Tuesday, October 9, 2007

You Look Just Like...

I was reading in my Parents magazine the other day about genes and traits that may or may not be hereditary. Do you remember hearing about the determination for baldness was reliant on the mother's father? Well, apparently that's been disproved, giving Owen better odds than he had previously given that my dad is baldish (I think that term is hilarious!!! Our Bishop's wife used it to describe the Bishop the other night.)

We've all seen unexpected traits pop up in the physical features of our children, but what about their personalities or attitudes? My daughter absolutely loves to perform whether playing the violin or giving a talk at church. I always point at my husband and proclaim it came from his genes. My little boy already demands ice cream from me whenever he sees it even though he eats it all the while making a face that proclaims, "This is freezing my tongue!!! Give me MORE!" I have to be the one to claim the preference for sweets. So, how much of this is just my desire to see myself or my husband or our family members in our kids?

According to this article which is citing other recent studies (so mind you this is a watered down version of some crazy, scientific study) it says, "Families tend to have similar facial expressions when they're happy, sad, angry, disgusted, surprised, or thinking hard. And kids don't just pick up these reactions from watching us; Blind members of 21 families in the study also grimaces, smiled, and scowled like their relatives 80 percent of the time."

Another crazy fact cited by the article: "Kids who have a taste gene that's associated with a sensitivity to bitterness are less likely to pick milk as their favorite drink and more likely to love sugary soft drinks and cereals." Ahhhh, so I'm not a sugar addict, I just have a more delicate, refined palate! I KNEW IT!

One more interesting fact for those of you out there determining when to start your children's music lessons: "Most people with perfect pitch started taking music lessons before age 6, and that only 3 percent of people who started voice lessons after age 9 have perfect pitch--suggesting that both genetics and training affect one's singing voice."

I was disappointed for my husband when I read that, "The impact of genes for height can be modified by the foods you eat." Ah-ha! My 5'7" husband was fed the scraps from the table while his 6' tall youngest brother was feasting on roast beef! He'll love having an explanation for why he's the shortest man in his family. Surely food played more of a part in that than the fact that all of his mom's brothers max out at 5'7".

I think this is part of the reason I love to do family history and find out details about these people whose genetics have helped make me who I am. Where did these big lips of mine come from other than my big-lipped mom? What about my mom's crazy, course hair? My fingers that are kinky and won't point straight, what's that about? Wouldn't you love to know?
I think that everyone enjoys playing this game as you always hear people proclaim, "Your daughter/son looks just like you!!!" I can't tell you how many people have told me that my daughter with her dark skin, brown eyes, petite build and brown hair looks just like me with my light skin, green eyes, very blonde hair when I was her age, and medium-large build. Uh, yeah, a perfect match...
I still love to hear the similarities mentioned between me and anyone else though. I think it provides me with a sense of belonging. Really, no matter whether we have our dad's meticulous ability for detail or our mom's big lips we just want to be loved.

12 comments:

Crazymamaof6 said...

very thought provoking! it is funny when people say stuff and you know it is in no way real. i always wonder what planet they came from. and even funnier is to see your kid look exactly like you at that age and your siblings get all weird about it! and they start freaking out! it is hilarious!

JenW said...

ethan looks exactly like kendall did at that age, let's just have that out right now. and then people tell me he looks like me...uh...nice try, but i'm okay with him not looking like me. maybe avery will look something like me. she's got my hands, poor thing. my dad once described them as "pre-hensile" go look that one up! where did those hands come from? my mom. there you go:)

Melissa said...

I can't tell who my kids look like. I do know for sure that they don't look like each other. That's about all I know. I can't tell them apart in their newborn pictures though. Isn't that sad? I always have to take the picture to Mace and ask him who I'm looking at. He can always tell. I'll be interested to see who the new baby looks like!

Tina said...

We were just talking about this the other day while watching old home movies of Jon at Seth's age. I don't think they look very much alike, but Jon's facial expressions in the video and Seth's facial expressions currently are spot on. Really weird.

Donna said...

I can tell you that other than the kids always asked me for money...there would be no other way to know that my children were genetically linked to me. Everyone says that they are the spitting image of their father. Those Hebein genes must be strong because they all swim like fish too! And Darwin's Theory may be correct because my kids and husband all have three hairs less than the average monkey..Hahaha!

Lyndsey said...

HI, So you don't know me but I know your family and I am glad to read what you guys are doing. My name is Lyndsey, I am Charlie THomas' older sister. I am friends with Sabina...i came across this blog! How fun! Tell your darling family hello.

Minharos said...

Hi Audrey,
Everyone always says Macey looks like Levy and Atticus looks like me. How funny! Actually, Atticus looks like my brother. It's so cute to see how their personalities reflect each parent. Both of my kids have squinted one eye while smiling like I did when I was a baby and Atticus had almost all of my expressions. They are both really into nature like Levy, but really naughty like me!
Katie

Zim Family said...

That is awesome. I really love genetics...some day I hope to get a master's relating to some form of genetics. It is all so fascinating!!!

wackywilsons said...

Being without internet does not allow me to read your blogs daily like I so much enjoy!!!

I will have to catch up soon...

until then, do tell me your thoughts on Twighlight and also any new books for a mama who is always on her own with no hubby and late nights are hers!!!

brooke said...

My favorite is when My family sees my kids looking like my side of the family and Mikes family swears they look like their side. Mike and I both agree they look more like me, but a good mixture of both!

Is this naughty but I hope my kids look more like my side, but have Mike's personality?!

Okay so really curious about your poll right now. I am wondering why people would want to give up sight. Looks like that is the winner right now. Obviously not my vote (sight). I chose smell. I could do just fine without ever smelling a dirty diaper. And quite honestly I could probably loose some weight if I couldn't smell food :)

Jessica said...

Audrey,

Check out myheritage.com; there's a place where you can upload your photo and one of Derek and each child to see who looks more like whom. It's AWESOME. http://thebradshawfamilyblog.blogspot.com/ is our family blog that I put together, and there are examples there with Jay and I and our kids. Check it out and post 'em so we can see! Loves! Jess

Dori said...

Dang. It's true. Do you know how obsessed my husband is with soda pop? He affectionately calls it "Sodapopinsky" or "Sodaroosky", and he totally can't handle bitter or sour! Thank goodness he finally switched to Diet after studying diabetes in school. Did you know if you drink 1 can of regular soda every day you are 12 times as likely to develop type 2 diabetes? Anyway, The cans were for sissys. He would go for the 64oz, sometimes 2 times a day. (ok, I am such a hippocrite. I did it too, but hey, mine were only 32oz. On the original topic, I love picking out family resemblences. And that, my young single girlfriends, is why despite what your momma tells you, it IS important to marry a handsome man! Your pictures by the way are darling! Ryanna is totally you, and Owen is totally your Hubby. I can't wait to see if I can ever produce a baby that looks a little like me!