Franklin had his four year health check-up yesterday. He has changed so much over the summer that every little yearly thing we do these days emphasizes his growth and it is remarkable how much it affects me.
You always hope, as a parent, that the child you raise will have an independent spirit but I had always thought that this independence was going to take a lot of consistent effort on our part – don’t ask me why. I thought a lot of things that I have learned are far from the truth when raising a child. Things like “bribery doesn’t work” and “television is not a good baby-sitter”.
Franklin is his own person. There are things he is comfortable with that I don’t think ever entered my mind as a child. There are also things he will shy away from that I remember being completely devoted to (and still love). I know this is old news to those of you who read this regularly, but I am constantly amazed to watch this human being develop in front of me.
At the doctor’s office there was no fidgeting. He waited in the reception area like he was waiting for an important job interview. He stood on the scale and straightened his back like all of this business, this measurement business of his growth, was vital for the future of the universe (and it is).
When the receptionist told him how well he was doing and how tall he has grown, he calmly replied that “it is due to my vegetable eating”.
What the hell?
When the doctor was examining him I told him that if he had any questions about his body, this would be a good time to bring them up. So, instead of asking how poo comes out of his body or why we have saliva, he mentions that he had a sore mouth when he got carsick last summer. As our doctor went to check out his mouth (I’m not sure if she understood that this was a past experience), he took her hands in his and asked her to finish her previous examination before she did something new.
Again, what the hell?
I don’t remember having such presence of mind when I was a child. I remember feeling out of control and overflowing with energy. Either D was a calm and collected kid, or the preschool has been slipping him sedatives (Franklin, not D).
This evening as we were coming home, I noticed that there were no questions after awhile. In fact, I was left alone with my thoughts for about two stoplights.
When I checked the little guy, he was fast asleep. Not only was he asleep, but he was also sitting upright with his fingers clasped together and folded neatly on his lap. The only other person I know who does this is my father.
In addition to this phenomenon, Franklin is the only other person I know besides my father who wanders around with his hands clasped behind his back. I’ve never done either one of these things and (unfortunately) Jido’s not really around enough for Franklin to really pick it up from him either.
So, how did he get this?
How has he developed personality traits that seem so incredibly different from D and I? How has he picked up mannerisms and body posture from my father that he might have seen once or twice in his life?
This raising of offspring is blowing my mind, man.