When I was little, I remember my brother following me around and wanting to do everything I was doing. He would often acquire the same hobby I had and then take it to the next level, putting me to shame. The best example was coin collecting. I had a Beatrix Potter porcelain bank that I filled with coins I had found from other countries, silver dollars and other old US currency (and a million Canadian pennies, of course). I was proud of my collection and I loved finding foreign coins mixed in with my change.
Well, my little brother, four years younger than I am, decided he wanted to collect coins too. The only problem was that he had a huge advantage, a godfather who travelled the world and was willing to send him coins from wherever he was.
As you can imagine, his collection quickly surpassed my own, so I gave up. I was so mad that he would steal everything that was mine. We had a similar experience with stamp collecting and X-men trading cards.
My parents always said, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” which I guess is a nice concept, the fact that he looked up to me and wanted to do what I was doing, but it didn’t make me feel any better about the situation.
Now that I am an adult and couldn’t care less about X-men cards (though I do still collect coins), I see my own kids following this path and yesterday I realized I should be using it to my advantage.
In this house, and probably many others, fingernails grow like wildfire. I clip them and about 20 minutes later they are long and scratching everything again. Yesterday I decided to trim Little Miss’s nails while Mr. Man watched. He was very interested in what I was doing, and when it was his turn he sat calmly while I trimmed all ten nails. For the first time in his 12 months, he didn’t fight me!
Lesson learned. I have to remember to have Little Miss do things first while he watches so I don’t have to drag him through a process. Maybe he will leave his shoes on in public, or maybe he will see how she eats and stop throwing food on the floor! A person can dream…