Monday, December 2, 2013

She Gets That From Me

Nature or Nurture?  The question that every single parent asks themselves several times a day.  Usually when they walk in and see one of their children eating chocolate pie with their face.  And only their face.  It's in that moment that you have an imaginary conversation in your head that sounds eerily like the anti-drug PSA from the 80's:

"Who taught you how to do that?"  

Before we were blessed with The Little Dictators That Live With Us, Benny used to cringe and harp on me about how disgusting it was that I played with my toes while watching TV.  In my defense, it wasn't that I was playing with my toes.  I was absentmindedly... okay, fine.  I play with my toes. Absentmindedly.  While watching Friends re-runs.   

"Hi.  I'm Jaynee, and I like to clean out the lint between my toes while watching the best sitcom ever. Could I BE any less ashamed?"

He calls it gross.  I call it good hygiene, and he could learn a thing from me and my toes.

But that was before we had kiddos and we got to do things like play with our toes absentmindedly and eat pie with our faces. 

And it was loooonnnngggg before The Bird started becoming obsessed about her toes.  Like... really obsessed.  The type of obsession that I know if I don't hear something from her for a while, she's likely in her room cleaning out lint from her toes.  We take off her socks so she can go take a tubby, and we've got 5 minutes of toe cleaning before we actually can set foot in the tubby.

Drives me freakin' batty. Looking in the mirror - on steroids - will do that to you.

Which brings us to The Bean.

This kid is a 24-hour reflection of yours truly.  She loves it when the word "butt" comes up in a song, and laughs hysterically whenever I rewind it and she gets to hear the word "butt" again.  Not that I encourage that type of behavior... but I now have  moral obligation to introduce her to Sir-Mix-A-Lot.  And soon.  Her favorite Disney song is Poor Unfortunate Souls from Little Mermaid, and she has got the evil witch laugh perfected.  She cracks up when someone around her toots.  Moreso when she's the bandit.  She has also been known to Toot-Scoot-and-Blame.  She doesn't like to wear pants, and when the temps get a little cool and we start requiring her legs to be covered, she pulls them up above her knees and runs around like freakin' LL Cool J.  Or, me when I was in college.  At not yet 3, she's wearing size 10.5 shoes.  And I know this because one day, I noticed that her big toes were sticking completely out of her size 7.5 shoes.  And she'd never said a word.  Apparently, I did this same thing to my mom and that's why my toes were severely curled for most of my childhood.  She is a stickler for words being used correctly.  When she has a runny nose and asks for a tissue, if I bring her some toilet paper, she defiantly refuses to use it and points out that toilet paper?  NOT A TISSUE!!!  And if we're in Benny's truck, we are not to refer to it as a car. "It's a twuck, Mama!"  It's almost like she's seen me shame a Facebooker for using 'your' instead of 'you're'.  She refuses to dress up like a princess with The Bird, which has been the origin of many Saturday morning fights.  And she insists that I sing her the old folk songs my parents sang me when I was a kid.  You know, the one about the hammer killing John Henry?  No?  Never heard of it?  Come over one night while I'm putting The Bean to bed and you can hear a scary-ass folk song about a hammer that totally makes my serial-killer sweet 2-year-old fall sound asleep.

So, because I don't want DCFS to come take the girls from me, count me solidly in the camp of nature and genetics.  Neither one of the girls have seen me do the nonsense that they are now pulling... it just comes to them instinctively.  And while it's frustrating for Benny to deal with it, it's downright surreal for me.

But then again, the other day I saw The Bird nonchalantly wipe a booger on the dog, so things have got to be getting pretty surreal for Benny, too.

Except that one?  Pretty sure that's nurture.

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