How Far Does The Apple Fall?


by Risa Green


Remember when your parents used to say things to you like, someday, I hope you have a child that’s exactly like you? Well, I did. And one of the most difficult things about parenthood, for me, is having to put up with my own worst qualities on a daily basis. My son, while a sweet, warm, wonderful kid, somehow managed to inherit every single quality of mine that I have always regretted having. He’s overly cautious. He’s a homebody. He’s a stickler for routine, and uncomfortable in new situations. He doesn’t deal well with change. Fun stuff, especially in a four year-old.


I have often said that if I weren’t married to my husband, I would probably never leave the house. My husband is the one who keeps our social calendar, who makes plans with other couples, who chats on the phone with my girlfriends. If not for him, I would be a total hermit. It’s not that I don’t like going out – once I actually get somewhere, I tend to have fun – it’s just that it’s easier to stay home, and besides, I like being home. Which is okay, I think, for an adult. Because as an adult, I intellectually understand that I am just being lazy, and that if my husband is willing to make the plans, then I am willing to go along with them. But in a four year-old, this quality is not wonderful. In a four year-old, this is what happens when you try to go somewhere:


Me: Why don’t we get out of here and go somewhere? We could go to the zoo, or to the Natural History Museum, or the park…


My daughter: Yeah! I want to go to the zoo!


My son (not even looking up from playing with his Power Rangers): Nah.


Me: Come on, you can play with those any time. Let’s go somewhere.


My son: No, fank you. I just want to stay home.


It’s hard, because as a parent, I know that I should make him go out and do things. But as a person with similar inclinations, I totally get it.


My two-year-old son constantly says, "Momma's turn." or "Daddy's turn." and I realized that this came from my almost obsessive desire to get my hubby to "equally" co-parent (change the same number of dirty diapers, get saddled with the same number of marathon night-time routines) so I was constantly saying it was his turn. I didn't even realize how often I was doing it until I heard it coming out of my son's mouth. How embarrasing when you don't even recognize your own character flaw until you see it so glaringly in your own child


I don't know. I think that sounds just like my son, who is also 4. Whenever I see my bad qualities in any of my three kids, I have to go with "it's just a phase." I like to think that even if they get my bad traits, they will be diluted by my husband's genes. Sure, he's got his own bad traits, but my genes dilute those, right? My son, who just turned 4, would rather stay home, won't go on any of the big rides at Busch Gardens even though he did the little roller coaster at Disneyland last year and loved it, and clings to me when we are out in public. My middle daughter is just like me in her total disrespect for any house rules regarding cleaning her room. I deserve that, I guess. I like to think my older daughter is like me, but she's more mature at 13 than I was at 21. She does love soccer, so we have that in common, even though she is better than me already.

Mom to 3


This article came at the perfect time. I recently put myself through a round of the guilts because my son is more me than my husband. Which I think is a good thing...until he does a weird dance accompanied by a truly unique saying that only I would use in public. He has my sarcasm, my wit... and occasionally my use of the four letter words we prefer to only have at home. He is a picky eater...I could go on and on. I pulled my head out by realizing I am unique... he will is too... and at least we have each other:) I was a toughy in school so while I definitely do not want him to be the bully... I hope he inherits the part of me that was hardly picked on because even at a young age... I really didn't care what others thought (well for long any way:) I enjoy your writing immensly and look forward to my weekly fix!