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.