Even when babies are brand new, there are little things that indicate what they will be like as they grow older.
With Elvie, there were certain things she did when we first met that she continues to do, like wanting to know where everyone was in the room before she could relax, and being interested in what was going on around her, even when she was quite sick.
However, there was a lot that was a surprise, that truly started to come out as she got healthier and stronger. Now she is a baby with a big personality, and I feel like we can tell a lot about what she’ll be like in the future based on what she is like now.
The most obvious thing about Elvie is that she is a happy baby. She has her moments of being sad or frustrated, but for the most part, she’s just content. And when something does hurt or offend her, she is quick to return to being happy. The most extreme example of this is when she was in the hospital and they attempted to place a PICC line in her arm. It was so painful for her, and she screamed and cried, but moments after I comforted her, she would be back to making eye contact and smiling at everyone around. I think that this is an amazing gift, and considering that the road ahead of her will be challenging and painful sometimes, I am so glad that she is this way.
Elvie is also mischievous. When Zinashi came into our family, we had done a little child proofing, but discovered that it was all for naught; Zinashi has always been careful and cautious, and she simply doesn’t get into things. Elvie, however, wants to get into everything, and I’m fairly certain that if we don’t get those little plastic plugs into every outlet by the time she’s mobile, she’ll find the one we missed and try to stick her finger in it. She has already disassembled several toys and books that were farther away than we thought she could reach; there is no doubt in my mind that we will have to do some hardcore babyproofing, and then just accept that we’ll end up in the ER with her someday.
Elvie loves to make friends. While Elvie is content to be at home with our family, she also loves to make new friends when we are out. She will look at people until she catches their eyes, then smile her biggest smile. Heaven forbid that you should ignore her; she will stare you down until you acknowledge her and return her smile. We see this happen often on the bus. I get quite a kick out of watching teenage boys who are trying to seem tough start to make googly eyes at her, and grandmotherly neighborhood women try to ignore her. She WILL be your friend, even if she has to stare at you for a full ten minutes to do it. I know that she will be bold in making friends as she gets older.
Elvie is enthusiastic, and it is contagious. She loves to dance, and I have broken out my best terrible dance moves simply because she looks like she’s having so much fun that I want to join her. She will likely be the life of the party, the one who makes dull moments more fun. She gets excited about things, and it’s hard not to want to be excited about them, too.
It has been a huge joy to watch Elvie’s personality emerge these past four months, and I think that is the word I would use to sum up her personality, too: she is a joy. I can’t wait to see what else she’s got hiding up her joyous sleeve. While we feel like we have a good idea of what she will be like as she continues to grow, I know there will be surprises in store, too, and they will be good ones.