Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Human Mashup

I remember when Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was born, I had two distinct reactions.  First was wondering what took Angelina so long to birth that baby.  (This is what happens when you announce your pregnancy before the pee's dried on the stick--you appear to be pregnant for longer than it takes to get a law degree).  Second was to marvel on the smacker on that kid.  Everyone was excited to see what the result of mixing two nearly physically perfect specimens would be.  The result of course was Angelina Jolie's lips on a tiny baby.  And wow did that baby inherit the hell out of her mom's lips.  Let's hope she can handle them.

Now I have my own child with an impressive smacker.

When I first met J, I loved the fact that he had such an expressive mouth.  He would jokingly pretend to shovel food in his mouth, and what would have been a mildly amusing bit if done by your average-lipped comedian caused deep belly laughs when done by Mr. Rubber Face.  J derives much of his authority from his lips.  (And 10 points if you can name the reference.)  Little did I know then that what attracted me to my future husband would have me laughing with my offspring.  I have not yet caught it on camera, but J likes to make LO's faces back at him so that I have Rubber Man Sr. and Jr. just staring at each other pretending to be Jim Carrey.

In addition to J's mouth, LO has also inherited his nose.  This I knew back when we got the 3D ultrasound pictures.  I sat looking at the impossibly real baby on the screen, and I knew that J would not be able to deny his son.  I turned to J.  "He's so handsome!" I gushed.  "You're such a mom," J replied.  (Granted, the pictures did not show LO to his best advantage, having been taken through the womb, but I turned out to be right about the nose--and about the handsome, if I do say so myself).

We've spent quite a bit of time tracing the lineage of LO's features.  We have decided that he has my chin.  I have a pointed chin, which is sharp enough to be suitable for self-defense, if necessary.  LO most definitely takes after me there.  Then of course, there is LO's hair.  He was born with the full coif, just as I was, and it looks like (for now), he'll keep the straight, dark hair of his mother.  In between chin and hair, he's J's child.  (With the exception of his eyes--we're not sure where he got his blue eyes).

Now, this is a fun party game for friends and relatives.  (I say fun because I'm the mom.  I suspect that some friends and family feel their eyes roll back in their heads but are far too polite to mention it).  I do wonder, though, if LO will get some features that J and I are not nearly as thrilled to share.  We liked to joke before he was born that any children we had would be short, hairy and near-sighted.  (Guess which traits J and I share).  It is likely that LO will be able to wear shorts year-round, if the family leg hair legacy holds true.  (By the way, LO, if you're reading this when you're 13--don't worry, none of your friends have read your mom's embarrassing old blog).

Then there are the ways in which J and I differ.  Will LO be more analytical, like his dad, or more intuitive, like his mom?  J once said that in our marriage, he was in charge of numbers and things, and I covered words and stuff.  Who knows what LO will be good at--except that he will be good at things and stuff.

Obviously, all this speculation and feature tracing is common among all parents.  There's nothing like going through a major and nearly universal life experience to make you realize just how much of a cliche you are.  However, I do hope that I'll be able to let LO ultimately be whomever he is going to be.  J and I have a truce.  I'll hold off on the Shakespeare indoctrination if LO shows an early inclination for power tools, and J will avoid spilling motor oil on LO's books and notebooks if he shows tendencies toward literature.

I do want J to teach LO how to use that smacker for maximum comic effect, however.

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