Tuesday, 27 October 2009


I put Eloise in her big crib while I went to the bathroom to get ready to go out. She wasn't too happy about it, but I knew she was safe and so didn't mind too much that she was crying. When I came to her a few minutes later, she had pushed her body so that her head was pressed against the bars of the crib. Not the most comfortable of positions and I immediately felt guilty for having left her for so long. I quickly picked her up and calmed her down when I noticed it. Two symmetrical dents in her head from where the bars dug into her skull. I knew kids were impressionable, but this?

Sweet unsuspecting little Eloise

The dents didn't last more than an hour, but it got me thinking about how much power I have to make or break this person. I could have changed the shape of her head for the rest of her life for crying out loud. Think about all the damage I could unwittingly inflict on my beautiful daughter. What if she picks up my emotional instability? My laziness? My appallingly poor math skills? What if she becomes an overweight lush with a weakness for men with accents?

And then there's her Father. She could pick up his OCD. His inability to throw anything away. His need to be overly cautious with nearly all aspects of his life. But then she could pick up his unbelievable kindness and generosity. Eloise's father is the nicest person I have ever met, and if one of the "dents" we leave in her is his kindness I will be so proud of my child.

Of course if she doesn't inherit his kindness she can always sit with her mother at a cafe terrace and make fun of the people walking by while drinking an unladylike quantity of rouge.

1 comment:


    So let's see if I can recreate what I just said. Hm.

    Okay, I said that I'm totally the woman at a cafe terrace who ridicules my fellow humans too.

    And I said that I worry about my daughter inheriting undesirable traits from me too. But it had never occurred to me to worry about the myriad of traits she could get from my husband.

    Then I pointed out that the worst trait she could get from him is his blindness. He looks at the bedroom floor and is all "yoo-hoo, it's spic and span." I look at the bedroom floor and see that his dirty underwear missed the hamper. Again.