Going with the grain

Dylan doesn’t look like me [insert your chosen joke involving dairy product delivery staff of the male persuasion here]. He definitely takes after Kate in the looks department [insert your favourite witty remark pointing out that he got lucky and could have got my looks here] so, on what is perhaps a selfish, narcissistic level, I was looking forward to seeing something of me in him. Well now I have!

Yes, the lucky lad seems to have developed my obsessive tendencies. Oh dear… the post I just linked to was written a year ago today, as if to immediately prove my point. Anyway… as a child, I used to line up all my building blocks in a strange kind of order; what kind of order, I’m not entirely sure as they were all the same size and colour. Actually, scratch that; they didn’t have a colour as such. They were wood colour. They were offcuts of some timber or other – I’d say they were beech, if pushed – that a carpenter friend of my parents had cut into cubes on the bandsaw, sanded through the grades and carefully finished for me in his workshop – can you tell I once earned a living on some woodwork magazines? They had their natural colour intact. I can only assume, therefore, that I sorted them in terms of the grain patterns on some of their edges, but maintain that this is an achievement.

Dylan has taken to doing something remarkably similar with some wooden skittles he has. Each one is a different animal and he likes to line them up in order of the shape of their heads. He seems to start with the spherical ones like the cat and monkey and works towards those with elongated profiles like the crocodile and dog. It’s almost impossible to break his concentration when he’s doing this; the only sure-fire way is if we try to eat some nice biscuits behind his back. Then he’s all over us like a cheap suit. Needless to say, the assumption that all nice food is for him is one of my traits too. That’s my boy! He also sometimes slaps me in the face, so it looks like he may have the angry streak I used to have before I became a dad. Ahhhh!

Meantime, he has also cultivated a particularly creepy habit of late. He lowers his head as if to look at the floor, but picks someone or something to focus his eyes upon and looks intently at them. He then starts to turn his head, but keeps his gaze fixed permanently on the subject as he moves. ‘Shark eye’ we call it. Neither Kate nor I are claiming any credit for that one…

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