My daughter, my spitting image

Most of the time, parents talk about sounding like their parents when disciplining their children. Whether it’s a phrase that’s uttered or a tone used, the occasion usually takes the person by surprise.

I can’t believe I just said that. I sound just like my mother/father.

While that thought has crossed my mind, I was jolted by another realization the other day.

On Saturday, we celebrated Amelia’s second birthday with family. She scored unbelievable gifts, from a play kitchen to super-cute outfits to dress-up clothes. Complete with a homemade Elmo cake, the day went as smoothly as possible without having a nap for the Birthday Girl.

Of course, that made for an interesting Sunday filled with more than a few tantrums, exhausted tears that sprang out with the tiniest of effort and moments of defiance.


Now, let me back up a minute. Did I tell you that I live with The Narrator? Not only do I get to do what I am doing, I also get to HEAR what I am doing over and over and over again.

Mommy sock on. Mommy shoe on. Mommy go to work? Mia go to school? Daddy walk a puppy. Puppy poopie outside. Daddy picka up with bag. Mia walk a puppy? MIA WALK A PUPPY NOW!

My husband, Brent, and I literally listen to the chattering from sun up to sun down. Three-month-old Gabriella is thrown into Amelia’s repertoire, too, when her diaper is wet.

Ella diaper wet. Mia change diaper. Ooo! Baby toot. Baby poopie. Mia change diaper. Baby crying. Mommy, Ella crying.

Anyway, back to Sunday. Amelia was flitting about the house from one disaster area to another, cooking pretend cupcakes, trying to squeeze into Ella’s onesies and melting down when I told her she couldn’t eat another chip.

I knew The Sandman was nearby, but even he was scared of the imploding 2-year-old. Finally, I dangled the carrot that I knew Mia couldn’t resist.

“Hey, Amelia, want to lay down with Mommy in the big bed?”

Her eyes lit up.

“Yeah! Mia lay down with Mommy. Mommy picka up Mia and Mia lay down. Mia bring Ee-ee? (That’s her name for her stuffed Monkey.)”

Success, or so I thought. I lay down in the bed. Amelia walked up to the side of the bed, and I motioned for her to come closer so that I could hoist her up next to me. Stalling, she tried putting on my sneakers. After a minute, I said, “Amelia, either come here or we aren’t going to snuggle in the big bed.”

I stared at her, and she stared those big brown eyes right back at me. If looks could kill, I wouldn’t be writing this column right now. My heart skipped a beat seeing the fire in her eyes. She slowly took her left foot out of my sneaker, and walked away. Just like that, she was done with me.

This toddler was too exhausted to even walk in a straight line, and snuggling in the big bed is her ultimate goal on most nights. And simply because I wanted her to stop what she was doing and come closer, she defiantly walked away, sacrificing what I know she truly wanted.

And it felt so familiar. I chuckled to myself. My oldest daughter might not look like me, but she certainly has my defiant personality. For better or for worse.


Laura Burkey is mom to 2-year-old Amelia, 3-month-old Gabriella, 7-year-old Lucy the beagle and wife of four years to Brent.

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4 Responses

  1. Katy Carpenter says:

    I hear you – every time Natalie tells me she doesn’t want help or, worse yet, she doesn’t even want Mike or I to look at her while she, say, puts on her shoes, I shudder in self-recognition.

  2. Jackie Shrader says:

    Wait until you meet your grandchildren … deja vu!

  3. Beth says:

    I see the same thing with my little girl. She must have the last word, even if that “word” is a slamming door. Where did that come from? Hmmm.

  4. Laura says:

    Thanks for your support, everyone! Sometimes you get to thinking it’s only your kid!

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