In the movie 300, boys become men by going out in the wild all alone, somewhere around age 9ish, armed only with a small knife or wood shank or something, and must return to the village having killed a wolf and triumphantly cloaked in its skin and fur. As a dad of a boy and for reasons I can't explain rationally, I approve of this method of parenting.
Gunner is nearly one and half, which is the polite way of saying "he is very cute but is also learning how to be a real a-hole sometimes." Don't get me wrong, a one and half year old is a ton of fun much of the time....but oh how they are learning both sides of the coin. Parental "nos" and "prevention" are now being fully tested or given voiced disapproval. This behavior is fairly constant and even escalating at times. "Gunner please put my phone down" is followed by "AH!" and throwing my phone across the room. "Gunner that's the dogs' food so please don't touch it" is followed by "AH! and kicking the bowl instead. Oh how he is learning to tantrum.
Common modern parenting practice, ignoring or downplaying the tantrum. But just maybe, we should look into the 300 approach; if he is ready to talk big, then he can now act big. "Gunner, you want my phone? Take it. But you have to unlock it and navigate through it yourself to find your games and apps. And if you break it, it's coming out of your diaper/wipes/ointment budget so no more Pampers and AD, it's now Rite Aid brand only time. Your call. Good luck buddy." This method also promotes independent decision making, self-confidence, cost benefit analysis, and accepting consequences of his own actions.
In other areas of our child's development, speaking is getting better. He officially has said a version of "apple" and "Maggie", his first two syllable word adventures. He has learned and can find and locate and point out so many objects, colors, and shapes that it is actually very impressive. So while his vocabulary is small, his understanding is obviously vast. It makes me feel like he is a volcano of knowledge on the brink of eruption. Which I am sure is a common parental feeling as I felt very similar with his newborn gas issues then infant sleep habits then crawling then walking and now talking.
So in a nutshell, fatherhood is about 1) proudly helping your child through these areas of developmental breakthrough and 2) making sure they aren't a pompous jerk about it.
His official 16 month shots....