And a Happy Friday to all of you, it’s Friday the 13th and also the last Friday before the end of the world as we know it, since next Friday is Inauguration Day. (I’m very confused: It was 60 degrees in NYC Thursday, but hell is going to freeze over next Friday. Weather is confusing.)
Anyway, I haven’t done a “Daddy Chronicles” installment since last October, which surprised me that it’d been that long when I looked it up, so I thought it was time to update you all on my little fella. He’s changed quite a lot since my last post on him; heck, he’s changed quite a bit since Monday.
Some highlights from life with my energetic boy..
— First of all, any fears that my child would be shy have completely evaporated. Two quick examples: We’re in a Japanese restaurant near our apartment about six weeks ago, and Nate is happily drinking from his milk sippy cup. Our waiter, who spoke very little English and had to repeat our order several times, brought my wife and I our drinks at one point while we were waiting for the food.
Moments later when he returned, without a word Nate takes his now-empty sippy cup and thrusts it at the waiter, who was as befuddled as a Buddhist monk on the Las Vegas Strip. A, they don’t sell milk at a Japanese restaurant, and B, the waiter had likely never filled a sippy cup in his life. But hey, to Nate it made sense: This man is bringing drinks to Mommy and Daddy, I’m out of my drink, I should give him my cup and he’ll bring me more milk!
We laughed and laughed as we explained to the boy that I’d go get him some more milk next door.
Second example: A few weeks ago we were at brunch on Long Island with lots of family celebrating my Mom’s 70th birthday. I told him we needed to go change his diaper, and took him out of his high-chair. Before I could do anything else, he ran up to a waiter 10 feet away, tapped him on the sleeve and said “Where bathroom?”
Yeah, he’s definitely my kid.
–Hanukkah and the holiday season were wildly exciting to him. We saw the Rockefeller Center tree (“whoa!” he said many times), saw some crazy-cool light displays, but Hanukkah was definitely the highlight. For eight straight nights, he got used to a great routine: Dinner, light candles, open fun presents. Poor guy expected it to go on forever; for the next 4-5 nights after the holiday ended, he kept saying “Candles? Presents?” right after dinner. We had to explain that the holiday was over, it would come around again next year.
He did not seem satisfied with that answer. Hanukkah should be celebrated year-round!
— One big worry has been solved since I last wrote about him: We pretty painlessly got through the pre-school process. I tried hard not to faint from shock when I saw some of the NYC pre-schools cost more per year than I made in salary my first year as a journalist. It is truly amazing how you can, with a straight face, charge Manhattan parents $30,000 a year for your kids to play with blocks and hear stories for a few hours a day. It’s quite a racket.
We applied to about six schools, toured four of them, and ended up going with a school that is half the price of the “elite” ones, didn’t require us to be accepted (as soon as we said we were in and gave them a deposit, we were done) and has a nice long day to start him out, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
They also didn’t require a “playdate audition” which we did at two schools, which is pretty hilarious that a 2-year-old is auditioning to be allowed into preschool. I’m sitting there thinking “OK, as long as he doesn’t burn the place down or stab another kid, he passes the audition, right?”
Anyway, I’m already missing him and school doesn’t start till September.
— His vocabulary and language grow so fast, every day. A few weeks ago he was still just finishing the last words on a page of his favorite books; now he’s finishing entire sentences. He’s saying words like “underneath” and telling one of his grandpas, “Papa, you go get car. We meet you downstairs.” I swear at least 2-3 times per week I’m amazed at a new word or phrase he’s learned (OK, so maybe he knows “Oy yoy yoy” because I’ve said it a few times!)
— The kid made out pretty well at Hanukkah; his favorite presents are his new tricycle (which he pedals for a few moments, then realizes it’s more fun to just Fred Flinstone it and walk really fast while leaning on the bike) and his little home kitchen, which he pretends to cook on. He freaking loves this kitchen, and all the little plastic food in it. He baked me a pizza the other day and I swear it’s at least as good as some of the pies I’ve had outside of N.Y.
— So after pretty much prohibiting TV for him for the first 2 years of life, we’ve slowly waded into it. So far he’s just watching “Sesame Street” and some Elmo clips on YouTube. Nate had his first ‘TV tantrum” the other day; I’d let him watch 20 minutes in the morning, and he turned it off no problem when I asked.
Then a few hours later he wanted to watch more and I said no, so he stamped his feet and balled up his fists and shouted “I want to watch ‘Sesame Street!” I didn’t cave, but compromised with a few YouTube videos.
But oy, the TV fits are a coming…
— Finally, my son has many skills already, but he makes a terrible lookout. He’s gotten in the habit of going to the front door and opening it and waiting there patiently when I tell him Mommy is on her way home. I’m in the kitchen getting dinner ready and at least 6-7 times in 10 minutes he’ll say “I hear elevator, Mommy!” And I’ll ask him if she’s really here and 10 seconds later I hear a sad “Noooo.” Finally he gets it right when she, you know, actually appears.
Let’s just say if Paul Revere were as accurate as my tyke, we’d all still be under colonial rule.