James is a fun baby. He’s usually only fussy when he’s teething, hungry or sleepy. I have a wonderful, fun baby. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows but I really did get lucky.
However, when James goes outside of our home, he is ever so serious. He loves to watch and take in the world. He’ll stare strangers down. That means, I don’t have the happy, bubbly baby that just doesn’t have a care in the world. No, my kid always looks like he’s trying to solve a complicated math problem.
Now, my initial concern is that he’s uncomfortable around strangers. (Not enough exposure.)But he doesn’t mind strangers holding him for a little bit. (As long it’s a woman!) Today for example, he spit up and I had to go get a cloth. We were at a resource centre and he was with another baby and their caretaker. So I left him with her, and asked her to watch him. Mainly because he still tends to topple over sometimes. He did’t cry or freak out. He’s just serious and observant. I wouldn’t say shy, because he doesn’t look away or try and hide, he just tends to regard everything as a curious science experiment.
It’s who he is. But I find myself apologizing for the fact that he’s not overly bubbly with others. He’s been serious since day 1, to be honest. I feel defensive and find myself explaining myself as why he is the way he is. “Oh, he just takes some time to warm up.” Which is true but why do I feel the need to explain that? Everyone loves a happy baby. My baby is happy but he’s also calm, reserved and curious. He’s not overtly demonstrative. He takes time to warm up, he would smile at strangers but only after awhile. Now that’s he’s going through a little bit of stranger anxiety, he just sort of stares people down. His personality is just emerging and I’m sure with time, he’ll mellow but for now, he needs some time.
I don’t want him to get the impression that how he is, isn’t appropriate. I know he’s an 8 month old but I feel like I’m laying the foundation for his future. The nurture aspect is as important as his inbuilt nature. So, going forward, I’m going to do my best to make sure James is comfortable around strangers. That he is friendly and polite. But above all, let him be himself. I’ll follow his cues, push his boundaries but respect them when needed. I feel like it’s important that he be who he is, but gently, firmly push outside of his comfort zone, always with the caveat that I’m there for him. Whatever it is, we’ll figure it out together. We’re both kinda winging it. 😁