What she is like

When the Girl was 15 weeks old, I had a stab at predicting what her personality was like, wondering how much of a child’s character is visible in the little baby stage. I think it is time now for an update: let me tell you what my girl is like.

Look! Bunnies!!

Look! Bunnies!!

Her defining feature is still, like at 15 weeks, her immense capacity for joy. She loves life, loves her special people, loves silliness and songs and things you can cuddle or operate or play peekaboo with. Her default setting is smiles. She gets tired and clingy, but she rarely gets really grumpy – unless her brother tries to hug her or you take her food away.

She is most definitely not gentle or cautious, as I thought at first. She is a kamikaze baby, hurling herself at everything that sparks her interest, heedless of trip hazards. She usually ends up flat on her face and has a new bruise on her forehead daily. Whereas the Boy learned what to do with doorsteps a week or so after he cracked walking, and would navigate Opa and Oma’s doorstep-heavy house with great care, the Girl keeps her eyes fixed on the prize and barrels on through. I have watched her trip over the same step three times (cruel Mummy) before she clocked, the fourth time, that maybe this had happened before and she should pause to investigate what was the matter with this particular route. She is a climber, where her brother was not, and she clambers up onto chairs and stools and boxes in order to get to forbidden objects – something the Boy has only just worked out.

She loves eating and experiments with her mouth. You can put her on the floor, release her and she will locate and target anything small and colourful in the vicinity and start munching on it: floor raisins, bits of play dough, glitters, stickers, you name it. Not everything is food, thankfully: I caught her at the cats’ bowls once, but it turned out she was just tidying up a bit and putting all the little cat biscuits that were strewn on the floor back into their bowls for them. She likes to find her own drinks as well: when I’m running the bath she will lean over and scoop up some water from the tap and slurp it out of her hand. This week – the horror – I found her using the same ‘scoop’ method to sample a little of her brother’s wee from the potty. Yup, that’s a story we’re saving for her wedding day. Suitors, be warned.

She is definitely very sociable and loving. She loves people and is always charming strangers and making new friends on public transport. When we leave the supermarket she says goodbye to the store at large, waving her little hand and saying “Hiiiii!” At the end of the day, she will flag and interrupt reluctant play to come over to me or Daddy or The Fairy Godmother and lean her head against our legs, sucking her fingers and twirling her hair.

Even at night, she prefers company. Around ten or eleven pm she will wake up crying and we all know what time it is: it is cuddle time. Kind offers from others to settle her end in more screaming and tears. It is not until Mummy comes up and hugs her close that her breathing slows and settles, she sucks her fingers and snuggles into the hug. Then I can lower her back into her cot and leave the room, closing the door behind me, and she will sleep on, her hug-tank refuelled for a few more hours.

So that is my Girl, at 14 months: loving, friendly, headlong-hurling-kamikaze toddler covered in bruises, cheeky explorer, devourer of everything, wee-drinker, singer of songs, full to overflowing with the joys of life.

Joy at stickers

Joy at stickers

 

Echo

20 week scan

My son.

Echo

Was that really you?

That tiny hand, waving
grey fuzzy fingers
saying hello
in utero

Was that already you?

Were you thinking
five
five fingers on each hand.
Were you tasting
apple
Mummy canna have-a apple?
Were you seeing
red
Oh! Mummy all red.
Were you bouncing
boing!
saying weeeeeeee

but soundlessly

inside of me.

Unthinkable and yet
as you curl up on my lap
lean in to me
clutching close
so close
feel my touch
hear my voice
smell my scent
I wonder:
do you remember
that home of heart beats
yours and mine
or both in harmony
and do you sometimes wish
you could go back and
that we could be

one?

Are your desperate tears
a yearning for a time
when I could never leave,
never be apart
from you?

Now
I go and wave

You wave five grubby fingers
peach and apple-sticky
waving still but frowning
as already you yearn

for my return.

 

(c) Judith Kingston, 2013

Prose for Thought

Personality prediction at 15 weeks

Now that my daughter is awake and alert for longer stretches in the day, I am increasingly curious about what we can already see of her personality. So I thought it would be fun to write down what I think she is like at the moment and read it back in, say, four months time to see whether the description still seems to fit.

Sociable – The Baby loves staring and smiling at people and gets cranky if she is left to her own devices/with inanimate dangly toys for too long. Often a grumpy moment can be turned to giggles by lots of attention: flying through the air, “this little piggy”, silly songs or just a little chat. Whereas at home she will get cross and tired quite quickly, when we’re out among people she is happy to look around at all the friendly faces for much longer.

Like her brother, I think she might be an observer, who looks before she leaps. I think this will become clearer in four months time, but she seems quite a gentle soul and when all around her is frenzied activity, she will look and take everything in before she decides to kick and coo with excitement or cry in distress.

Self-sufficient – again, quite a thing to deduce from a fifteen week old baby, so we will have to see later on, but she seems to be quite happy to regulate her own sleeping and waking. She doesn’t want interference from us – in fact, it makes her quite cross. She just wants to be put in bed with the light out and she can take it from there. And if you get her out of bed before she is ready she will let you know about it.

Joyful. I love watching her smile and kick her legs in excitement. I love listening to her cheerful conversational noises. This little baby just seems to have a great capacity for joy.

Let’s see if I was right – what will she be like in four months’ time? And perhaps a more philosophical question: do you think that we will be subconsciously encouraging the above traits in her now that I have put them into writing?