Sunday, January 06, 2008
Nature vs nurture
The twins are a month old. Apparently they looked like this, once. If they handed me these cottage-cheese covered monkey babies now, I think I'd hand them back - they're much prettier a month on.
The twin studies have commenced. It's surprising how quickly the babies are demonstrating different temperaments. I wonder whether the characteristics will stay the same over time, or whether their baby behaviour is unrelated to later personality traits?
Either way, I'm glad I have two babies, because when those silly competitive conversations between mothers start up where we try to prove what good mothers we are by the advanced/settled behaviour of our children I will know I had nothing to do with it - they just came out this way.
Lucky is very calm and placid, what is commonly called, I believe, a 'good' baby. She seems very confident and sure that we will turn up and meet her needs eventually. She's not scared of new experiences - breeze on her skin, a bath, a new person holding her, she takes them all in her stride. When Lucky cries, it's just a case of figuring out what the problem is. Sometimes this takes me a while, but eventually I get it.
If a relaxed, non-crying baby is a 'good' baby, what is a 'bad' baby? Junior cries in the evenings for an hour or two, or even three, for no apparent reason. I think it's just that the whole living-in-the-world thing is overwhelming at the moment. New experiences are frightening. On the other hand, he's much cuddlier than Lucky, who seems pretty independent, happy to just lie and look around her.
Oops - they're awake. Gotta go. If you have kids, when did temperament start to assert itself?