“You will be destined to have at least one child exactly like you.”
I can’t remember the first time I heard what my grandmother teasingly dubbed “the parent’s curse,” but I know it was mentioned several times during my childhood.
It wasn’t something I paid much mind to back in those times. It was funny to think about eventually having a son or daughter that was just like me: nerdy, verbal and, above all, excruciatingly sensitive. It was so comical, in fact, that I dismissed the notion for decades, for surely such talk was nothing more than an old wives’ tale.
Fast forward to present day with my darling 2-year-old.
Now, there’s no way to know yet if he inherited my nerd gene, and although he is extremely vocal, his vocabulary is still quite limited. But one thing is for certain: He is sensitive — boy howdy is he sensitive.
It can be a look of disapproval that sends him into a 10-minute tailspin — only to have him snap out of it when something else diverts his attention.
The mercurial nature of such creatures is not to be underestimated. I find myself having bizarre conversations, trying to explain things to a mind that can’t even grasp the use of conjunctions and articulation.
A few days ago, we were quietly watching television and a commercial came on for a chain of restaurants that offered breakfast sandwiches.
Son: “I want have breakfast sammich.”
Me: “No, honey. It’s 10 minutes to bedtime and you already ate.”
Son: “I want have breakfast sammich!”
Me: “Sweetie, we don’t have breakfast sandwiches.”
Son: “Breakfast sammich! Aaaaaahhhhh!”
Me: “We’ll go to the store and get some this weekend.”
Seriously? Like my 2-year-old, who just had the feral instincts of a jungle cat for that sausage sandwich is going to appreciate the nature of time, space and grocery list planning in order to calmly accept the fact that he won’t get what he wants?
I’m only beginning to grasp what I put my poor mother through with my similar tendencies as a tot — the stories of my moody nature are legendary around the Thanksgiving Day table.
I’m sure she’s smiling down, knowing that now I get to contend with my perfect, little capricious clone.
— Sarah Leach is editor of The Holland Sentinel. Contact her at (616) 546-4278 or email@example.com.