He can tear hard cover baby books in a single rip. He can clean out all the pots and pans from the kitchen cabinets and drawers and put them on the floor in a matter of minutes. He can fight off the most experienced of diaper changers and leave them flailing their arms as he out-muscles them. He is now known as the "Duke of Destruction."
The "Duke of Destruction," also known as Baby New Year for 2012 in Marshalltown, turned 11 months old Monday. As he grows, the destruction will no doubt continue around the house, but he has definitely earned his new nickname.
Compared to our first child, this guy appears to have more of an impetus to destroy. He is a happy baby, so it's not like he goes smashing things like Godzilla, but he is just more aggressive with things.
He recently snapped one of my music records in half like it was nothing. He's also the reason there will be no full Christmas tree this year in our house - way too dangerous for the phase he's in right now.
One of the biggest surprises has been those baby board books that have been torn up. Many of these books survived our first child and even children before that. But they were no match for the Duke. Some of our favorite reads to our children now have become two-part and three-part series books instead of all together in one read. There's a page or two under the table, a page on the couch, and the conclusion to the book in a toy bin.
It's not only household items that he tears into - sometimes it's his parents. He squeezed the side of my nose so hard over the weekend I thought he gave me a third nostril.
He can tackle his 4-year-old sister pretty violently for someone who hasn't even celebrated his first birthday yet. That is one strong kid.
Nothing is safe from the Duke, so we are all on guard when he roams the house.
But that doesn't mean we don't still think he is a very sweet baby, who smiles, laughs and gets plenty of kisses. A woman who saw him in public the other day called him a "ray of sunshine." So, as you can see, it's not all destruction for the Duke.
Sometimes he's the "Duke of Being Darling," too.
Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org