Ever since my son was born on April 1st of last year, there's been a question on my mind: Does being born on April Fool's Day mean that you are a fool or that you're a person who likes to fool others? In other words, will Gregory be gullible and naive or will he be a mischievous prankster? And which of these is better?
It's hard to tell right away what the personality of your child is going to be. During the first few months of life they pretty much sit there like a wet blanket (literally) and don't do much other than sleep, eat, and poop. But then gradually comes a little smile, then a laugh, then the eyes begin to focus and respond to people. And now that Gregory has turned one, more and more of his unique personality seems to be busting out every day.
It's fun as the relationship with my son is becoming more dynamic and real back-and-forth communication is beginning to happen, even though he's not actually talking yet. A few weeks ago he began saying the word, "da da da". I was really proud that his first words were about me, until I realized that he called everything "da da", including his mother, the cat, and the toilet. Oh well.
His curiosity is also growing and he's learned how to open cabinets and check my shirt pockets for fun things like my cell phone or keys. Though he's not quite walking yet, Gregory can pull himself up and scoot around the sofa and coffee table with surprising speed. Already we've had to elevate everything in the house as just about anything he grabs will find the way into his mouth.
But with this curiosity also comes some attitude. When I try to pull my cell phone out of his grip, he jerks his hand away and gives a disapproving grunt. Then he glares at you with a furrowed brow and a protruding lower lip. It's so serious looking that you can't help but laugh.
I have also noticed in the last several weeks that he is more "clingy" and starting to show a hint of shyness. It's flattering to be wanted, but there are times where I just need to get things done around the house and as soon as I set him down in his play pen or his crib, he begins to wail.
I used to think that I needed two arms to make it through life, but now I see that's not the case. Since Gregory hates being put down, I've learned how to push the vacuum with one arm while holding him in the other. Not to brag, but I've gotten pretty adept at this one-armed strategy and can pour a bowl of cereal, type and send a text message, pay bills, and even clean the fridge-- all without dropping the kid. I just have to remember to switch arms occasionally so that I build up the strength equally on both sides.
I was even thinking that the One-Armed Pentathlon could be an event at the Summer Olympics! I can just picture Diaper Dudes from around the globe gathering together for a glorious display of diapering dexterity, stroller stamina, and various one-armed contests of agility and strength. Look for it this summer in London.
The truth is Gregory doesn't have to be any kind of fool, whether naive or sneaky, but hopefully can just be the person God has meant for him to be. It's really cool to have this gradual introduction to the person that is my son. And, I must say, I'm very glad to meet him.