This blog may prove a little incoherent. It’s snippets of thoughts, ideas and musings that I have collected over the last week or so and have been unable to turn into fully formed pieces of writing. Such is the life with a little one…
A friend of mine recently said that babies resemble their fathers more at birth. If we hark back to the caveman days the phenomena is said to be a natural paternity test. After all there is no doubting the Mother of an infant, but perhaps some question of the Father. It makes me laugh to think of loincloth clad men wandering around a cave looking from one cherubic face to another hoping to find a resemblance.
I never would have thought of this and yet it seems to make perfect logical sense. Scientists have tried to find a definitive answer to the hypothesis. They have had strangers pour over photos of newborns, picking likeness and then they replicated the tests later on in the child’s life. Some have shown positive results, and of course some have shown no correlation. It would be hard to prove such a intangible idea.
For me, I didn’t need any more evidence that this theory could be true, than the words of my family, friends and even strangers. Everyone that saw Harley when he was first born remarked at how much he looked like his Dad. ‘He’s a little Todd. He’s Todd all over. I’m afraid you didn’t get a look in there Kerrie.’ I heard it all the time. My family joked that all he got from our side were his long slender fingernails. We were literally clinging on by the nails. It didn’t bother me though. I personally could only see Harley in Harley. I don’t know whether it was because I spent so much time staring at him, that I knew every curve of his face as his own or whether I was just blind to the reality everyone else could see. Either way apparently he was the spitting image of Dad.
They say that if the theory is true it serves a purpose other than avoiding the Jerry Springer paternity fights in the cave… they say fathers were more inclined to protect the young that resembled themselves. I don’t know how true this is. I’m pretty sure there were Dads willing to fight to the death for their little girls who lacked a scraggly beard resemblance. It did get me thinking though, about just how vulnerable we human babies are.
The degree with which most animals can cope on their own straight after birth varies widely. From the sea turtle who emerges totally independent, to the cheetah that teaches and nurtures their young until they are able to fend for themselves. As developed as humans are as a species we remain helpless from the moment we are born.
Sure we are born with natural instincts and reflexes designed to help the young – but they are far from all that is needed for them to survive. While I think of it… the soft spot. These dangerously precarious areas seem such poor planning. I realise that the fontanelles are designed so that the bony plates can mold and flex during birth. I for one am thankful for this, and respectful of the design ingenuity. My problem I have is with the time it takes for fusion to occur. For 18 to 24 months parents are wary of these perilous, sometimes pulsating fissures that literally lead straight to out baby’s precious brains. Why not have a fully formed biological helmet soon after birth? I got to thinking that perhaps it is design by intention – perhaps is it to teach us as parents the need for delicacy, for patience, for care. Perhaps the evolution is not supposed to be of the young but of the caregivers.
Motherhood has bought with it instant love, protection and patience. To be totally gooey I could marvel at the softness of his feet, smell his milky breath or stare into his gaping first smiles endlessly. Each day I notice as his eyelashes curl and darken. I see the fat in his thighs grow. I see his cheeks fill and his lips plump almost before my eyes.
Luckily I have the distractions of regular life or I might be at risk of becoming a helicopter Mum – constantly hovering.