As we wait for the baby to grow, many of us spend a lot of time dreaming about a perfect little child with lovely habits and manners. I am sure that you will do your best to create a model citizen, but it is interesting to note the degree to which our own traits and temperaments are passed onto our children.
If you are both tall, clearly there is a very good chance that the baby will grow up to be tall as well. The same goes for temperament. You and your partner’s little ticks and habits may decide whether your children will be easy, exciting or difficult.
Often when I talked to a tired mum who would ask me: How did we end up with such a non-stop, busy, difficult child? Then Dad barges in twitching, rocking in his seat and bursting with the need to get on with life outside. You don’t need a geneticist to tell you what’s going on here.
If you are both blessed with even tempers and tend to breeze through life without a backward glance, you may well be the lucky parents of an ‘easy’ baby, toddler, schoolchild and adult. If one of the parents has a short fuse and is never quite settled, there’s a good chance of a more ‘interesting’ journey.
I only touch on this fascinating topic briefly here, and I am not suggesting a lengthy period of abstinence or contraception while you hunt down the perfect genetic material to pass on, but when we are shaping our expectations of parenthood, it is as well to remember that the apple never falls too far from the tree.