The missus has been working away a lot recently, last week in Birmingham in the UK and this week in Cannes in France. Birmingham to Cannes – that’s roughly the equivalent of one week in a Thailand prison vs one week in a…well, one week in Cannes.
This working away malarkey has led to me being on my own-some with the kids. Or should I say ‘kid’. You see at the moment my daughter is going through a somewhat annoying phase where she prefers the company of females. This is despite me raising her for the last six years. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary upset (for both her and myself), when my partner works away she stays with her grandma – or ‘mamie’, as they prefer to be called in France.
If I’m honest I really can’t complain too much, after all as anyone reading this who is a parent will know – or anyone with half a brain cell for that matter – one kid is much easier than two. I do still miss the kisses and cuddles at bedtime though, I’m not a completely cold-hearted monster.
So I’ve have had lot more time recently to spend just with my son, and this has led me to reflect on how similar we are to each other. It’s something that’s been pretty obvious for the last few years – or maybe since ‘day one’ if I really think about it – but these last few days have really hammered it home.
He loves reading, he loves having a laugh, he loves video games, he loves to draw, he loves films, he daydreams (a lot) he’s annoying, he whines (a lot) , he’s lazy (very) and sometimes I suspect he wouldn’t be able to find his glasses if they were sat right on the end of his nose. He’s also got a very high-pitched voice that can cut through any other conversation with all the effortless precision of a dentist’s drill.
Yup. He is me.
Obviously not all those characteristics still hold true for me. I’m nowhere near as lazy as I was when I was younger, but this is something that we often lose as we get older. Well, some of us anyway (I’m specifically thinking of my father here, who wouldn’t get out of bed even if his house was on fire, and whose catchphrase was ‘No’, usually in response to the question ‘Can you help me with *insert generic favour here*’ but more often in response to the question ‘Are you physically active?’.)
He even sits to read the same way that I do – curled up in a corner, one legged crossed over the other, completely lost in a far-away world. We both enter creative ‘fugues’ as well now and again – him much more often than me. This is where he becomes obsessed with creating some new thing, drawing some new creature or painting some new portrait. He will not be distracted from his goal until he is spent/it is finished (whichever comes first).
This, obviously, leads us to my daughter. Who is a perfect clone of her mother.
Organised. Strong-minded. Laid back. Friendly. Easy going. Mature.
Yes, unfortunately with this one I think a little bit of me slipped in during the ‘cloning procedure’.
Apart from that though, she is just a mirror image. 2/5 scale size mini-mum, if you like. This also means that she has a tendency to mother her older sibling, something that he used to find annoying, but which he is relying on and appreciating more and more (see: lazy.) Needs his shoes? His sister brings them. Needs more tomato ketchup on his chips? It’s already in her hands. His glasses are dirty? She’s cleaning them. Getting picked on by a bigger kid? She’ll beat them up for him (this last one is a joke, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be true one day.)
Yes, we’ve cloned ourselves quite effectively, and can see ourselves in our kids each day. More and more as they get older.
He has blonde hair though.
Just like our old milkman did back in England.
I’m just saying….