Baby Tiberius has found his rolemodel...
“Have you fed him?”
Gru’s eyes narrowed at Rachel as she stood against the door frame of Tiberius’ room. “Yes.”
“And have you brushed his hair?”
“Yes,” his hand gestured wildly over Tiberius’ head, “Does it look messy to you? For goodness sakes, what is with these... Twenty questions?”
His son peered up at his waving limbs and giggled to himself, tugging on a few strands of hair to show his mother that it was indeed tidy.
“OK, OK. Yeesh. Don’t get your knickers in a twist!” She looked down at her son and nodded. “Good. At least he’s doing SOMETHING right, hm?”
Tiberius laughed again, this time a little louder than before and rocked backwards on his bottom, his hands gripping his feet.
“Oh, sure sure. Badmouth me in front of the boy, why don’t you?” Gru frowned over at her and slapped his hands firmly down on his crossed legs. He had spent the last half an hour trying to get the boy dressed for bed and was feeling cranky from exhaustion. “You should be thankful I’m too tired to fight.”
“You? Too tired!?”
“It DOES happen you know. Especially with Mr Wiggly Worm here!” He gestured once more to Tiberius, his frown breaking slightly with fatigue. His son peered at his father’s hands curiously and grabbed for his fingers, dragging them closer and plopping his little finger on his right hand directly into his mouth. Gru instantly turned his head round at the warm, wet feeling.
“No, no, no! That is NOT for chewing!” After rescuing his finger from Tiberius’ ‘jaws of death’ and wiping the drool off on his sweater, he turned his attention back to Rachel, who was stifling chuckles. “This boy is a menace! It is YOU he takes after.”
Rachel let out a huffing sound and him and rolled her eyes. “Oh please. I’m not the villain here. It’s YOU he copies.”
Gru put his hands on his hips and pouted angrily at her. She laughed a little at his childishness and pointed at their son, who was copying his movements exactly. “See!”
He looked down at him to see him mimicking the pout he had been giving Rachel. “Stop that!”
“STA DA!” Tiberius yelled, grinning ear to ear.
“I said stop it.”
“I te sta it.”
“Stop copying me!” Gru folded his arms and stared down at the small boy, who did the exact same thing.
“STA COYINT ME!”
Rachel was finding the whole thing hilarious and was having to hold onto the door frame for fear of falling over from her fit of laughter. It was adorable just how well Tiberius could mimic his father, even if he couldn’t speak properly and the more he did it, the funnier it became.
Gru lifted an arm to see if he would copy it and sure enough he did. Then he lifted the other, then dropped them both, waved them around and made silly faces, only for Tiberius to mirror him exactly. “Is this kid for reals?”
“It’s for real, not for reals honey. And yes, I think he is. Which brings me back to my original point. He takes after you. You may not care, but he idolizes you.” A wave of satisfaction rushed over her. Victory. She gave him a wink and slid out of the room. “I’ll be in bed. Don’t take too long, he needs his sleep.”
“Yeah, yeah. I won’t.” He swatted a hand towards the door where she had been stood before turning back to the boy, an eyebrow raised with mild curiosity. “So, you like me then, huh?” Gru’s head tilted to watch him as he chewed on the sleeve of his outfit.
Tiberius also tilted his head. “Uhbuh?”
“Huh. How about that...” He tilted it the other way to test it further, curiosity now getting the better of him. He snapped himself out of it and frowned at the youngster. “Well... D-don’t get the wrong idea. This doesn’t mean I like you.”
“Ahhhnmmm.” An airy giggle filled the room. Tiberius was finding it far too much fun.
“I mean it. D-don’t you... Don’t you give me those eyes. You aren’t fooling anybody, you know.” He wiggled his finger to attempt to emphasize his point.
“Amamamam.” Tiberius raised his arms upwards.
“What? What is it?”
His little fingers flexed in and out. “Eh.”
“What? I don’t understand this... Finger business. What is it?”
Tiberius started to become frustrated. He whined and whimpered as his finger flexing grew even more frantic.
“I don’t understand you!”
That did it. Tiberius began to cry.
“Oh. No! No, no, no! Stop that!” He instantly snatched the youngster up and cradled him awkwardly, raising a brow once again as he instantly stopped crying. “Wh... What. This is what you wanted? You just wanted me to pick you up?”
Little hands slowly reached upwards to his face, but only got as far as the collar of his grey sweater. It felt soft to the touch and Tiberius loved it. He snuggled against his father’s chest and squished the fabric in his hands repeatedly.
“Well... OK then. This... I guess this is fine.” Gru slowly and nervously started to move his arms a little, rocking Tiberius who rewarded him with a small gurgle. “Yes. Acceptable.” He slowly leaned down more towards him, causing the child’s small hands to release their grip on the collar of his sweater and press onto his face.
“Mmmhee.” Tiberius’ hands squished his face making his lips stick outwards before lowering them again to stare at him.
The two stared at each other in silence for a few moments, Gru maintaining the rocking motion from before. It wasn’t long, though, before Tiberius’ eyelids started to droop.
He gave a little yawn a smiled lightly up at his father before he finally drifted off to sleep.
Gru heaved a sigh of mild relief, placed him in his cot, looked left and right to make sure there were no onlookers and planted a kiss firmly on his forehead.
“Yeah, I like you too...”