so, um, there are three people living in our house. did you know? ’cause we really weren’t entirely prepared.

but lately it’s been pretty clear that we’ve not only got a baby, we’ve got a whole new roommate living here. (plus Clementine, of course. our cat. she’s good people, even if she does shed.)

the fact that we are trinity shouldn’t be a particularly shocking revelation, seeing as Oscar’s been resident in our home for fourteen months or so, now. but bringing home the baby was rather like getting a new kitten, or something…the world’s loudest kitten, yes, and most heart-expanding, and the slowest ever to learn to use the litterbox, but not entirely like adding a whole other complex, interactive human personality to the mix. (Clementine just shot me the haughtiest “i’m so complex you can’t even fathom me, bald-skin” glare for that line, and i suspect some ankle shredding is on the menu later pour moi, but…you know what i mean). for the first year or so, O’s needs and demands and contributions to the family have all been of the relatively tangible, clear-cut sort: he’s watered? fed? loved? stroked? soothed? cleaned? played with? exercised? all good. the colic? horrendous, and stuffed to the very corners of my memory so as to prevent me from trying a home-tube-tying, but still not personal.

apparently that handy checklist of babycare ain’t gonna cut it forever, though. because every day now, there is more and more personality in O’s blue eyes, more thought process and comprehension written across his face, more pique and will and give and take and laughter and gamesmanship and vocalization, every shrill screech and trilling “ba ba ba” saying “dudes, i’m here. it’s me. hey world!” a barbaric yawp, sounded from the rooftops and the crib. after all these months of it being us and baby, O a beloved appendage, Dave & i tired versions of our familiar twosome, we are now morphing into man, woman, and child…a true threesome. Oscar is blooming with the spring flowers, becoming himself.

he has a sense of humour, this boy, and an insatiable hunger for more of whatever is pleasing him in a given moment. he is fierce – which fact causes his father to puff up with pride – yet observant, curious about what’s around corners. he’s always going further, faster, but is sensitive to change, too: new environments quiet the maelstrom of motion, and he becomes still, alert, like a faun. he’s tactile, preferring to touch than merely watch, and both rough and tender by turns. his delight is a whole body experience, his sadness – as yet – fleeting. he loooves shoes (that comes from my side of the gene pool) and carries them from room to room, waving them about gleefully. he is marvellous to watch.

i loved him, fearfully and hopefully, long before he was born. but now…there’s more. i like him, too.

phewww.

sometimes it amazes me, this contract that parents enter into, blind. imagine an ad in the paper that said “hey! welcome a roommate into your home! time commitment – somewhere between 18 and 75 years. labour required – just the start! and lots of poop and vomit, too! expenses – more than a yacht. heartache – guaranteed, in some form or other. thanks – random. and the personality of said roommate – completely unknown, folks (see fine print for Lizzie Borden clause). sign up today!”

i know that whomever O turns out to be will be dramatically shaped by Dave & i (and Clementine, too, his prey and companion) and by all the unknowns that life has in store for him. but i am also pretty sure that – barring catastrophic damage – a significant part of who he will become, personality-wise, is already evident, shining through those ever-wiser not-quite-baby eyes. i suppose i probably would have been just as charmed by a completely different Oscar, had my sweet baby blossomed into an entirely other sort of personality. but this one? i’m sure. i can live with this new roommate, this kid who’s come to stay with us, this kid who makes our family so much richer.

i think the cat may have been hoping otherwise…but we’re keeping him, Clementine. deal.