PK's personality has really come out in the past year. It still amazes me that someone so small can have such a developed personality. She is a total girlie girl, loving purses, high heels (she points them out wherever she goes), and dresses. She loves having her hair braided (if only she'd sit still through it all). The funny thing is that this girliness definitely does not come from me. I was a total tomboy growing up, opting for robots and astronauts over fairies and princesses. Getting clothes as a gift was the ultimate insult. PK can also be very temperamental, and is very impatient. (I have to take credit for the latter two, unfortunately.)
As PK grows older, I wonder how her personality will develop. I think about my own childhood. Up until my second year of university, my opinions and tastes were very much in sync with my mom's. I suppose it's only natural, because my mom was a very string stay-at-home mom, so I got to spend a lot of time with her.
Once I tasted a bit of freedom in university, things changed a bit. I went through a bit of a rebellious phase when I entered my first serious relationship. It was like I was experiencing life and all it had to offer, for the very first time. Being away from home made it easier to experience these things and not have to worry about parental influences. I tried new foods (the first time I had sushi was when I was 19), was exposed to new types of music (first introduction to electronica), and for the first time in my life, experienced what it felt like to not be tied down to my books all the time. I honestly felt like a kid experiencing the world for the first time.
During that time, I acquired new likes and dislikes, and my personality experienced a metamorphosis. Unfortunately, I took things a bit too far and tried to become too much like the guy that I was dating. By the time he broke up with me, I was a mere shadow of the person that I once was. Interestingly enough, he broke up with me because I was trying so hard to be less like me and more like him. For example, he was one of those types who was super-smart and could get away with kicking ass at school without studying much. He was into D&D and Warhammer. He could stay up for hours playing RPGs on his Sony Playstation. He liked playing tennis. He liked clubbing. And silly, naive me, I tried to emulate everything about him. And failed miserably at it. Because, deep down inside, it just wasn't me.
Fortunately, I recovered and managed to find my path again. Unfortunately, this whole experience scared the living daylights out of my parents, especially my mom. To the point where she freaked out on me with every relationship since Ex #1, convinced that I was once again losing myself to the guy I was dating.
I have to admit that there is a bit of an element of truth to that. I found that this even happened to a certain extent with the hubby, especially when it comes to our respective careers - we're both in IT. The hubby is pretty successful at his job, and at my age (we're 5 years apart), he was making almost 2x as much was what I am making now, and was already a manager. I was insanely jealous for years (yes, childish, I know), and kept comparing myself to him, and even trying to emulate him.
Now, nearly 8 years into our marriage, I think I've finally got it figured out. Throughout life, our experiences help to shape us. Being with someone does cause us to change. They take a little bit of you, and you take a little bit of them. It's a natural progression of a relationship. That being said, trying to be someone else is totally unproductive. I suck at being like the hubby. I need to focus on being me.
My past conflicts with my mom regarding my personality may have been valid where Ex #1 was concerned. But things like the type of music that I like, the types of books that I enjoy reading, the movies and shows that I enjoy watching, and my political opinions are borne out of my interactions with others. I suppose that my core values have more or less stayed the same, though when I think about it, even those have morphed a bit in the last few years. And I'd like to think that it's because I'm more well-informed and have been given a chance to think for myself, rather than try to imitate blindly.
So when it comes to PK, I need to keep myself in check. I have to come to terms with the fact that she likes this girlie stuff, Dora the Explorer, and this princess crap (all fine in small small doses, I suppose). A few months back, we went shopping for a suitcase for PK. The hubby and I were totally against those themed kids suitcases with pictures of Disney Princesses, Dora the Explorer, and Thomas plastered all over them. I was encouraging her to go with a very bland, very adult suitcase. Of course, I lost. Plus she's a kid. Of course she'll want a suitcase with a familiar character on it. She was really vying for a Disney Princess or Dora suitcase, but instead I pressured her into buying a Hello Kitty one. Although PK totally loves Hello Kitty (my doing - hello, hypocrisy?), I did feel pretty guilty for pressuring her to choose what I wanted her to buy. I am doing my daughter a huge disservice by trying to morph her personality around the things that I like. It's not fair to her.
My mom is always on my case over the fact that I no longer like this and no longer like that, and that our opinions are so different nowadays. And it bugs the crap out of me. I don't want to do that to PK. I think that things like manners and morality must be ingrained in her, but when it comes to personal likes and dislikes, I have to just accept her for who she is. Even if someday she votes Conservative (gag), chooses theism over atheism, and decides that Dolly Parton is way cooler than the Beatles, I shouldn't resent her. As long as she's being the best PK that she can be rather than an imitation of someone else, then that's what really matters.
Raising A Screen Smart Kid in The New York Times
5 weeks ago