The whole making a baby thing fascinates me. I’m no Dr Robert Winston, but the fact that two people can create life by bumping uglies, then the mum-to-be’s body changes to develop and give birth to that life, is truly incredible. All of that biology stuff – to go from nothing to an actual human being nine-months later – is miraculous.
But that’s just the beginning. That baby becomes a toddler, then a kid, then a teenager and then an adult. They learn, they develop, they grow. They become their own person with likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests, along with characteristics that make them uniquely them. It really does blow the mind.
I think one of the things that interests me the most is the whole nature versus nurture thing. Are we defined by inherited traits and clever stuff in our DNA, or are we influenced by our environment and life experiences? I won’t pretend to know the answer, but it probably lies somewhere in the grey area between both extremes.
Something that is definitely inherited though is looks. Most people share at least some kind of facial feature with one of their parents, if not something from both. I mean, there’s no question that Reese Witherspoon and her daughter aren’t related, for instance.
Again, how this works is totally over my head, but I’ve had plenty of comments throughout my life that I look like my mum, have features of my dad or that there’s a striking similarity between my bro and I. However it works, it’s not surprising. My mum and dad made me (we won’t think about the how…), then made my brother, so there’s going to be things the same because we have the same genetic makeup.
I remember writing this post – A Dodgy Pair Of Genes – not long after L was born which provided a tongue-in-cheek view of what she could have inherited from both Hay and I. The funny thing though is that as she’s got older, she looks less and less like what we thought she would. We both had it in our heads that she’d inherit the missus’ dominant genes from her dad’s side of the family.
Just like Hay’s brother, nephew, niece and cousins, we fully expected L to bear a striking similarity to them – brown eyes, brown hair and olive skin. She started out looking a bit more like this, but as she’s grown up, it turns out that she has my blue / green eyes, fairer hair and lighter complexion instead.
So, with a second baby on the way, it once more raises the intriguing question about appearances. Will he look more like Hay and inherit the dominant genes, or will he follow L’s path and somehow take my recessive genes? Obviously it doesn’t matter either way, but we could be in a position where L takes after me and the new baby takes after Hay – the siblings may not look anything like each other.
To help give us an insight – but mainly because I was procrastinating – I decided to download an app which predicts what your baby looks like from photos of the parents. I’m not going to lie, the app wasn’t great and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t scientific. However, it gave some interesting – and worrying – results of what our little lad might look like…
See what I mean?! Did your kid(s) look like what you expected? Did they take after you or your partner? Let me know below!