Back when Angus was still Cletus the Foetus, my dreams for his future were modest: Captain of the Wallabies, Australian Prime Minister, and a Nobel prize of some description. But once Cletus the Foetus did leave us (#rhymetime) and our son became a squawking reality, my ambitions changed – I want our little boy to grow into a man who is happy within himself, comfortable and confident enough to pursue the kind of life that will bring him joy and satisfaction. Still ambitious, I know, but it matters to me that the path he finds is of his own choosing, and not mine. (I also hope that he doesn’t turn into a wanker, but there really is only so much I can control).
Recently, however, my resolve to let him become his own little man has started to waver. Because it looks like the path he might be leaning towards, is to become a bloody right-hander.
One thing that our little dance with procreation has taught me, is that when it comes to the physical, I have clearly passed on my recessive genes – Angus looks like a miniature version of Andrew. Except, perhaps, the curls and the nose, but as my grandmother pointedly remarked, “Don’t worry, his nose will change as he gets older.” So I have been quietly waiting and watching, looking for glimpses of my familial traits to shine through as Angus develops.
Andrew and I are both left-handers (quick fact-check – genes may predispose left-handedness but aren’t directly causal). But given the potential influence of both nature and nurture, in my role as primary carer then I am providing Angus with genetic and behavioural road maps to becoming a lefty. So I’ve been optimistic that perhaps my son will develop a preference for left-handedness. Just like Mum. (And, okay, just like Dad too, but let’s overlook that technicality for the moment).
Alas, it does not appear that Angus is heading down the mollydooker path. While he does throw overarm both left and right, his right is clearly more powerful and closer to target. When I place the spoon in the middle of his plate (okay, occasionally to the left of centre), more often than not it is his right arm reaching out to grab the handle. The left hand can manage a few shaky laps of the spoon between plate and mouth, but the right hand will only stay on the sidelines for so long before it swoops in to shovel food palm-first into his mouth. Mum is providing as many opportunities as she can for that little left hand to demonstrate its potential, but that chubby right hand seems pretty determined to assert its dominance.
So handedness appears to be yet another area in which Angus is displaying a burgeoning stubborn streak. He is quite obstinate once he’s decided on a course of action, and becomes mightily peeved if you try to redirect him. Andrew says that it reminds him of someone. Perhaps I’m passing on more of my genetic gifts than I think…