When a woman gets pregnant for the first time, the tradition requires that she rushes to find childhood photos of her husband and herself, to delightfully imagine what the baby will look like.
And then, at one point in her pregnancy, she gets to see a 4D picture of the fetus, which contributes to boosting her imagination to its wildest extremes. In our case this happened at the 15th week of my pregnancy and the picture of my baby showed very distinct features: those cute and well defined lips, on a round face like that, would make a perfect baby (by the way, those lips happen to look just like mine)!
And then comes the day when the baby’s born and the mom gets to finally lay eyes on the little perfect work of art that her body has been developing throughout all these months. By that time she no longer has to imagine what the baby will look like anymore, as the final “version” lays in her arms.
About the exact same time that she lays her eyes on her newborn, the new mom gets unwillingly dragged on a roller coaster of ridiculous comparisons by friends and family members who want to claim that baby as little versions of themselves. It starts with the innocent question of who does the baby look like, but then at one point the mom just loses control over the answers that she provides, as every other person around the globe claims a piece of her baby’s body “that pinky finger looks just like mine” (to which I feel like responding “good for you”, but instead I just politely smile).
My personal favorite is when two relatives claim the same body part, and argue over who gets a closer resemblance to the innocent little baby (as if the baby’s life would get any better by knowing whose forehead she has).
Family, and sometimes friends, get so carried away with claiming a resemblance to a baby that they tend to forget that this little person also happens to have parents who like to hear that their own kids looks like them too (like me, the mom who has carried that child for nine months)
Truth is, before my baby was born, I never knew there was so much drama regarding family resemblance. My life was great and all I cared about was having a healthy baby.
As a matter of fact, if you were to ask me who my daughter resembles, this is the answer that you’ll get from me: I love seeing how my baby is a mix of both of us (and just to be clear, by “us” I’m just referring to her dad and myself). She is not the exact clone of any of us, but is rather a new person: she looks like her own self and has her own, individual personality.
And that’s how I like her to be.
I like for her to be a new person, so we can constantly be reminded that she is not any of us. She will not reproduce anybody’s life or follow anyone’s hobbies, as she deserves to get a life of her own, which includes her own preferences, habits and intelligence.
So for all the relatives out there, here is what I have to say: while I appreciate your enthusiasm, please stop comparing yourselves to my baby as she is just perfect the way she is. I thank you for your understanding (and if you don’t, we’re not speaking again).
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