It’s so strange to comprehend that my kids may pick up many of my current nuances. Not the ones I necessarily grew up with or grew out of, but those specific idiosyncrasies that are evident in my day-to-day adult existence as Great and Powerful Mommy.
They are plentiful. These quirks are the hardest hardcore. They have lasted more than three decades over. They are the equivalent to the mosquitos that can survive through November and December here in Georgia. Gangster.
As a child, selection has a tendency to come from a place of pickiness or simply fear of the unknown. A kid may not want to eat spinach because it looks like the leaves on the shrub outside their window. One child may balk at drinking water because of a lack of “flavor” or he may “hate” reading because it is not fun for him. Whether we want to feign nature or deny plausibility, it is truly difficult to repeatedly try to introduce children to something to promote their own relationships with that item when the parent loathes the thing. It is not my favorite idea to bring cauliflower into the house to encourage Jrue and Jai to like it, despite the vegetable’s positive qualities, when I have not historically stuck a bulb towards my face and have no immediate desire to do so.
The same goes for behaviors, values, choices, and cultural priorities. Most young kids only know what they see. They copy because it is human tendency to do so. This article from Parents discusses some of the reasons why. It isn’t until children are much older, and a bit more mature, that stronger decision-making minimally hits the radar and, even then, young people feel more confident following in the footsteps of their caretakers initially, with few questions, than following gut instinct.
Therefore, it’s quite amusing to reveal some parallels that my 4-year-old and almost 2-year-old have unveiled to me that seem to be correlated to subtleties that I own.
Jrue and Jai: Chips reign over anything; chips are life. Whole milk is the recommended beverage. No, french fries cannot touch the ketchup. Throw that whole plate away if it happens. If the chicken wing falls on the floor, it’s still delicious. French fries are tasty even 30 minutes later. Standing and walking while eating aids in digestion.
Mommy: My go-to cuisine isn’t the healthiest, though, being a parent has slowly helped turned around an honest handful of my eating habits. But, truthfully, a Diet Dr. Pepper may always remain my kryptonite. Also, my food cannot touch on a plate; it freaks me out. I detest soggy bread. Butter must be completely melted on toast. Oh, and I must eat a burger with the top bun facing me. And I don’t bite it—I rip pieces off and eat them. It goes on. See what I mean?
Jrue and Jai: A bedtime book must be indulged upon every night—no exceptions. They don’t care if pages have been ripped out or flaps have been removed. There are to be no toys in bed, even if placed there by the occupant just minutes earlier. It’s sippy-cup-room-only.
Mommy: I try to get to bed within an hour range each night, including the weekend. Any later, and I’m zonked the rest of the day. I always start my sleep on my right side. I must have my leg pillow to cushion my bony knees or I cannot get comfortable. I fall into bed with my bedside lamp on first and close my eyes to prepare for sleep, then reach over to turn off the lamp. It’s like my Lebron-tossing-the-chalk good luck charm.
Jrue and Jai: Music is to be played all day, every day, starting immediately after school. Tablets must be charged by morning. If not, the parents should be prepared to give up phones on demand for tech entertainment purposes. Dancing comes and goes as the spirit moves. We love our songs and reviewing our shapes and letters on Jrue’s Magna Doodle—mom and dad must be receptive to the requirements of this or we’ll scream.
Mommy: I live by my phone, less because of my generation, more because I have an app for everything. I have music playlists on top of playlists for the most minor car rides. I dance my way through scrubbing bathrooms and folding laundry. I must.
I’m a role model. I’m an influence. I imagine that I’m worthy to be imitated. Most of the time.
I have two miniature versions of me.
Those two are onto me.