I have three sisters. All wonderfully unique and very dear to me. I loved growing up in our Little Women family. And my parents did a great job raising us.
I remember my mom saying to us when we were younger, "You'll understand someday!" when she'd recall our "naughty" stories. You know. The battles that are unique to every child. With me it was hyperactivity (or zest for life as I'd like to see it) and a short attention span (I was kicked out of a pre preschool class. At 3 years old. My poor mother.). My mom was always great about refraining from "cursing" us with children like us (although I think she may have in her dreams) but she understands that children turn out a lot (sometimes too much) like their parents. And so far I have tried not to "curse" my kids (except I'm pretty sure I do in my dreams). And it was no surprise to me when my kids had some of my "traits". That's a nicer word for it. What has surprised me though is that I'm starting to see my sisters' "traits" come out in my kids and I'm wondering what happened in the gene pool!
One of the stories my mom tells is of one of my younger sisters. She was about two years old and she was following my mom through the house messing up everything my mom had just cleaned. My mom kept telling her, "Help mommy. Don't mess it up." And finally after several rounds of this my mom, frustrated and exasperated, said, "I'm sick and tired of you messing things up!" To which my sister, with hands on her hips, replied, "Well, I'm sick and tired of you talking at me!" And then my mom dealt with that. And there were tears.
So, Hazel, my two year old, has just started talking. She surprises us everyday with the new words and phrases she is using. Especially the sassy ones. She definitely inherited my "zest for life" trait and I am constantly chasing after her. Correcting. Correcting. Correcting. And I remind myself many times throughout the day that my mom survived raising me. And I turned out okay. So I can do this, too. Right? RIGHT?!?
Well, one day after correcting Hazel for the same thing over and over I said, "I told you NO!" She looked at me with eyebrows raised and said, "I told NO!" She left out the "you" but I knew who she was talking to...I knew...
And then we dealt with that. And there were tears. And she was sweet to me again. And I wondered, "Ummmm, this isn't my "trait"! Why does my kids have it? What went WRONG!" I expected my sister to have to deal with this in her kids just like I have to deal with the "zest for life" trait. But why, oh why God, do I get them both! And just what am I supposed to do to fix this? And then it came to me. My kids need to spend more "quality time" with their Aunts. It's their trait. They can fix it!