"Your daughter looks just like you!"
I hear it all the time about my 17-month-old, Lila Claire, but am never quite sure how to respond.
"Thank you" seems a little vain and not quite right, so I get stumped and usually just reply "really?" or "poor thing" if I'm feeling sassy (and in need of a quick compliment).
I know most of the time people are just making polite conversation, and my reply is pretty irrelevant, but I do find the topic of parents wanting their children to look like them (or not) fascinating.
I love hearing who people think my children resemble -- me, my husband, each other or another relative -- and how drastically their opinions differ. I just don't take it as a compliment if they choose me.
Nor do I necessarily wish for my children to look like me. I mean it's fine if they do, but if I was given a magic wand, I'd probably grant my daughter with Heidi Klum's bone structure and body rather than mine, which I'm sure she'd thank me for.
It's not that I don't like the way I look nor do I have particularly poor self esteem, but there are plenty of people I'd rather look like than myself. So the strong need to procreate a mirror image of myself has never been high on my list of priorities.
But I know so many people for whom it is -- people who desperately want their children (or grandchildren) to look like them. "Where am I in my children?" a friend recently bemoaned. "They're all their father."
They are the ones who gush with excitement when someone notices a similarity between them and their son, and perhaps also those more prone to don matching outfits with their daughter. Perhaps they have higher self esteem than I do, I don't know.
I certainly don't think there's a wrong or right, but I do find it interesting how strongly and differently people feel about the subject.
So what about you, do you want your children to look like you? Why or why not?