If two people are the same

…one is unnecessary.

It applies to parenting. A kid does not need two identical parents, like two moms, or two dads for that matter. I caught myself wishing that Conrad would relate to Jaclyn more my way. But the truth is she needs from him everything that is different from me.

The complicated part is that we don’t stick to some predesigned roles of “good cop – bad cop”. We seem to interchange, as we both parent full time. When I am very stern with J, I wish he was softer with her. And he is. We keep each other in check, and we give each other feedback. My favorite time together is after we put her to bed, we pour a glass of wine and we talk. Two nights ago I was thinking to myself how lovely it is to have someone who knows you completely, and still loves and admires you.

We have discussed at length the changes that will be brought on by adoption. Some things we solved and filed away. Some others we didn’t anticipate.

I laugh at Jaclyn’s stubbornness sometimes, and I let it unfold to see how far she goes. Today she didn’t want to put on her jacket as we were getting ready to leave the pool. So I started walking. She raced after me. But still defiant. We had a “consequences-talk”.

I realize that explaining consequences lately, only intrigues Jaclyn, and telling her “if you do this, that is the consequence”, she still does the forbidden thing. Going the extra mile, and asking her just like my dad used to do with us: “come, say yes!” apparently works sometimes. I’m sure it’s a fleeting solution.

On the other hand, when surrounded by strangers, Jaclyn tries new tricks on us. Daddy doesn’t get intimidated and when she pushes his limits, he just calls her name with a low voice. And she listens.

My mom said that Jaclyn obeyed daddy when he told her “no iPad”. Without a flinch. And that he comes across as “severe”. Conrad took it as a compliment. He is so goofy, and plays day-in and day-out with Jaclyn, and reads to her and lets her ride his back, and is the ultimate fun dad. But he has that “awe and respect” quality when he speaks. Or when he is silent.

Sometimes, the more (time, experiences, delicious foods) we give to Jaclyn, the less grateful (more defiant) she is. I find that odd. Also, often, when she asks for something impossible or not good for her, I say to myself, and occasionally out loud: “my darling, you don’t know what you are asking for”.

I skimmed over an article about what parents focus on when raising children: manners, discipline, study and grades… but many fail to teach them to enjoy life. Well, my friends, it’s best to lead by example. It is a lifelong exercise to be fruitful while enjoying life.