When it sunk in that the missus was pregnant, I had a slight fear in the back of my mind about what would happen if she gave birth to an ugly kid. I know it sounds awful to say when pregnancy and birth is such a miracle, but let’s be honest, who dreams of having a kid that has been dropped by the stork and proceeded to hit every branch of the ugly tree on the way down?
If you take all of the bits you don’t like about yourself and the parts that your partner doesn’t like about themself, then mould that into the form of a little baby, you could be forgiven for thinking that your collective dodgy genes could create a Gollum-like character. This is particularly true for us when you count up all of my weird features alone, be it eyes too big for my face, a massive Adam’s apple, Dumbo ears, a weird rash on my body and a stupid growth on my eyelid that makes me feel like Elephant Man. Please form an orderly queue ladies.
By some miracle, Baby L has come into the world and is perfect. Some people say she looks like me, whereas others swear she looks like Hayley. I can see similarities of us both. If you draw an equator along the centre of the little one’s face, then the top half is probably from my genes, whilst the bottom half is the missus’ DNA. She has my brown hair colour, my big eyes and my blue / green eye colour, but seems to take her button nose, cute mouth (and bottom lip) and chubby cheeks from the wife.
As Baby L has got older (she’s now nearly 16 weeks), her personality and other little quirks seem to be appearing. We’ve started attributing these to either myself or Hay depending on whether we can see the trait in ourselves / the other. This has been a pretty fun game so far and I can imagine will get even more entertaining as the little one’s personality begins to show when she learns to talk, interact etc.
So, without further ado, I present five things that we’ve noticed in Baby L which we can blatantly attribute to our dodgy genes.
- She sneezes at bright lights: As do I, my brother and my mum. Both my dad and Hayley think we are really weird for this. However, this is actually relatively common and affects 18-35% of the population. It is called photoptarmosis and occurs when you look at the sun or a bright light. I usually sneeze once when I move from shadow to light, for instance, leaving the house, exiting a shop or the sun moving below the visor when driving. It’s great that this little family quirk has been passed down in my genes and shows she is mine and not a random one-night stand!
- She has to sneeze more than once: Continuing the sneezing theme, Baby L has to sneeze multiple times, which she has definitely got from the missus. Whatever happened to just one sneeze being enough? I’ve always found it funny that one sneeze is always followed by another when the wife has a sternutation (posh name for a sneeze!). It’s almost like only 50% of the expulsion is released, so just as night turns to day and day turns to night, the remaining 50% is always closely behind. It would appear that Baby L has been passed this quirk from Hay’s genes.
- She doesn’t like her arms being held down: I’ve always had a thing about being held down. Not in a kinky way, more in a ‘I don’t really like being restricted and not being able to stretch out’ way. So the idea of being in a straight jacket or going caving doesn’t really appeal. It seems that Baby L has similar fears. If we tuck her in with a blanket when she’s in the pram or in the car seat, it is not long before she’s got her arms out. Similarly, when we used to swaddle her at night, she would always manage to find some way of getting an arm up out of the top or out of the bottom. Either she is going to be a tad claustrophobic like her dad, or an exceptional Escape Artist when she’s older.
- She constantly farts: This might be a generic baby thing, but I like to think that I’ve had my influence in this department. Baby L farts a lot and very loudly. I never realised babies were so windy. I knew they needed burping, but I didn’t realise bottom burps were part of the equation. The thing that makes me laugh is that it isn’t just the frequency of farts, it’s also the volume. I’ll admit, some of her farts rival some of mine. Sometimes the missus doesn’t know who let one rip, so obviously I pass it off as the baby. I’m looking forward to a time in the future when we can work as a pair to corner the missus and waft farts in her direction.
- She’s moody when hungry: Not surprising for a 3.5 month old baby, but Baby L is pretty narky when she’s hungry. I know I might be looking a bit too closely into this, but both Hay and I can get a bit moody when we want food. Fair enough, we don’t stick our lip out, scrunch up our faces and cry like there’s no tomorrow, but we have been known to occasionally argue, get annoyed or flip out when hungry. This quirk particularly rears its head when we have no food in the house and are considering a takeaway, only for us to get annoyed with all of the options on offer and long delivery times. It’s enough to want to take a page from the little one’s cook book and snack on the expressed breastmilk in the fridge!
Have you or your partner passed on certain traits or quirks to your children? Has this been done on purpose or do you also have the genes to blame? Is there anything you’ve noticed that other family members do that your little one(s) do?