September 21, 2012

My Smithville Review column Sept. 19th- The apple doesn't fall far from the tree


The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, even when the tree is way more well-behaved and definitely does not act like the apple—right??
By Debra Carpenter
debra.carp@yahoo.com


I love when people tell me that my 2 year old daughter acts just like me. I prefer that they make this connection while she’s reciting her ABCs, counting, or doing something ridiculously cute. However, there are times when she acts less than well-behaved, and somehow people still think this behavior resembles my own. I have a few questions about that, just to clarify my understanding. Bear with me.

Does it really remind you of me when she throws a fit because there is no “chock-it” (chocolate) in her milk?

Does it bring me to mind when you see her run around the coffee table in circles while singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?”

Is there any connection between my behavior and hers when she flatly orders you to “Shut. Up” after a gentle suggestion that she take a nap?

Do I really change topics frequently during conversation, like, “Mama, Huckle Cat is on the table and—BOAT. I want boat.”?

How does she remind you of me when she knows she’s done something wrong, and immediately upon seeing you approaching, blocks your view of her actions and says “No spanking, Mama. You no spank Molly”?
Well, okay. I guess I can see a slight resemblance there. But--

Mom, do you ever have a sense of déjà vu from my own childhood when you see her peel her diaper off in front of other people?
When she refuses to eat anything but macaroni and cheese for dinner?
When she tries to strangle the kitten that we so lovingly brought home—for HER?

You do?

Well, then. I suppose we have an interesting time ahead of us. In all seriousness, I am always flattered when someone thinks Molly is just like me. How could I not be? She is an incredible little girl. Whether she’s Miss Behaving or misbehaving, she is always my greatest joy.

My eagerness to be compared to my daughter may also have to do with the fact that I spent the first year of her life being bombarded with statements from everyone (including our parents, strangers, friends, and family) about how much she looked like my husband.

“My, my. That child looks like a female Michael.”
“Goodness, if I didn’t know better, I’d think I was looking at a little Michael!”
“Sorry, Debra, but that child looks just like her Daddy.”
“He sure can’t deny her!” (Duh. We’re married. Try denying that, Michael.)

And my personal favorite, when I try to bargain with the person about who Molly looks like:

Me: “Yeah, she does resemble him…but don’t you think she has my eyes?”
Them: “Nah, those are Daddy’s eyes. She’s got your eyebrows.”
Me: “Eyebrows? What? No. Look at her lips. Now look at mine. Aren’t they similar?”
Them: “No, honey, her lips look like Angelina Jolie’s.”
So, even ol’ Angelina gets credit for my daughter’s good looks, but not me. Talk about UPLIFTING!

Every now and then, some kind soul would lie to our faces and say she looked identical to me, but deep down, I knew the truth. This child is a physical clone of her father and a psychological clone of me.

Good thing he’s handsome, and I am relatively mentally stable—oh look, a BOAT! I want boat!



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