Thursday, 9 January 2014


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! 

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 Pink I mean me. I asked her for tips and she just said Prayer. Lots of prayer. 

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?

Apparently not.

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. 


  1. that is hilarious!!! about you starting the school. Not that you couldn't, but because I've joked that the only way we would get what we want is to do it ourselves.

    BUT music? that I totally think you could do GREAT at :)

    you can't leave us hanging there..... tell ALL!

  2. Where I'm from this is called payin' for your raisin' and it has nothing whatsoever to do with genetics. It's about the universal laws of payback (karma, yin/yang, whatever you want to call it). Circle of life, baby. Circle of life.

  3. A question: if Pink is your mirror, then is Blue Jay's mirror? Can Jay dance like Blue?

  4. Z is pretty much just like me, and sometimes it is HORRID. Other times it's nice, because I know how to help her better. I mean, when I'm done being stubborn and decide to actually help her instead of attempting to win the power struggle simply for the sake of winning. (Z and I both like to WIN. It's why neither of us likes to play board games with others.)

    On another note, if we are successful at moving to the UK, I think we may need to inquire about Z and E attending your school. I would like very much for my children to take your music class. Can they attend just for music?

  5. I wonder if it is a girl thing because Bicicleta Girl is just like what you described. And I--of course-- am not like this AT ALL. No siree.

  6. My son is sooo much like my brother and I in personality, and as the anonymous commenter stated above, I am totally payin' for my raisin'! Karma is real! And, I would just like to note that I love the photos that include you. Too often we leave ourselves out of photos, and I'm so glad you didn't. You're lovely.

  7. My son is blessed not only with my worst traits, but also with some of the worst traits of his grandfather, which I did not inherit. How can these things skip a generation when we don't even live on the same continent as grandpa?!

  8. Oh yes. My mother swears that the Demie Diva is ME. All. Over. Only more so.

  9. Hilarious post! From a very old friend, I would LOL if I wasn't in the office, especially "I COULD BE MORE RIGHT!" Reminds me of many teenage conversations ;-)

    And I always thought that would be a big perk of not having Make-Your-Own-Mini-Mes for that very reason - myth busted!

    Love your work, love your kids, so happy for you to have this voice and this experience. x

  10. I love this post. Love love love the pictures. :-)

  11. Hi Claudia, so sorry I've been awol for awhile. My sister told me I need to start reading your blog again. My daughter is the same as yours, stubborn and persistent to the point where it makes me insane. Last time we flew from the UK to the USA (she was three) I explained to my older son that we had to go through security so they could make sure we didn't have weapons. My daughter starts shouting "I do have weapons! I DO!!! " Over and over. Luckily the security people thought it was funny.
    Amy x

  12. my mom used to say, often, "I hope you have a child just like you some day". Nope, she did not mean it in a great way, lol.
    I love Pink's hair in those last few pics, especially the last one. SO CUTE!

  13. Love this post. Can relate so much. One of my twin daughters is a lot like me -- stubborn and does not like being wrong AT ALL. My husband says I'm the most stubborn person he knows; now he agrees that I've been surpassed... by a five year old. I have so many moments when I think, "Hmmm, this is what it's like at 5; how am I going to survive 15?" At the same time, I get her. My other daughter is like me in other ways. My husband laughs that our adopted daughters are basically me split in two (but also uniquely themselves, of course). Clearly he's in trouble. As am I. Yeah, so much for adopted children not being like their adoptive parents!

  14. Love the pics and love her hair. Could use some hair tips... A lot of who we are has to do with parenting, so apparently its not so surprising that your daughter is turning out to be like you!!! It has been happening to us too!


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