Its in the jeans I tell you. Don’t believe me? Well, how often does your child behave in a manner that is totally and diametrically contrary to how you behave but is however, quite similar to the child’s other biological parent?
My daughter is displaying many traits that I do not possess but which are alarmingly similar to her mother. You may well say: ‘ ah, but that’s normal, they have grown up together, shared all the early experiences and like most of the animal kingdom, a child learns from its parents’. Well, that may well be true in some, maybe even most cases, but not in this one.
As anyone who has been following these scribblings will have noted, I have for the most part, raised my daughter as a stay-at-home dad. I have tried to instil all the things any good parent would: the rights and wrongs and how to behave in any given situation etc…
Yet, my daughter does display some alarming traits that bare no semblance to anything I have taught her or display myself. Punctuality for one thing. I detest unpunctuality, my daughter appears to posses an inherent lack of timing, partly because she cannot hold on to a watch long enough for the strap to become creased and partly because she has a this lack of urgency about her. That’s not a good thing; an uncanny likeness to her mother however.
She also seems to defend her mother rather more than I would consider healthy for someone who has spent so little quality time with. After all, who was it that played with her everyday until the last few months when she discovered the privacy of a tablet? Who was it that had to go through endless hours sitting through children’s TV programmes some of which were in Japanese? Never mind the person who wakes her every morning, makes up her packed-lunch for school, prepares her dinner etc, etc.
So why is it then, if all these experts claim that a child learns from its surroundings, does my daughter display characteristics more akin to her mother who has for the most part been absent during her formative years? My only conclusion is that it must be in the genes and has absolutely precious little to do with her surroundings or who she grew up with.
On the positive side and definitely attributable to her mother’s genes, is my daughter’s academic prowess which seems to be going from strength to strength. I just hope she puts it to good use and continues along the path of enlightenment.
Which does beg the question as to how much does she – my daughter – actually know about her mother? I suspect very little. I have avoided discussing her mother’s past, her work – mainly because I don’t actually know what she does – or anything really ‘deep and significant’ as I think she is still too young and in my eyes, too innocent to be told any harsh truths.
However, I did recently kind of blurt out that I wished she – ‘Ms Jean Brodie’ aka her mother – would go and find a job after she had been at home all day only to have left me with a pile of things to clear up. To my surprise, my daughter said; ‘she does have a job, she just works from home like you do’. I didn’t press the point but it did stop me in my tracks to wonder just how much does my daughter know of her mother, obviously less than I do, which isn’t very much. I do know that she isn’t working again, her obvious contract job has come to an end after just a few weeks.
But as ever, even though she is at home all day nowadays, she manages to find herself out of the house by the time my daughter comes from school hmmm….