Monday, May 17, 2010

She's copying me!

She's copying me!
I've known for a while now, but it's really having an impact now.
Getting my heels on and looking down to see her trying to balance her chubby little foot in the other one is adorable. I love that she ran into my closet before we got into the car and came walking out with a scarf on her head because I had just put a scarf on my neck. It was fun to paint her toenails after I painted mine because she sat down next to me in the same pose and said "too".
Almost as soon as the dishwasher opens she is there getting her hands into the silverware saying "helping" as she hands me one by one. Sweet.
I don't get most of these moments on camera, of course.
I had just finished my hair & was putting on makeup when I looked down to see her doing this:
All cute moments.
What's not so cute is that she doesn't only copy the things I'm proud to pass on.

Just the other day I thought, when is she going to start sitting down and watching a whole tv show or movie like her brother could all day if I let him? Before I could even finish the question I realized she may never, I don't. Remember this?

Not so bad, but this was:
I was unconsciously doing my after shower thing in the mirror, when she showed up behind me pushing her belly in too! (gulp)

She's even been putting her fingers in her mouth and biting on them whenever she catches me biting my nails (ick! i hate this habit). Honestly, I don't even realize I'm doing it until I look over & see her.

And having to take a big gulp of reality, admitting she got this or that bad thing from me is hard.

Now come on, I don't want to mess this girl up.

I'm not going to let the fact that no matter how hard I try Lilah may write her very own blog post one day about how my inadequacies messed her up keep me from trying to be the best version of myself in front of her.

Don't laugh, but I caught a few minutes of 18 Kids & Counting for the 1st time the other day and I've been thinking about something Jim Bob said in an interview, something like:
"My kids will learn how to react to the world far more from how I react than from how I tell them to react"
Ouch.
No really, think about it....ouch.

Reacting to the elbow knocking over the cup of milk when you've told her to sit down in her chair,
reacting to the lady that took the spot you were obviously sitting there with your turn signal waiting to take,
reacting to him spraying you with the hose when you told him to keep it over there,
reacting to daddy swearing you never told him about that event on the calendar when you know you reminded him,
reacting to the lady who turns blatantly around from her table to glare at you because your child is throwing a tantrum at a restaurant...

These may or may not have happened to me within a few days.
The point is...what's really getting me are the things that I believed warranted a certain reaction no longer seem worth it if she's going to be copying me.

Here's what I try to keep in mind: my reaction does not always have to match the intensity of the situation. If she is screaming or if he is whining & spinning out of control, I don't have to get loud or dominate his tantrum.
Let's face it, sometimes it's much more intimidating to be extraordinarily calm, hello Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada!
Sometimes cool commands control in chaos.
Think Jesus on the boat in storm with the freaking out voyagers.

One last thing,
If I take credit for her friendliness or intelligence, do I also have to take credit for her ability to go from thisto thisin a matter of seconds because something didn't go her way?

Don't let the resemblance between us or that she's wearing my t-shirt from 1980 sway you.

I'd love to hear your thoughts; what works for you, whether or not you have a living mirror in your house too!

In the meantime,
I'm happy to pass on the pride that the greatest man alive happens to live in our house!
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6 comments:

  1. Love the new look on the blog! Oh those are adorable stories- Lilah is such a sweetie! I think you're right on with the take home lesson, and you're onto it quicker than I was. Natalie's third year was traumatic for me because of this - the copying is even more alarming when they talk. E.g., barking orders to eeryone in sight with venom in the voice. Oh, painful lessons.

    Cheri

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  2. Cheri, I hardly picture you & venom together. But, I'll take your word for it! Kids can bring out stuff in us we never knew we had in us (or thought was long gone) as we both know!

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  3. Love her, love you and love the mother you are. Cannot wait to see all of you! Very good entry. Love mom

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  4. So true! I see myself in Emily's sarcastic comments as well as her reactions to her siblings. When I get frustrated with her, it's always a reminder that she has learned to act that way from ME. Ugh...yuk.
    It's good that most days, Greg knows how to curb her sarcasm and lack of patience (and mine). It's good when couples balance each other out (and their children) in that way!

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  5. Really enjoyed this Tina. Its funny how different daughters are from sons. I have just started noticing Emily mimicking little things that I say or do, and truth be told, I adore it :)

    And... LOVE the Tina shirt. How fabulous that your mom kept that for 30 years! So sweet.

    I also wanted to mention, have you ever heard of piggy paint? Its non-toxic, all natural nail polish for little ones. I have bought a couple bottles for Emily and really really love it. She lets me paint her toenails weekly :)

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