Chris Pratt knows the highs and lows of fatherhood all too well. His 4-year-old son, Jack, was born nine weeks early and spent the beginning of his life in the NICU.
But today he is a happy and healthy little boy, who brings a lot of joy and laughter to his dad’s world.
In honor of Pratt’s 38th birthday today, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite parenting moments from the actor. Keep scrolling for some “lols” and “awws.”
When he and Jack were the cutest father-son duo at a local parade
Pratt and his son stole the show at the Seafair Torchlight Parade in Seattle last year.
When he and his wife got competitive about bedtime stories
“I’ll read the left page, and she’ll read the right page. And I start affecting a little accent for the character, and then she’s like, ‘Oh!’ And she then starts gesticulating and laughing, and before long, it’s like we’re completely not even paying attention to whether or not he’s even [paying attention]. We’re so competitive with one another, it’s like ‘I’m calling in my hair and makeup team. I’ve got my costume!’”
When he taught Jack how to fish
“This kid will be my partner in the bass masters pro am when he’s old enough. We’ll take the bass fishing world by storm,” he captioned a sweet Instagram video.
When he made an emotional speech about having a preemie
“I’ve done all kinds of cool things as an actor. I’ve jumped out of helicopters and done some daring stunts and played baseball in a professional stadium, but none of it means anything compared to being somebody’s daddy,” Pratt said in his speech at the March of Dimes Celebration of Babies in 2014.
Reflecting on his son’s time in the NICU, he recalled, “I made promises in that moment about what kind of dad I wanted to be and I just prayed that he’d live long enough that I could keep them.”
When he talked about his unusually polite toddler
“It’s super frustrating because you’re like, ‘Alright, now. Jack, I think it’s time for bed,’ and he’ll say, ‘Hm, I thought about it and no thanks, Dad, not right now,’ and I’m like, ‘He’s so polite! What am I supposed to do?’” Pratt said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
When his son was totally trolling him
Pratt told Jimmy Fallon about his son’s visit to Universal Studios. “He came home the other day and he was like, ‘Dad, I met the real Jurassic World guy.’ I was like, ‘That guy?! No!’”
Pratt said the same thing happened when Jack went to Legoland and saw the real Emmet from “The Lego Movie.”
“I think he knows,” the actor joked. “I think he’s just being mean.”
When he explained his thoughts on family photos on social media
“Those are those little snapshots into our life,” he said in an interview with Yahoo. “It’s really cool. Those types of moments are the most meaningful. It’s the little tiny life things. Being able to see that moment forces me to remember that that is the moment I’m teaching my son to tie his tie. So much of this stuff that we do, you’re never really present. You’re focusing on the next thing.”
When he set an example of giving back
Pratt often visits Children’s Hospitals and hospital NICUs to meet with patients.
When he looked back on his son’s first months.
“We were scared for a long time. We prayed a lot. It restored my faith in God, not that it needed to be restored, but it really redefined it. The baby was so beautiful to us, and I look back at the photos of him and it must have been jarring for other people to come in and see him, but to us he was so beautiful and perfect.”
When he struggled to discipline his son
“I take him into the other room, take a chair, face it into the corner and say, ‘You’re in a time-out. Now I want you to sit here and think,’” Pratt told Conan while describing his response to a dinnertime tantrum. But as he and his wife continued eating, they noticed that the toddler seemed perfectly at ease, Pratt added, doing a hilarious impression of his son’s content face.
“I was like, ’I don’t think this seems like punishment to him.’”