Opposites attract

I think as a parent we spend huge amounts of time trying to see other people in our children – ourselves, our partners, our mothers. It’s like we have to find recognition in the stranger, finding a connection with this part of ourselves, yet an unknown unfurling before our eyes. Like unwrapping the christmas present under the tree before Christmas morning, or at least giving it a quick shake to guess what’s inside. The surprise is too great, the wait too long. We identify the nose, this trait, that look – “ah, she has has my mum’s eyes”. I was told “you are just like your father!” (and not in a good way!). I even do it to myself, identifying bits of me and my personality that come from someone else – a sense of security that I’m connected amidst my yearning to be unique.

And so it is with the girls. From day one, my indignation as I lay exhausted and battered, the magic moment waning as all and sundry proclaimed Daisy to be the spitting image of her dad. (Hah! She’s growing up to be the image of me! Oh the satisfaction!). Then Poppy came along and we analysed eyelashes (my mum’s), earlobes (my brother’s), her finger length (who knows?) and her belly button (her dad’s) and while bits of her belong to Daisy, me, her dad and everyone we know, Poppy would grow to be all her own and always will be. And as each developed into amazing, weird and wonderful originals, we now try and piece Ruby into the mix. Who does she look like? Who will she be like? And, like the others, it is impossible to imagine, prepostrous to ponder the depth and detail she will be. Like the others, no matter how much we unwrap or compare or sneak-a-peak or guess, she will merge unique, and complex and mesmerising.

But, I do wonder how she will fit into the mix, and how she shake up the dynamic. Daisy and Poppy have had 4 years to bond and they are as close as sisters could be. People often ask if they are twins which I find odd. Despite the 18 month age difference, Daisy is blonde, Poppy is brown haired and they couldn’t be more different. In fact they are polar opposites, which is probably why they attract each other so much. Everything about them is a contradiction.

Daisy will wrap herself in her duvet, only an eye and a nostril peaking out, covered and protected, her personality cautious and fearful. Poppy won’t be covered, her legs akimbo above the duvet, exposed, her personality fearless and spontanious. Daisy loves chocolate, Poppy loves brocolli. Daisy is like summer, bright sunshine, full of song and sass. Poppy is like Spring, moody and unpredictable, full of light and dark. Daisy sleeps and picks at her food. Poppy is restless and eats with gusto. Daisy eats the jelly and savours the ice-cream, Poppy wolfs the ice-cream and slowly sucks the jelly. Daisy is skittish and needs people constantly – a little social butterfly. Poppy is methodical, happy in her own company, a social part-timer Poles apart and peas in a pod. Where will Ruby fit in the spectrum… the surprise slowly unfolds.

About Grin & Tonic by Alana Kirk

Bouncing into middle age armed with courage, ambition and a pair of tweezers (chin hairs for anyone over the age of 45 reading this) I am a writer with a mission: to redefine this midway point in my life when the last thing I want to do is hang up my high heels and become invisible. This is the end of the beginning, not the beginning of the end. A single mum to 3 fabulous girls, an author, and a fundraising consultant, both ends of my candle are on fire. As I enter this new stage of my life, I want to explore what it means for 'mid-aged' women today, who were promised they could have it all, ended up doing it all, and just do not identify with the traditional image of middle age.
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6 Responses to Opposites attract

  1. Another glorious post, so easy to read and just plain beautiful. Your girls are gorgeous and I absolutely love their names!
    It is amazing to watch our children become their own person. Their looks, personality, individual traits. My eldest has always been the image of my hubby… EVERYONE tells me this fact… but lately, he is becoming more like me as a child. Finally I am getting a look in and it does feel satisfying :o)
    I'm sure Ruby will compliment the trio perfectly!


  2. cath c says:

    pondering the similarities and differences is such a constant. truest me, as ruby reveals herself, she'll on;y enrich the play of that game more, and you may find yourself appreciating the individuation of each kid in your mix even more.


  3. agree with first comment – great post! 5 years difference between my two so easy to talk about how different they are…however my eldest is the shy one who worries how others will view him and is desperate to fit in with his peers, whereas my toddler is already fiesty, spirited and knows exactly what she wants (even if we don't) and will happily walk up to anyone and reach up for a cuddle – memories to treasure!


  4. Brittany says:

    Love this post! I think about the same things with my two, who at 21 months apart also get asked frequently if they are twins. They are also very different. Sam is a live wire, who feels everything on a grand scale, and is therefore emotional and passionate about everything. John is mellow with a (usually) very placid personality. As far as their looks, they are a nice mixture of both me and Tom, and it is fun to see how the genetic pieces all fit together. One of the best parts of motherhood is that your children are gifts that you unwrap slowly over time. 🙂


  5. Ruby will always be the adored little sister. I know this because I have one myself, she's 11 years younger than me and the four of us will always watch out for her (although she is more sensible than the rest of us) x


  6. Sorry it has taken me so long to get this recipe to you… wasn't sure how to contact you on email, so thought this would be the best way to get it to you.

    Anzac Biscuits

    1 cup rolled oats
    1 cup plain flour (sifted)
    1 cup desiccated coconut
    1 cup brown sugar
    125g unsalted butter (chopped)
    1 tablespoon golden syrup
    2 tablespoons boiling water
    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


    Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius.
    Lightly grease and line 2 baking trays.
    In a bowl, combine oats, flour, coconut and sugar.
    In a saucepan, combine butter and golden syrup. Stir on low heat for 2 minutes or until melted.
    In a small jug combine boiling water and bicarbonate of soda.
    Stir into butter mixture in saucepan.
    Pour into dry ingredients. Mix well.
    Roll tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls and place 4cm apart on trays.
    Flatten gently with fingertips to get crunchier biscuits.
    Bake for 15-20 mins for chewy OR 20-25 mins for crispy bikkies.
    Cool for 5 mins once out of the oven, then move to a wire rack to completely cool.

    So simple and so tasty! Enjoy :o)


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