I Had to Confront My 2-Year-Old About His Inflated Ego

It is truly a marvel to watch my 2-year-old son develop.

Physically, he's growing as you would expect a healthy child to. Not too long ago, all he could do was turnover. Then, overnight it seemed, he was crawling, climbing himself up with the aid of furniture, walking and running. Cognitively, he's a superstar. He's conversational, and he knows at least the chorus to Radioactive by The Imagine Dragons.

While I'm proud of him, this shit is starting to go to his head.

Before he could talk or move, he was a lot more humble. When we fussed over him, he would coo and that was it. He also used to be a good listener. I could tell him what was on my mind, and he'd let me take all the time I needed. Now he just leaves the room.

Apparently, he's a Goddamn big shot.

One of his many new expressions is "I did it!" when he accomplishes something. When he climbs by himself onto his kitchen chair, tosses his empty sippie cup into the sink or drains a basket into his two-foot hoop, it's "I did it!"

It's all very cute, and I love that by saying "I did it!" he's growing his self-confidence. However, he also says it when it's not merited. He gets away with calling me by my first name and poking my nipples, but here is where I must draw the line or the terrorists win.

Lately he abuses the expression. One day I turned on Bubble Guppies to shut him the fuck up, and when the episode ended, he triumphantly shouted, "I did it!" I stared at him slightly vexed. Exactly what did you do? I wanted to ask him. You didn't write, direct, animate or produce the show. But I let it go.

Then there was the time he closed the baby gate. "I did it!" He beamed, except that the gate swung right back open because he failed to snap it shut.

The last straw for me was when he took credit for the garbage men discarding our trash.

"Garbage truck," he said, face pressed against the window and nursing a sagging diaper. "Mens takes away garbage."

I waited for it and it came.

"I did it!"

I set up time on the calendar to finally confront him. I figured I'd have his full attention while I was changing his diaper before putting him to bed.

"We need to talk," I began.

"Me make poop in diaper," he responded.

"You're getting a little too conceited."

I unsnapped his diaper and it was as though someone dropped a handful of Whoppers in there.

"No getting conseetit."

"But you are. It's one thing to actually uh, complete a task, but it's another to take credit for something you didn't do."

"Mommy downstairs."

I scooped a ball out of his thigh crevice. "Here, I'll give you an example of what I'm talking about," I said, rolling up his dirty diaper.

"I did it!" He shouted.

"Ah! See? This is exactly what I mean. You didn't do anything. I changed you. You didn't change yourself. If you did then it would be appropriate to say 'I did it'. When Mommy gave birth to you, I didn't declare 'I did it!' I didn't even say it nine months earlier when the pee stick said 'pregnant'. I could have because I made a rather powerful deposit. I don't know. Just try to show a little more humility is all."

"No oh."

"What?"

"No David. No show humilee."

"Look man, I'm just trying to educate you here. I thought this could be a teachable moment."

"Me saw bugs. Me saw bugs at the park."

"Me saw? When did you turn into Jar Jar Binks?"

"Me saw two bugs in a blanket. Me no eat them."

"That's good because bugs are yucky. Good protein, though."

"Protein bar. Me eat protein bar."

"So, back to what I was saying..."

"David has two nipples."

"I do."

"David has two pink nipples."

"Are you going to take credit for those, too?"

"Yep."

He wins.

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    David Telisman

    I am a vitamin D-deficient former Floridian--who, despite the spring...er...extended winter--loves Chicago. I contradicted convention (and common sense) by moving FROM the beach to the Midwest, but Lou Malnati's and any Italian beef sandwich reinforce that I made the right decision. I also got a wife and two sons out of it, and I would do anything for my family, except miss a Miami Hurricanes football game. This is my take on fatherhood. You can contact me at david.telisman@gmail.com. Thank you for reading!

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