‘Days of Our Lives’ star Bryan Dattilo talks: “How My Son Changed my Life”
Now Bryan and I speak everyday at some point for a few minutes coordinating our son’s schedule, or exchanging funny things he did or said. Today amongst school projects and the whereabouts of his Spiderman lunchbox, I asked Bryan to go a little deeper and reflect on how fatherhood has changed and impacted his life. Having known Bryan pre-baby I can testify as to how much it has matured him and how lucky I feel to have an ex-husband that is a true dad to his son and heavily involved in his life.
How has fatherhood changed you?
“My son probably saved my life…before he was born I was a bit…foolish…at times. Having a child you live for someone else, you have to be a role model and provide for them long term. It really forces you to look in the mirror more and really examine who you are.”
“As you know I am a bit of a neat freak (Bryan would vacuum under the crib and the baby would sleep through it, he was methodical about the diapers, the tape had to match up, and no one could wrap a baby in a perfect burrito blanket like he could)
“I’ve been through stitches, a broken arm, bee sting to the eye with an allergic reaction, spills and more, I’ve come to face that I have to accept things, I have definitely mellowed, just last night Gabe spilled his water all over the bed and I didn’t get upset.”
Gabe looks up to you so much, what is the greatest you think you have taught him?
“I admire and foster his individuality- he is his own person. I want him to know it is good to be like me, like his dad, but he doesn’t have to be me to be a good person. I am hopefully teaching him confidence in who he is. That he can be whatever he wants to be, I don’t him that he can’t do anything…you can’t say can’t…”
What is your favorite memory?
“Wow I have to pick just one? Well everyday he does something fun or funny that makes me laugh, just this morning on the way to school he said, “Dad, who would win a race, Flash, Dash or Michael Johnson?”
So who would win?
“Gabe seemed to think Dash would because his legs went the fastest, I wouldn’t argue with that.”
“OK a memory, let’s see, I know it is obvious memory, but I’ll never forget his birth, seeing his head for the first time and then with his right fist and arm how he punched his way out, I love to tell that.”
I remind him how he almost fainted several times.
“Yeah, it’s funny but birth was a lot harder on me than you, you pushed him out no problem, I was sweating and dizzy”
Yeah remember I was telling you to relax and breathe…
“Um, next question…”
Where do you see yourself in Gabe the most?
The way his eyes squint when he frowns or is thinking deep.
What has been your favorite stage?
Honestly I liked them all I love when he was 2/3 and starting to talk, I love his little lingo and language, we used to call it “Gabonese” were only we really knew what he wanted and had to translate to the outside world.
And of course I am loving the stage he is in now, and we wrestle in the pool, it’s funny at times he is stronger than me, if I let up he overpowers me, it’s shifting…. He’s only 7 and he’s almost as tall as me! HA
What is the best advice you could give to a new dad?
Spend as much time as you can and be as involved as you can. I am lucky my job allows me to pick him up from school and be there to drop him off and go to recitals and practices. But I also rearrange my schedule to spent the most time possible and support him in his sports or activities that he likes. You’ll never regret having spent too much time with your kid.
What do you love most about your son?
What don’t I love? I love that he is always so happy and sweet, he has such a good heart down to his soul, he lives and enjoys every moment, he is so present and engaged in what he is doing. He brings out the best in me; he is always making me smile and keeps me in a good mood.
That’s great. I’ll tell him I think we have enough, oh one last question…
When you drop him off can you bring his Super Silly Joke book, he has been wanting to read some to me.
Click here to read Days of Our Lives Star (and new host of the Biggest Loser) Alison Sweeney talk about how she balances romance and motherhood.