4/29/2005

Ahh..she looks just like you!

My husband and I were talking last night about our kids. (I know, shocker. Wonder what we'll talk about when they move out. Golf, probably). We decided that one of them looks exactly like his mother, one looks exactly like I do, and one looks exactly like he does. This is not new information to us. We have thought that for a while, everyone tells us that we have one little me, and one little him, etc. It's just not going to change anytime soon. So why bring it up again? When I had my first, I had in my head an image of what a baby of mine would look like. A little heart-shaped face, hazel eyes, and just the teeniest little thing you ever saw. Well, she came out round-faced, blue-eyed, and she could have been auditioning for the part of the Michelin Tire Man within four months. She was stunning (of course!), but not the baby I'd thought I'd have. This did not make me love her any less, but I was surprised every time I looked at her. Still am, sometimes. How could someone that looks like that come out of me? Then I look at my husband, and my MIL, and I know the answer. Then my second was born (another girl), and they handed me this little alien baby. I knew from experience what my babies looked like. After all, I already had one, and a girl to boot. This child looked NOTHING like my first. She had really strange hair (my brother kept saying she had 'mange'), she was beet-red, and was really just kind of scrawny looking. I always thought the nurses in the hospital told everyone their baby was gorgeous, but this time around I just didn't hear it. As she grew (a major issue for her), she turned into the absolute cutest little pixie doll you've ever seen. And she started to look like me. Finally, I had the little heart-shaped faced, hazel-eyed girl I'd imagined. Then I had my boy. He was so stinking cute at birth, the nurses wanted to take him home. He looked a lot like my first. And he has continued to be the cutest thing ever, and is a little clone of his Daddy. I have a sister who has adopted a little boy. The first thing everybody asked me was did he look like her or her husband. They seemed to think that somehow, if he looked like he fit the family, then that would be a 'sign' that he was sent to the right family. I've always found that question to be an odd one. Do we think our kids are cute because they look like us? Deep down, are the people we find most attractive the ones that remind us of ourselves? Is that why married people look alike? And why are we constantly talking about it? Maybe it's just another way of talking about ourselves.

12 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

While I confess to not being a regular visitor to Mommy Wars, I think your opening line on golf was a classic. I suppose to still be talking about anything at all once the kids are gone will a small triumph.

4/30/2005 12:16:00 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

My daughter and I tease each other a lot about her being switched at birth. She is tall, with olive skin and green eyes. I am short, chubby, with reddish (gray) hair and blue eyes. She doesn't look like me at all.

A funny thing is a lot of people have told me that her sister, who is also tall, 6 feet tall, and looks like her, looks just like me. She is the child of my husband and his former wife.

We just laugh about it.

4/30/2005 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

I could never see either of us in our kids when they were small, although people told us they looked just like us. Now that they're older I can see myself quite a bit in the boys, and though everyone says my daughter looks like me, I think she looks more like her Dad's side of the family. She actually looks a lot like my husband's sister.

4/30/2005 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Andrea Wright said...

I really think there is something to the looks helping people bond to babies. I love all my children equally, but like you, Wiz, my oldest totally threw me when she was born. I still can't see any of me in her looks or personality. She looks just like my MIL and Hubby and I swear she's my MIL's favorite. My second looks just like me and my family and she's kind of queen bee with them. On our third child, my husband and I managed to actually mix our genes a little so each family claims he looks just like them. :)
I read somewhere that babies usually look like their dads as newborns to help them bond and to assure them it's theirs. I don't know if it's true, but it's interesting.

4/30/2005 03:15:00 PM  
Blogger TftCarrie said...

As a child, my mother loved to watch I Love Lucy and dreamed of someday marrying a man that looked just like Desi Arnez so she could have beautiful dark-skinned, dark-eyed babies that popped out with a full head of black hair (she is Danish-Dutch: fair skin, hazel eyes, bald until 3). She got part of her wish when she married my dad, who had moved to Utah from Mexico at the age of 14--he was the spitting image of Desi Arnez (at least in my mother's eyes) and was the marrying type to boot. I said she got only part of her wish because when my oldest sister was born, she was fair skinned, blue-eyed and had no hair which later turned to a full head of the blondest hair you have ever seen. My mother was so disappointed. To make matters worse, my father started telling people that the baby was my mother's from a previous marriage. It was just a joke, but my father's humor is sometimes hard to read so there are people who still believe it to this day.

I don't know if we all hope to have children that look like us. But we all have visions of what we think they will look like when they are born, and as they grow up. I was sure my daughter would get all the recessive genes--red hair, freckles and cross-eyes mixed with the significant nose and bushy eyebrows that my father has passed onto his children. I guess I was just preparing myself for the worst so I would be pleasantly surprised with whatever she ended up looking like.

5/01/2005 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger Bryce said...

Well, my wife gets asked regularly if our kids are adopted, but she seems to like them just fine.

5/02/2005 02:39:00 PM  
Blogger Heather O. said...

Bryce-

ARE your children adopted?

5/02/2005 03:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

In my family, my sisters' first children seem to ALWAYS look just like their dads and then the rest are more of a mix between mom and dad. One of my SIL's has children with several different men. The only child that looks like her is her last daughter who has a black father - but the daughter is blonde, blue eyed just like SIL, only has very curly hair. Genetics are fascinating! I think our dd looks like both of us, but then again, we are one of those couples that everyone says looks alike.....

5/03/2005 09:42:00 AM  
Blogger Allison said...

I think there's more to bonding with your kids than just appearance. My first daughter really doesn't resemble me or Greg (although, strangely, at birth she did look exactly like a little Greg doll), but I've always had an easier time understanding and bonding with her than with my second daughter, who looks a bit like me and a lot like my husband. It's not that I love her less, but our personalities are just different enough to make it more work. My baby looks just like me, and I love him but forget he exists sometimes. Bad mom.

5/03/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Ana said...

My kids (adopted as infants) both look just like their birthmothers. They are not even the same color as my husband and me. Yet people persist in telling us that they look like us. Do they think they need to try to make us feel better? Reassure us that our kids are really ours? I don't get it.

Actually, one close friend had a good answer for me. She said that it wasn't so much features as "countenance" that looks the same. And that, I can see. My 5yo does the same exact facial expressions his daddy does. Pulls the same funny faces. And that does prove to me that he is ours.

5/03/2005 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous JKS said...

I never see us in our kids. They seem slightly similar to each other though.
I mostly looked forward to genetic traits of my husband or myself being in my children, not having to do with facial features.
I wanted them to be good at math like me, good at talking like my husband, good at music like me, good at sports like my husband, good test taker like me, good homework finisher like my husband, a planner like me, and easygoing like my husband.
In fact, I thought with our good traits we'd make some pretty perfect children if we could just keep some of those pesky bad traits out of the mix.
Kids aren't perfect, though, and they have weaknesses. I've decided that God knew exactly which sperm and egg were hooking up, and which spirit was going to the body and which family (and birth order) the child would be raised in. If its good enough for him, its good enough for me.

5/06/2005 12:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Susan M said...

When my husband and I were dating, we used to joke that if we had kids, one would run around wanting to kill themself, and the other would run around wanting to kill someone.

And it's true. One of our kids is exactly like me, and the other is exactly like him. Fortunately we had a third who is pretty much a mix of our temperaments, with some other traits thrown in as well.

5/06/2005 10:16:00 AM  

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