Validation In My Kid Wanting Me To Hold Him

15 months.

Now at 15 months, my son Jack actually asks for me to hold him; even when my wife is in the room too.

Actually, he grunts for me to hold him, but same difference. For me, the dad, that’s a honkin’ big deal.

A few weeks ago my wife had to stay home from work with him because he had a fever. When I came home that day, as soon as he saw me, he started crying, “Dada-dada-dada-dada…”.

“He’s been doing that all afternoon,” my wife told me.

Without hesitation, I responded with a big smile, “Really?!”

It’s just that for the prior 14 months, I was a bologna sandwich compared to my wife, when it came to comforting him.

Now, all of the sudden, he whines for me to hold him… on a daily basis!

Sorry, but this feels really good. Maybe I’m just overly eager for some validation as the dad who has spent most of his son’s life trying to figure out how I can actually help take care of him.

I’m no longer ghost dad.

Maybe it’s just taken this long for him to learn to appreciate the smell of my natural manly musk; I don’t know. But somehow, I comfort him now.

He’s my koala bear. I’m the Eucalyptus tree.

As I look at this collage my wife made for his 1st birthday and compare it to a more modern picture of him, I can’t help but think, “Yeah, 15 months old is my favorite age for him so far.”

These pictures of him going all the way back to his infancy show me, like my sister recently told me on the phone: “Jack looks like a little boy now.”

He is a little boy, barely. But I really appreciate the “boy version” of him over the “baby version.”

Because the boy version makes me feel validated as a parent. And I’ve been waiting for a long time to feel this way.

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  1. by Jenna

    On February 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    That moment, when my babies cry for Daddy, or spend all day asking for Daddy is a favorite and least favorite. I love that they are at that point that they are a little self-sufficient, they tell you what they want (or don’t want, most of the time) and are just generally better at communicating. But man is it a slap in the face to be the one who has been up night after night, who stays home all day, who deals with all the tantrums and generall unpleasantness that comes in between all the great parenting moments, to have the other parent (in my case Daddy) be the hero. WHAT ABOUT ME?!

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