Baby book: CHS teacher’s first tome tackles first born son

By on December 22, 2015


Four-year-old Gavin Leffler can barely write, but he knows how to handle an autograph request.

The inspiration for his father’s first book, “The Boy’s World: His Trials Our Tribulations,” Gavin has signed 60 to 70 copies over the last month.

Courtesy Hannah Gehris Photography The Leffler family: (clockwise from left) Amy, baby Gianna, Gavin, Victoria, and David.

Courtesy Hannah Gehris Photography
The Leffler family: (clockwise from left) Amy, baby Gianna, Gavin, Victoria, and David.

David “DJ” Leffler decided to write the book chronicling his wife’s first pregnancy, the delivery, and Gavin’s exploits between birth and his third birthday.

“He provides constant entertainment,” says Leffler, a business teacher at Cocalico High School. “You never know what he’s going to do. He has pushed the limits many, many times.”

Leffler has an older daughter from a previous relationship, but raising a boy has given him new perspective on parenting.

Leffler tracks everything from labor to gift registry to baby proofing a house in his own unique writing style. Not quite essay, not quite biography, the format includes advice and pop culture references interspersed with tales of raising an adventurous child.

Despite the kid-friendly cover, the book is meant for adults. There’s some realistic language, not all of it G-rated.

Leffler recorded verbatim conversations with his wife, Amy, a middle school teacher in Berks County. The couple now has a second child, Gianna, who is eight months old.

Gavin’s older sister, Victoria, 14, joins the crew every other weekend.

Leffler says the girls are the calm counterparts to Gavin, who regularly elicited “incident” reports from his daycare providers. “He had his face on red three of five days a week,” Leffler jokes, referring to a school discipline chart for toddlers.

Some of his most challenging times involved toilet training. Though frustrated with the experience, Leffler says he could look back on humor at the process.

One day he wondered if his child was behind the curve and pushing him to hurry up and learn. The next, remembers Leffler, Dad was reluctantly layering sheets of toilet paper to protect his baby bottom from the dangers of public toilets.

Leffler shares some traits with his son: they both love sports and movies.

But Dad admires his son’s ability to morph into nearly any character, even those he’s way too young to know.

During a particularly greedy stage, Gavin walked around the housing practically chanting, “mine, mine, mine.” His dad likened it to the seagull from Pixar’s “Finding Nemo.” Another “impression” involved kicking everything insight, a la Brazilian soccer star Pele.

The book closes on Gavin’s third birthday, when he’s so elated he has a “joyful accident” on the floor.

Leffler’s hope was that by compiling his own escapades-and his survival tactics-he could entertain other parents and inspire parents-to-be.

“As a parent, we all have these moments,” he says. “This book wasn’t meant to be serious at all. My goal is to get people to smile and maybe reminisce.”

Leffler’s book is available online through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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