Tag Archives: Nate

A new edition of the Daddy Chronicles, with thoughts on what makes a person like a certain song, a toddler who stands uncomfortably close to teachers, and a budding train engineer

And a Happy Friday my fellow denizens of Earth! A decent night of Sweet 16 games last night, highlighted by that insane Tennessee-Purdue game, won by the Boilermakers in OT.

It’s been a few months since I’ve done a Daddy Chronicles, so with so much going on with my boys I wanted to get it all down before things changed again, if that makes sense.

Anyway, hope you enjoy reading these half as much as I enjoy writing them. Time to dip into the waters of a pre-K boy with way too much to say, and a toddler who wants to say so much but can’t quite do it yet…

–OK so this has been on my mind for a while, and it fascinates me, and I’ve spent hours, literally, thinking about it. So Nate has gotten more and more into music over the past few months, and so like a good Dad I’ve tried to expose him to all kinds of music that I like.

And without fail, no matter what song he’s never heard comes on the radio or I play from my phone, within five seconds he’s decided if he likes it or not.

Literally, five seconds. With “New Sensation” by INXS, he liked it within four seconds. With “Wish you Were Here” from Pink Floyd, loved it in five seconds. But with “Hotel California,” I got a scream from the back seat of “I don’t like it!” within a few beats. Same with “Raspberry Beret” by Prince: Not for him.

And it got me to thinking: How does he know that fast that he likes it or not? Is there something in the guitar chord, or the sound of the lead singer, or the way the drums hit his little ears? I mean, as an adult, if I’m confronted with an unfamiliar tune, I’ll give it a minute or two, hear the lyrics, and all that.

But with Nate, it’s instantaneous. And scientifically, I really am curious as to how that works. Any of my readers who happen to be pediatricians or experts in music, please fill me in.

Because I REALLY want my boy to like “Hotel California,” dammit.

— So a couple more Nate things the last few months. First, my boy has become a little John D. Rockefeller, or more accurately, Frank Lloyd Wright or something, because Nate is obsessed with building and re-building his train set. He knows exactly what he wants to do, makes it perfect, then takes it apart and makes it differently.

It’s a whole new world for me, learning about switches, and supports, and curves, and all this train lingo that my son suddenly knows by heart. And also, I’ve learned that it’s possible to “play with trains wrong,” because several times in the past month he’s told me I’m doing it incorrectly.

Thank God I have him to teach me.

But seriously, the kid seems really good at the mechanical brain stuff, which is 100 percent genetically, from my wife.

— The other change in Nate has been his love of Uno. You remember Uno, right? The card game with the multiple colors, sorta like Crazy Eights? I’ve played it more in the past month than in the previous 40 years of my life. He wants to play morning, noon and night. And so we have. He promised us we’d “take a break” from Uno a few weeks ago.

That lasted one day.

— As for our newest model, Lewis child 2.0, Theo is growing every day, mostly in his belly since the little pischer never stops eating. If you don’t have food in front of him immediately at all times during meals, he takes it as a personal affront and wails to a degree I’m not sure any opera star can reach.

But that’s mostly normal, I think. What creeps me out a little (though other people think it’s adorable) is how at every one of our classes we take together he now stands insanely close to the teacher.

Whether it’s at music class, at story time at the library (above) or in his little gym class, my second son wanders up to the grown-up in charge, gets about two feet away from them, and just… stares. Not upset, not asking for a hug from them, just kinda, you know, staring at them as they do their thing.

This goes on for 10, 15 minutes at a time sometimes. I’m guessing he just finds grownups other than his parents endlessly fascinating. And the teachers don’t seem to mind, thankfully.

I hope he doesn’t grow up to be a “close talker” like Judge Reinhold’s character in “Seinfeld.”

— Also new for Theo: Frantically waving goodbye to people, often long after they’ve actually left the room; saying “Dada” and maybe “Papa” (his Papa Steve is SURE he’s been saying this for months, and now he might actually be right); and finally, Theo has become a big fan of taking all the books off his shelves, then trying to rearrange them, quite unsuccessfully.

Hey, it’s an acquired skill. He’s also become fond of “knee-hugs,” where he runs to people he likes (fortunately I’m one of them) and throws his arms around their knees, since that’s as high as he could reach.

“Knee-hugs” are now my favorite thing, ever. Being a Dad is just the best!

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The latest version of the “Daddy Chronicles,” starring a toddler who’s in total “Threenager” mode, and a 7-month old all ready to crawl

Hello my friends and welcome, welcome to the show that never ends (except on the four days a week I don’t write a blog post).

I’m sure, like me, you’re still buzzing over the fabulous National Spelling Bee last night on ESPN; I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, it’s the most consistently awesome annual event on TV (as usual the kid I thought would win, Jashun, didn’t. I stink at Bee predictions.)

So while I fly to Oakland to give the Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith lessons on scoreboard-reading, I was thinking I hadn’t done a “Daddy Chronicles” in a long time and it turns out it’s been like four months since the last one. Unacceptable, especially since these kids change every day.

I deeply apologize, and will make up for it today. Herewith, life with two boys and a patient wife who will no doubt be sainted one day:

— OK, so first I’ll start with the “new guy,” or L.B., as we sometimes call Theo. (For Little Boy.) Let’s just say he and milk have a wonderful relationship: It appears, and he drinks it down like Kobayashi ingesting hot dogs at that stupid contest every July 4. My little guy has gotten huge, like 18 pounds at 6 months of age huge. I’m pretty sure he’ll be bigger than me by next Tuesday.

We’ve started solid foods in the past few weeks, and he’s a big fan of those as well. He actually starts to cry when you remove the spoon of carrots or peas from his mouth while reaching down to get more. He believes, I think, that there should be a funnel system ensuring he’s constantly getting the food.

He’s still the same happy, smiling baby, except when we take that spoon or bottle away. Oh, and he only poops every three days or so (Doctor says it’s normal.)

— He’s starting to scoot a little bit now, and he’s been rolling over for weeks. He’s also swatting at stuff, including his big brother when Nate happens to be near him (which is almost always). “He’s hitting me!” Nate will cry out.

“Nate, he doesn’t know he’s hitting you, you’re on top of him and he’s just flailing his arms.”

My argument is unconvincing to the big brother.

— Last thing about Theo: He has decided he’s a power-napper. His brother used to take delightful, 1.5-2 hour naps in the morning and afternoon at this age. Theo? Not so much. No matter the conditions, whether in stroller, crib or swing, he goes 40-45 minutes, then he’s up. So he takes 3-4 little naps throughout the day. Great for him, not so great for Daddy.

— So, Nate. The three-nager stage has definitely hit us. He’s still an amazing, smart, caring child (more on that in a minute) but the tantrums have certainly increased the last few months. Part of that is probably anxiety over our impending move to the new house, part of it is sharing our attention with his brother, and part of it is him just being 3.

But wow, we get 2-3 tantrums most days. About incredibly important things, like not getting to help me pump gas at the gas station, or not getting the snack he wanted.

Delightfully, when the tantrums come in the car, his legs are now long enough where he can kick the back of my seat while I’m driving, which makes me insane and puts me in a rage. We keep telling ourselves “this too, shall pass.”

— His heart is still so big, though. He’s always sharing his extra straw or napkin with other kids at school who don’t have one. The other night on the way home from visiting the new house, Shelley and I were talking about what to do for dinner. We asked him what he wanted.

“Whatever you guys want to have is fine with me,” he said.
I know he’s just repeating what he’s heard us say to each other. But still, come on! What 3-year-old says that?

— Nate has also ever so slightly started to get into sports (I have no idea how that happened :). One time during college basketball season he asked why some men on the court were wearing black and white stripes. I explained that those are the referees who make sure the players play by the rules.

For weeks afterwards when there was a game on, it was an excited cry of “Daddy! I just saw one of the referees! And there’s another one!”

— Finally, had a wonderful Dad moment last week, when we went to the new house (we move in a few weeks) and he got to see his new bedroom furniture. His own room, a big new bed, a swingset in the backyard… yeah he’ll miss NYC, but how his face lit up when he saw it … so great.

Now maybe he’ll get a job and help pay for it all.

 

 

A new edition of “The Daddy Files,” featuring my son walking, throwing phones into hampers, and causing other delightful mayhem. And the assistant principal who boogies at morning dropoff

nate.giraffe.halloween2015

And a Happy Friday to everyone out there on the Interwebs. It’s been a few months since I’ve written a “Daddy Files”, and as everyone knows, babies change a whole lot in a few months.

So lots to catch up on, if you’ll indulge me…

— So his first “real” Halloween (Nate was only 6 weeks old last Oct. 31) was a bit of an “eh” holiday for him. Over the course of the past year people had given us/bought us a few different costumes, including a robot and a giraffe (above).

On the big day, we took him trick or treating in our apartment building and he wasn’t really into it. When kind people would give him candy, he’d hand it right back to them. I told them that’s normal, he’s always handing stuff to us.

As my friend Ali (mom of 2 boys) pointed out, parents really score when the kid is too young to eat the Halloween candy. My stomach can confirm this!

— So the big news since my last “Daddy Files” when he turned 1 is that he’s walking by himself now. He started a week or two after his birthday and man, people were right when they told me everything would change once he was mobile. He sneaks up on me so much faster now, he falls a lot more (mostly because he’s walking too fast and trips on a rug or something), and he’s getting a lot more exercise. We started him on a My Gym class and in addition to the stair-climbing and ball-pit fun, he’s napping a lot better on those days.

— Also, with the walking? He can reach everything. It’s not just him emptying all of his clothes out of his drawers, then having me walk in and he gets this “Daddy I have NO idea how that happened!” look on his face. Every day I have to move something else that I didn’t think he could reach.

Nate.AngelWalk3

— I swear I wish I could figure out what he’s laughing at half the time. For example: When Nate was born we were given these two stools with his name on them spelled out in small blocks, and he loves to take the blocks out and play with them. So a few weeks ago we noticed a bunch of them were missing, and we couldn’t find them anywhere.
Then while playing with the boy on a Saturday, my wife opened one of his bigger toys and found like seven of his blocks in there. He giggled uproariously, and we wondered: Is he laughing because we found his secret hiding place, or is he laughing because he had forgotten he’d put them there and was happy to have them back?

— The transitioning to solid food thing isn’t going great. He loves his purees and pouches and will happily eat bread, and cheese, and small pieces of chicken. But at 14 months he still spits out a lot of the “grown-up food” we try to give him and we can’t quite shake the purees. Ah, all in due time.

— My clothes hamper rings on a regular basis now. Because my boy likes to take one of our cordless phones and put it in there. One time I had to dig through two days’ worth of pants and shirts to answer the phone.

Maybe that’s where it does belong?

–He waves at everyone on the street. Doesn’t matter if he’s in his stroller, or walking, or anywhere. I swear it’s like he’s the mayor of our block. And he gets this confused look on his face when people don’t wave back. In his mind, what could be more important?

**Finally today, I give you Gary Logan, an assistant principal at Woodrow Elementary School in Conway, Ark. He is the most enthusiastic morning drop-off faculty member in world history. He dances or sings every morning to try to make the students happy and smile, and most of the time, he accomplishes his mission.

Just check out this dude’s moves and try not to smile. You go, Mr. Logan. Shake that moneymaker.

“I don’t do bad days,” Logan says. “Every day is a good day.”

I love people like Gary Logan, taking a mundane activity filled with frowns and making it fun.