Talking on the phone with Spencer Pratt and he’s a bit distracted.
In the background, I can hear Heidi Montag fiddling with the couple’s coffee machine. She’s making a shot of espresso for him and some oatmeal. Pratt is holding Gunner Stone, close enough that I can hear him softly cooing every few minutes or so. Pratt alternates between answering my questions and talking sweetly to his newborn. “Yeah, you just want to be in the interview too, don’t you,” he tells him.
Dozens and dozens of hummingbirds are buzzing outside. I know this because multiple times during our chat Pratt pauses to tell me. “I’m overwhelmed right now,” he says at one point. “I don’t know what’s going on, there are just so many hummers outside right now.”
This Spencer Pratt seems miles away from the one who showed up a little more than a decade ago on the second season of The Hills ready and willing to play the role of reality TV villain. Could it be…has fatherhood changed Spencer Pratt?
You be the judge. Here, the new dad gives FLARE a glimpse into his life and how he’s taking parenting cues from Kelly Oxford. Plus—we had to ask—can we expect any Hills baby playdates soon?
On the most important lesson he’ll teach Gunner
“Well, the first thing I would teach him is to not burn bridges. That’s a hard lesson I learned thinking I could do everything myself without, you know, teammates, or support from friends and family. In business and in life I’ve learned you really need that support system—yes, you, little baby, no you can’t do everything by yourself. So yeah, definitely, no burning bridges, only building olive branches.”
On his approach to parenting right now
“Right now, it’s only been a few weeks so I can’t really speak to my approach to it just yet. I’m just here for Heidi when she needs me. She’s definitely taking the lead on everything, and I’m more like her backup.”
“At this stage, I’m really just trying to do as much baby talking as possible, because I read that talking to babies is really good for their brain. I’m bringing him to my jiu-jitsu lessons—we got him a little crib thing and we have him watch because I want him to become a world champion jiu-jitsu fighter one day. Wait, athlete is the better word. He’s not a fighter, he’s a lover. And then, what else? (I just took the best photo of my life. Heidi, come look at this photo. Sorry, he’s so distracting.) What else? I read that it’s important for babies to look at themselves in the mirror, it’s also really good for the brain, and he loves looking at himself in selfie mode on the phone. We take lots of pictures together, play lots of music. He’s really into Taylor Swift’s “Gorgeous” right now.”
On how Kelly Oxford inspires him
“So much of what Kelly shares on social media is parenting-related content, and I see how she’s this really cool mom. She’s the cool mom. I definitely want to be the Kelly-style parent, where I can just be with my kids, hang out with them, listen to them. She seems like a really dope parent. I don’t think we’re at the stage yet where we need Kelly’s parenting advice, it’s still feels really new right now, but definitely in the future when he turns into a little rascal, I’m sure we’ll call out for Kelly’s advice.”
On Gunner’s crystal collection
“Gunner loves touching crystals. If I take him into our crystal room, his eyes will go straight for the crystals on the shelves—they’ll pop right open. He’s definitely convincing me that we’re in a holographic universe. You know, he sees all the crystals super different from how I see them, I think, just the way his eyes look at them. I definitely want him to learn everything he can about crystals, as well as different rocks. His crystal collection is going to be unbelievable.”
Shout out @crystalarium1 for dropping off $27,000 in crystals for the birth
— Pratt Daddy (@spencerpratt) October 2, 2017
“Right now, he’s really gravitating toward the citrine crystal hanging from a leather rope on my neck. He always grabs for it and holds onto it. I think he likes it.”
On his relationship with Heidi
“Our relationship definitely has changed. Honestly, I didn’t thought I could love Heidi more, but I love Heidi even more now, so much more that I thought I could. She is so amazing. I think about what she did for us, giving birth to our baby boy, it’s just amazing. I see her get up in the middle of the night to breastfeed or rock him, and it’s just the best. I didn’t realize how much I would love parenting with her. She’s so strong. She’s the toughest woman on my planet. I don’t want to shade other women, but in my world, she’s the best.”
On his connection to hummingbirds
“When we found out Heidi was pregnant—like pretty much the same day—two baby hummingbirds hatched out of eggs on our front door, which a) I’d never seen a hummingbird’s nest, it’s this unbelievable, magical, little thing; and b) I’d never seen the little eggs in person, they’re like the size of Tic Tacs. A big rainstorm was coming in and my mom was like, You can’t let their nest fill up with water. So I spent like two weeks out in the rain with tarps guarding this nest to get these babies through the storm.”
“And once I did, everything was great. They were growing up and about to leave their nest and I remember looking at the camera that I had monitoring them, and I see this rat, hanging upside down from a branch, eating one of the babies. So I ran out and chased him away and called a wildlife rescue to come for the other baby. They spent like a month nursing him, and I’d visit and we had this bond. I called him Alan. They re-released Alan in my yard and told me he’d fly away and to not take it personally, but he didn’t. He sat right where he was born and he let me get close to him and we hung out like every day taking selfies. This was back when we lived in Santa Barbara and I didn’t really have too much of a social life, so this hummingbird became my best friend.”
can’t wait for my son to feed hummers
— Pratt Daddy (@spencerpratt) October 2, 2017
“When we moved back to L.A., it was really sad for me at first because we had such a connection, and I had no hummingbirds at my new house. So I started putting feeders out and changing the nectar every day and eventually I went from having one hummer to two hummers to 100 hummers. Once they started landing on my fingers, that’s when it really turned into something special for me. It’s like they’re looking into your soul, it’s so next level.”
On his new role: dadager
“I’m definitely a dadager, 100 percent. Kris Jenner is my goal. Look out, Kris Jenner!”
“We’re actually waiting any minute to get the call to see if Gunner is the one they picked for a Super Bowl commercial. My older sister messaged her friend who saw the casting call. They wanted a newborn with lots of blond hair and we sent Gunner’s photo and they said they loved him. So we brought him in and we’re waiting to see if he got it. The whole process was so much fun. It was definitely not our last audition.”
On Hills baby playdates
“Oh, absolutely, there are going to be playdates. Definitely with Kristin’s kids. Definitely with Audrina’s kid. Definitely with Whitney’s kid. Definitely with Brody’s soon-to-be kid, who is coming any day now. And, you know what, I gotta believe miracles can happen and maybe one day Gunner and Liam [Lauren Conrad’s son] will have a playdate.”
On how fatherhood has changed him
“Fatherhood has absolutely changed me. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I think I finally found my calling. Now all I’m thinking about, always, is how will this or that affect Gunner’s life. I think, how can I set up this or that so that Gunner can do this. And, oh I can’t wait to learn and teach Gunner this. Just everything now is about looking toward the future and making it good for him. It’s not about me anymore. I’ve retired my motivations and I’m on the Gunner Team.”