Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Resemblences

While a baby is a genetically a blend of two people together, the trait distribution can be complex: sometimes, the individual contributions from either biological parent are evident, and sometimes they are not. Sometimes, there appear to be no inherited traits at all.

If I look at Gauri and I together in a mirror today, I sometimes cannot see the resemblance (possibly because our coloring really differs), but then it seems to jump out in our eyes, the overall shape of our faces, and sometimes just something indefinable. But then, when you look at baby photos of me and baby photos of Gauri, the resemblance is much stronger.

But I digress. This child has taken definite facets from her maternal and paternal sides.

Her smile is mine. Her eyes are mine. Her eyelashes (score!) are mine. Her joy and enthusiasm for people are the same as mine as a child----I sadly became much more reserved later.

Her love for reading may have come from me; I was the consummate bookworm, and this kid LOVES book-time. Her ability to cry quickly may, sadly, be mine as well---even mildly strong emotion provokes tears in me: I just sniffled through the the end of "The Imitation Game," much to the amusement and disbelief of the people with me. Sigh...it would suck if this very disadvantageous trait afflicted yet another generation. In the plus column, she may be a very early talker like me, but the jury is still out on that one.

But, oh, the (possibly) paternal influences: Unlike me, this child is very physical. She crawled early at 6 months, stood up by herself at 6.5 months, is starting to walk unassisted now at 9.5 months: What amazes me is a lot of her half-siblings started to do all of these things at around exactly the same times.  Her height and weight percentiles (very tall, rather light baby) match up almost spookily with that of a few of her female half-sibs. She is utterly fearless and is indefatigable. She may also turn out to be athletic and may be good with using her body: we showed her the correct way to dismount from a bed, and she picked it up immediately....my abilities to imitate or follow a described motion are actually sub-par, which is why I will always be a sucky athlete/dancer. Probably the best dissimilarity from me: this kid loves to eat. She loves food, all types of food (giant, giant score).

Can you delineate traits in your children? Would be fun to read about it---including the things they pick up as a result of nurture, not nature...sometimes that matters more: for example, Gauri's love for books. My parents read to me, and I am reading to her. Would the two of us have been the same if we had not been raised thus?

8 comments:

  1. It is so very rare for anyone to see similar physical traits between my son and me (probably because I have dark hair and eyes and his hair is blonde). I even had a coworker ask me if he was actually mine recently, though he saw me pregnant back in the day. Right now he resembles his donor more than any of his half siblings if you ask me. We have noticed a bunch of similar personality traits amongst many of our kids, but so far majority of our children seem to favor their maternal physical traits. I'm very curious if my second son will resemble my first, or have more in common with my side!

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  2. It's so great to read about Gauri's development. Sounds like she is doing so well. And walking already! Both wonderful and scary for mama, I'm sure (oh, and hello childproofing).

    Gummy is also showing the same love of books I have had my whole life. She even seems to be interested in the actual narrative (which is what interests me the most). And for better and more often for worse, she seems to have inherited my more intense temperament. This should be loads of fun when she hits the peak of terrible twos.

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  3. I am constantly ribbing Rani about how much Ellie looks like me. Sometimes she calls her "Dana 2.0." If you look at baby pictures of me when I was her age, its so obvious. She's super fair, too, even though Rani is so dark. People are constantly asking Rani whether "the baby is yours." Burn. We joke that when we went down to Miami for the IVF cycle, they got Rani's egg mixed up with some Cuban lady. One thing that Ellie certainly has, though, is her mother's eyes.

    I think Rani and I were, and are, sunny people and it shows in Ellie, too. She's quick to excite. Quick to laugh.

    The funny thing is I always imagined I'd have a daughter that was a mini-Rani. Its funny how Gregor Mendel makes things happen.

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    1. Lol....Rani will probably dig this:I have seen pictures of both of them, my impression was that while her coloring is caucasian, I thought she was a mini-Rani...it seems like more than her eyes, it is something you cannot put your finger on. BTW, I have seen so many half-and-halfs (so many mixed families on that Facebook group), and what has astounded me at this early point, white beats brown in every single case. Maybe things change around teenage and the Indian side starts making itself more felt. I can imagine people asking me if Gauri is mine as well...joy..I can just imagine my snarled responses :D

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    2. Ha ha, well, it's unfortunate for us equitorials to end up with fair skin. I was even a little disappointed when Ellie ended up so fair. You darkies just don't get how hard it is if you are super fair but also an outdoorsie type. My skin reflects so much light that Archimedes could have used it for his solar death ray in the Battle for Syracuse. I remember when Rani and I were in highschool, we were both on the tennis team and after a long tournament, she complained that her skin itched for some strange reason. Turns out, it was her first sunburn. Meanwhile, I was all kinds of unnatural shades of pink and the following day and my skin was peeling off in sheets. In college, I was out on the water a lot for marine bio reasons and in the summer, I'd just grow my hair out long and wear a full body wet suit so that my entire body was protected. Sure, I got tired of people asking me if I sold pot, but protecting your skin from the sun is a big deal. I'd never want Ellie to endure my fear of the sun.

      It's interesting though, because I know mixed families where some siblings look like something out of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness and another is like something from Jane Austin.

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  4. My LO looks just like her dad. It is really amazing, down to details like little lines on the arches of their feet. I've seen more expressions of mine in her lately as she approaches two. Haha! She has my frustrated face mastered. ;) As far as personality goes, she seems like a mix of both of us. She definitely has more of her father's sense of humor but he is a SAHD so she's exposed to him much more than she is to me.
    Gauri is walking so young! What a little adventurous spirit she is! My LO didn't walk until 15 months and even then didn't do so reliably until 16-17 months.

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  5. I find this all so interesting. Ask anyone who knows me, they will tell you Elena is a little mini-me but I see features of her donor too. Maybe they don't becau they don't know what to look for. Personality-wise, Elena is exactly like me, her short fuse & dramatic out burst, all me. But her intelligence, I'm no slouch but this kid is much brighter than I ever was.

    Plus her coordination is way beyond anything I could have achieved. But I wonder if it's because of her donor or because I've given her exposure to things like gymnastics & swimming from such a young age compared to when my mom let me become involved at school age.

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  6. It's great to hear that you and Gauri are doing well! And it sounds like she is very advanced in her motor skills, which I'm sure is keeping you on your toes. Miss A didn't even start to crawl until 10 months and then took her first steps at 13.5 months. Mr. Z is physically stronger but does not seem to be much ahead of her in terms of milestones.

    When Miss A was born, I was expecting a baby with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, because my mom and I both have that. But instead she came out with hair that was almost white blonde (which is what my husband and his siblings all had for their first decade or so before eventually evolving into a dirty blonde shade) and blue eyes. People frequently tell me that she looks exactly like a blonde version of me, but I can't see it. I don't think she looks particularly like my husband either, aside from the coloring. Mostly I just think she looks like herself, and I'm actually totally okay with that. I wasn't wishing for a mini-me. I just want her to be her.

    There are frequently moments where I think Mr. Z looks like my dad, both in his facial features and his coloring. (Although I don't tell my mother that, because it would not go over well - even though they'd been divorced for more than 15 years and he passed away nearly 4 years ago, she'd still hold a grudge against me forever if I dared to voice the thought aloud.) I don't really see any of my DH or myself (I resemble my mom much more than my dad) in Mr. Z, but again, we're okay with that. The day care teachers tell us all the time that Mr. Z looks just like Miss A did at his age, and I can kind of see that. But then again, most babies look alike to me, so I'm not really a good judge of that. :-)

    We read to Miss A a lot, so she's enjoying books like I do. She eats her veggies and sometimes used to even cry when she ran out of them if we didn't get more fixed quickly enough for her, which tended to make me question whether the lab somehow accidentally swapped my eggs with someone else's, given my intense dislike of most veggies. But then one day when she was sick and DH was trying to figure out what she might feel like eating and she mentioned the word "chocolate" 3 times as she was listing things out, I realized my genes may be hiding in there somewhere after all! :-D

    With regard to your last question - no, I don't think you'd be the same without all of the early reading. When Miss A was in the 1-year-olds room at day care, her teachers said they can tell which children get read to at home and which don't, so apparently the difference it makes is obvious even very early on. I found that to be very interesting.

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