it’s spelled). They were jumping together for a few seconds and then Nate went over and embraced Wiley with a big hug.

Remember, they’re on a trampoline.

So in my best Howard Cosell voice, “Down goes Wiley! Down goes Wiley!” Tears ensue. Ten or so minutes later, both boys are back on the trampoline, and we have an instant replay. Nate hugs, Wiley gets thrown off-balance, down goes Wiley. Tears ensue.

I looked at Wiley’s nanny and sheepishly said “I’m sorry, my son is just a hugger.” She was fine with it.
Last week, though, he had a play-date with his “girlfriend” and he wouldn’t stop hugging her for, like, 20 minutes. Following her around our apartment and everything. I think we need to teach the boy “personal space.”

Still, better hugging than hitting, am I right?

— His obsession with our cell phones and iPad has gotten out of control. I’ve tried going “cold turkey” with it this week and not even letting him see it. Of course, he doesn’t know it’s a phone, he thinks it’s called a “no, no,” because that’s what we say when he goes for it.
So now when he does see a cell phone, he runs over to it and points and says “no, no,” because in his little brain, that’s what it’s called.
Makes perfect sense to me.


— I’m not sure we’re into the “Terrible 2’s” yet, but I can see them on the horizon. My son goes from zero to tantrum in two seconds sometimes. He can be perfectly happy, having a nice time, then I don’t give him what he wants, or take something away that he’s enjoying (like closing the refrigerator door, man, does he love the fridge) and he balls up his little fists and stamps his feet and the waterworks begin.
I’ve tried to start thinking of his tantrums like tornado’s: They’re awful while you’re in them, but they only last a minute or two, and then they’re over.

— Silly me, I sometimes try to reason with him when he does something wrong or dangerous. Then I remember he’s too young to fully understand what I’m talking about when I say things like “Don’t climb on that, you’ll fall off!”

— His favorite things to do now include: Opening and closing doors, and locking daddy inside the bedroom closet, then laughing uproariously when I open the door back up and put on a “mean face” at him; throwing milk and water cups when done with dinner, collecting shoes from around the house and putting them in their proper place by the front door; putting lids and tops on top of things, climbing up and down stairs, any stairs, at any time; and being spun like an airplane on top of Daddy’s head, for about 10 seconds, until I put him down and we both are kind of dizzy and laugh a lot.

Man, do I have fun with this kid.

— Finally, this one hit me pretty hard today: He’s understanding everything now, and at the very beginning of learning right from wrong, and good from bad. And it struck me that his mother and I are basically in complete charge of forming him. His values, his beliefs, everything we say and do to him will help him learn about how to be, and act, in the world. He’s completely depending on us to teach him everything.

And that’s an enormous responsibility in our hands.

I hope we don’t screw it up.


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