Last night, Dan and I were watching Kingsman: Secret Service. In it, the recruits have to pick out a dog to train. The hero/main guy picks out a pug, thinking it’s a bull dog. There’s a great scene that shows all the smart dogs following their masters dutifully while the pug stops dead in his tracks refusing to budge as Eggsy pulls at his leash.
While we watched I thought, ‘that’s totally James!” and just as I thought it, Dan said, “Kind of reminds me of James.” and we both burst out laughing.
It was funnier still because before we started the movie I asked Dan what three adjectives he would use to describe James. As parents you are constantly trying to guess what your child will be like. Dan said “Curious” without hesitation. The other two we had to ponder out. “Definitely not mellow,” I said. “I like spirited.” (That was a word a friend’s midwife had used to describe her wonderful-but-sometimes-fussy baby.) “He’s funny too, I think.”
Last week, I had a day with James. This morning when I tried to put him down for his morning nap he fussed and fussed. I soothed and soothed. This went on for an hour. I finally gave up and brought him out of the nursery. Totally exhausted, he really lost it at this point–screaming and red faced, huge globby tears getting all mixed up with his drool. I was also losing it. I may have said a few bad words. I swooped him into the carrier and ran out the door for a walk. It did us both good. James cries. I have no idea if how much he cries is a lot or just normal. And for the most part, it’s gotten better – he really just cries when he’s tired. But there’s still the odd duck time when he’s rested and fed and just lets loose a wail. It’s confounding. We affectionately refer to his lips-turned-in-frown-y pout as “Turtle Face”.
When you’re trying to put him down for a nap and avoid said tired turtle face cry, he squirms and wriggles. He really turns it on when you swaddle him. (I would stop swaddling if he didn’t wave his arms like a crazed Today Show/Biebs fan when he gets loose.)
But between the nap struggles, James smiles and we have entire conversations in baby talk. Yesterday, after I unswaddled him and threw the blanket over him again and again like a parachute and he started giggling. Really giggling. He may not be mellow and sometimes it drives me bananas, but he really is like that little pug – curious, funny, spirited, stubborn and oh-so-irresistable. God I love him.