What can we tell about future personalities from how babies act? Based on little evidence, I think sparks of their personalities are already starting to show at 5 months. Not having seen this all before, I could be totally wrong. But I think I'm seeing some clear signs of who the Little Bear might turn out to be...
He's got some pretty fierce determination. It's clear he's putting all the effort he can into being on his tummy, dragging himself along the play mat, or (with a little help) pulling himself up dad's belly in an attempt to reach the face. Each moment, he's panting and straining, but not crying, looking determined to get the job done. This is his mountain to climb and no-one's going to stop him (unless he gets picked up, in which case his determination turns to surprise).
When he finally reaches mum or dad's face, following an arduous shuffle up their chests, he claims his prize by grabbing their faces, looking into their eyes, and occasionally shouting his victory shriek straight into their ears. I hope he holds on to this trait (the determination more than the shouting into people's ears).
His constant shuffling plays to the busyness of his personality. He always needs to be doing something. 'Climbing' (assisted belly shuffling), eating his hands or feet, rolling around on the floor (preferably to give himself a good view of the TV), throwing toys, chatting, singing, putting anything he finds in his mouth. The boy doesn't stop. If he gets slightly bored, everyone will know as he demands something new. Always busy (and exhausting for his parents). You might say a lot of babies are like this, but I certainly wasn't, and I've seen plenty of other more laid-back babies (maybe I was just a bit backward).
I can't tell if he'll be a smooth talker, but he'll probably be a talker. Always keen to join in our conversation, or, if playing by himself, Little Bear will chat, screech and sing to himself. Recently, when he can't be bothered to properly join in our chat, he's started to open and close his mouth whilst whispering. Some people think this is him copying our facial expressions, but I'm thinking he finds the conversation dull and wants to take the mickey.
His enthusiasm for faces, going back to his first few moments in the world, probably point to a sociable little baby becoming a charmer when he's older. When Little Bear is in reach of your face, there is no avoiding some pain, and potentially an injury. His determination and enthusiasm is turned on you. Utterly excited, he'll reach out and grab your nose, slap your cheeks, put his hand in your mouth and then return to the nose to try and eat it. In the process, he may have clawed your eyes and head-butted you, or even deafened you with an excited happy scream. Mum's face of course invokes more enthusiasm than dad's at the moment (can't blame him. She's much easier on the eye).
So what can we tell about our babies from how they act? Based on these personality traits so far, I don't think we'll be bringing up a calm, chilled or easy kid. Fun? Maybe. Exhausting? Will only get worse. Let's face it, he's already quite a handful. The moment he can walk things are going to get a lot tougher.
I'm Dave, dad of Little Bear. Also known as 'Pappa' to the little man as we try and bring out his Swedish roots