Life 101
Life 101
Scott Dunlop

Good morning, wonderful parents,

One of the most amazing parts of being a parent is the way genes fill the pool. It’s not recommended, but some people choose to become parents out of some crazy desire to see what a baby would look like with their genes (and their partner's genes, of course). Having had three dips in the gene pool myself, I find it fascinating the ways in which a child slowly starts to reflect one or both parents.

Vanity is a very short-sighted reason to multiply, though - it doesn't take long before you realise that even if your child is the spitting image of you, his or her character is completely unpredictable.  My eldest son looks like me, but his brain is wired very differently. And that’s quite enjoyable to discover.

His maths skills alone set him apart from me. The past three or four months have seen him stretch to the point that he’s now looking me in the eye.

Hang on a minute, this is the baby who was lying helplessly on a blankie, trying to focus his murky blue eyes while I blew raspberries at him just a few short... years ago?

My baby can now reach up high enough to change light bulbs, and he takes immense pleasure in beating me at chess. Nobody told me about that when he was just a little kid lurching around the house in his Babygro. 

I admire him, you see. He has overcome some great hurdles in his short life, handling them better than I did at his age. I am learning from him as much as he is from me, and that’s also something nobody tells you. You go into being a parent expecting to become a lecturer in life skills to your child, but then you find yourself in the class with him.

I have failed plenty of those tests, too, but the thing about life is that there’s no point at which you stop learning.

Now that he’s taller, he’s suddenly offering to help out more, I guess to show that he’s capable of handling more than he could previously.

"I’ll do that, Dad", he’ll offer, and I forget that he’s not spilling his puréed vegetables onto his bib - that’s good for him. It means that the rules are changing, and he’s reaching for independence even as his legs and arms grow longer.

My baby isn't a baby any more. I’d never have imagined him the way he is by looking into the gene pool, but I love that he has become who he is because of who he is. 

Do your children have similar characteristics and personalities to their parents? Email us and let us know.

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