They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In this case I think I’m a cross-pollinated fruit tree then, because while Mr. Smarty-Pants is most definitely very much like me, sometimes I look at the other two and think, “How in the world???”
For starters, I was a tomboy. At Miss Diva’s age my favorite activities involved building stuff with Legos, wrestling with my brother, reading books, and playing make-believe with anything from GI Joes and trucks to dolls and stuffed animals. I wasn’t particular. While the dolls were “girly”, as were some of my romantic plot lines (yes, I crafted intricate melodramas for my cast of pretend characters even back then), on the whole, I wasn’t a girly girl. I enjoyed pretty things, but only when it was convenient. There was a time for dresses and attempts to keep pretty bows or barrettes in my hair, and a time for kicking my little brother’s butt in wrestling, and the latter was usually far more entertaining. If he and I found some sort of experiment to conduct, like making baking soda and vinegar fizz in the sink, even better.
Miss Diva has been fascinated by all things fashion since she was three and tried to critique my wardrobe not long after learning her colors. She’ll spend tons of time playing with her hair and takes longer than I do to dress, and she hasn’t even reached the make-up stage yet. She does her nails almost daily. I do mine once every few months for about a day, get annoyed with the nail polish that refuses to stick to my nails, cut them short again and don’t think about them again for another few months. She loves shoe shopping. I like shoes, but loathe the process of finding ones that fit.
She avoids working up a sweat if at all possible. I enjoy pretending I’m beating the crap out of bad guys while I’m practicing karate, or going for bike rides, or hiking.
Miss Diva wants to be an actress and/or model when she grows up. For a child who was once a shy little girl, that’s a BIG change, but not a surprise. I started off shy too, and agree that the stage can be an amazingly fun experience. However, my idea of a rewarding career does not involve me parading different clothes for people. Where’s the mental challenge in that?
As she nears the teen years I find it easier to relate to my son than either daughter. Miss Drama is in a league all her own. In fact, I think she often resides in her own world and only comes out to interact with us when she deigns. As for Miss Diva, in many ways, she’s polar opposite of the child I was and even the woman I’ve become. We bond over things, sure, and I find ways to connect, but sometimes the things she focuses on boggle my mind.
In a few years I can picture her shaking pom-poms and being the cheerleader that every boy really wants to date. She’ll likely have a number of friends, and achieve at least some popularity. Maybe I’ll be wrong, but I don’t see the awkward wallflower that I was. I’m glad she’s not as likely to feel as outcast as I once felt, but at the same time, I feel even more compelled to impress upon her the deeper meaning of life, beyond the shallow surface of looks.
In some ways it would be easier to relate to an awkward, insecure, misfit, but somehow I managed to instill self-confidence with equal parts intelligence and looks in each of my kids. For their sake, I’m rather glad it’s worked so well. I’m not entirely sure what I did. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.