My son and I have almost nothing in common except large heads, asthma and a shared love of music. My daughter, on the other hand - different story.
She's just like you, said a friend at church. She's so...... verbal.
Ummm, okay, I said, thinking it's nice of her to do the whole 'you're so alike' thing, but it's really not necessary. We don't have to be alike to be a family. Hmmmph.
Then a few days later, Pink and I had a stand-up fight about angels (don't ask). Why am I having an actual fight with a four-year-old? I asked Jay, and he said because neither of you can admit that you're wrong. (This was a dumb thing for him to say - surely I didn't have to admit that I was wrong, because she was wrong. That should have been obvious).
Later: She doesn't like to go with the flow, does she? said Jay. She's very contrary. She kind of reminds me of... you.
What do you mean? I asked. Watch, he said.
Over lunch, Blue asked me Mummy, is it fun being a grown up? and I said Well, some of the time it's fun, Blue. It's good to eat as much chocolate as you want sometimes without anybody stopping you, and it's good to know how to drive. But being a grown up means working, too, and sometimes it means that you have to do things that you don't want to do.
He looked sad, and said Oh. I not like doing things I don't want to do. and I agreed - That's right, Blue. Nobody likes doing things they don't want to do.
Pink scowled at us both and said That's not TRUE! I LOVE doing things I don't want to do. And then she started to cry, clearly because nobody understands how complicated she is.
Also. Blue was talking to me a few days ago about what it would be like being inside a shark (he'd been watching the Octonauts again). Would it be smelly? (yes it would be smelly). Would it be scary? (yes it would be scary). Would it be dark? (yes it would be dark). Then he told me that he did not think it would be very much fun to be inside a shark. I said that I agreed, that I didn't think anybody really wanted to go inside a shark. Then Pink, who I didn't even realise was listening, roared I do. I want to LIVE INSIDE A SHARK FOREVER!
Of course you do, Pink.
My mother observed : she does find it hard when other people get things she wants, doesn't she?
She didn't have to say that I'm like this too, because I know I am and I hate it about myself. And she knows me well enough to know that I know.
Over dinner on Sunday, I told them that a friend of theirs was about to start school*. It's so exciting! I said. When you go to school on Tuesday, Jillian will be there!
And Blue said Hooray! Jillian is my best friend! (Right now, he has a lot of best friends). Pink said Why is she at school? and I said Because she has turned five and she, of course, wailed with unhappiness. Why is SHE five? she asked. Why aren't I five?
And I said ummmm, because she was born before you, Pink and she cried and cried, refused to eat any more food in protest, and yelled I WILL NEVER, EVER, BE FIVE!!! It transpired later that this is, obviously, Jillian's fault.
Another fun moment with my girl recently:
Me: High five, Pink. Good job answering that question. You could not be more right!
Her: YES I COULD! I COULD BE MORE RIGHT!
I really have no words for that.
She's stubborn, and annoying, and she can't bear to be wrong. She thinks she knows everything, she will fight about anything and does not let facts get in the way of a good argument. In other words, she really is just like me. It's kind of unbearable. Am I really this difficult to live with? I asked Jay, and he whispered Yes, my sweetheart, you are, except actually he didn't say that with words, he just laughed like a maniac and nodded his head.
My mother adores my girl, but she finds it hilarious that I have to parent her. She really is the only child I've ever met who is as stubborn as you were, she told me. Then I guess we're a perfect match, I said, and she just laughed, probably because she's actually come out the other side of parenting
I knew we weren't getting a blank slate when we adopted, but I really, really didn't think I'd be getting a mirror. Adoption has all kind of unknowns, but I thought there were a few things I did know. Surely the one thing you're not getting yourself into, when you adopt, is that weird situation where you see yourself and all your flaws reflected in your children. Surely the one thing you can guarantee is that your children will be bratty and annoying in new and unique ways - ways that your family has never seen before?
You have been warned.
|totally, totally, totally worthi t.|
*Oh yeah, I never followed up on the school thing, did I? Our kids are enrolled at a new, small - read, tiny, Christian school that Jay and I are helping to set up. Bet you didn't see THAT coming - well, neither did I. We both volunteer there one morning a week, and the kids go along when we do. I'm currently the music teacher, which is so hilarious that I cannot even begin to tell you.