Saturday, January 05, 2008

Baby's Got a Temper

Soon after Patrick was born, my dad said something to the effect of “he’s already got his own little personality”. Having never been this close to a baby before, I wasn’t too sure how he would know that: I mean, all Patrick seemed to do was cry, poo and, very occasionally, sleep. However, as he’s grown, we have seen emerging a very definite little person with his very definite little likes and dislikes. I’m rational enough to know that he’s very much like many other babies out there in most respects- although any parent is proud of their offsprings’ developmental milestones, as I am- immensely proud, I know that he’s pretty much developing as he should. He’s not a sauvant, and the flipside of being a sauvant is not comforting (autism spectrum disorders), so I’m happy that he’s not going to compose his first concerto at age 18 months.

But where he differs from any other baby (and every other baby differs from every other baby) is, of course, his personality. Patrick is, for the most part, bright, curious and playful. When he is tired or sick, though, he can be cranky, irritable and very unpleasant. (Which kind of sums me up too, but that’s a whole different post). Most recently he developed (pretty much on schedule) separation anxiety. Thankfully he’s over the absolute worst of it where we couldn’t even leave the room to have a wee, despite the fact he can see me from his play area waving from the loo if I don’t close the door. He didn’t want to be in the pram because he couldn’t see us. He wanted to be picked up and carried around 24 hours of the day, which is not really compatible with trying to run your life. During this period we had one of our rare nights out, and the babysitter couldn’t deal with him: an experienced babysitter, not just some teenage girl, either. It was terrible.

He is improving, though not completely ‘cured’. He’s happy, mostly, if he can see either me or MrT, but woe betide us if we have the cheek to leave him, say, at day care, although these days he’s pretty much recovered by the time I get to the car, whereas in the thick of it you could still hear him screaming through the brick wall into the car park. (He’s got great lungs. On lungs he’s well above the 90th percentile).

Now the temper gets directed at different things- like when we remove from his grasp something potentially dangerous, like a cooks’ knife (I’m a great mother) or a dead cockroach (it’s summer. It’s NSW. There are cockroaches and there is nothing you can do about it) or put sunscreen on him (I’ve never liked sunscreen either).

Other things he doesn’t like are balloons (one popped at him), people with beards, being strapped in to any type of harness, any food you have spent either money or time on, and, horror of horrors, bananas.

How can any baby primate not like bananas? That’s unpossible!!

He’ll either gently push these things away, or, when he’s really riled, scream and buck and purse his lips and blow enormous raspberries. One true quirk which I have never heard of any other baby doing is that when he gets absolutely livid, he’ll start ‘trilling’ with his tongue- like rolling your Rs at the front of your palate “Wah WAHHH WAH DRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!” It’s kind of cute, but unfortunately makes the kindest of strangers turn and Look. Very occasionally he’ll do it quietly when he’s playing, so he sounds like a cat purring “Prrrrrrr. Prrrrrrr”. That’s really cute, especially when he combines it with “The Woggle”- rocking his head from side to side Stevie Wonder style. We’ve mostly observed “The Woggle” when he’s listening to music, so it’s well gorgeous.

I’ve got no better way of ending this post than to express horror at the promo for this week’s cahnnel 9 “Extreme Makeover” that promises “From Goth to Gorgeous”. Who said Goths can’t be gorgeous anyway? Grrrrrrrrrrr. Or, make that Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.


Blogger E, M, and the Little Man said...

I found your blog over at The Twinkle. Our boys are close in age. They also have a few things in common: TEMPER and loathing of bananas. I, like you, keep thinking "What baby doesn't like bananas?"

11/1/08 21:02  

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