It’s funny, Addison’s going on a field trip today. And it’s not the type where they go across town and look at flowers or pumpkins or Christmas trees. It’s the kind where he’s got to ride in a bus for an hour. A lot of parents (and maybe one of the ones in this house) are pretty nervous about sending their kids so far away, but I’m not at all. Should I be? Eh, he’s fine. The truly frightening moments for me come when he’s with me.
One of the scariest realizations I’ve ever come to as a father was when I saw how determined Addison was to imitate me. I would make him laugh, he’d try to make other people laugh. I like the Cubs, he’d say he liked the Cubs. He’d wake me in the morning to see I slept without a shirt, off went his shirt. I’d lose my temper, he’d do the same. It’s not always cute.
By the time Colin came around, I knew the drill. I had to stay on my best behavior at all times. (Right. That happens.) But I knew that there was a strong possibility there would be two mini-me’s running around. Only I was dead wrong. Colin doesn’t imitate me (not nearly as much as I expected). No, Colin . . . imitates Addison. Addison likes Transformers, Colin loves Transformers. Addison sleeps with his sleeping bag on his bed, Colin does the same. Addison plays games on the Wii, Colin watches intently. (Sometimes this flattery annoys the living crap out of Addison, but that’s another story.)
Basically, seeing someone who patterns himself after me develop a behavior clone of his own reminds me of this development from the movie Multiplicity, in which Michael Keaton’s character, Doug, discovers that one of his clones has cloned a clone.
I don’t mean Colin puts pizza in his wallet. It’s just that now I’m realizing that any personality defects I may have passed on to Addison are only going to multiply as Colin learns to imitate them. This probably means I’m going to have to actively involve myself in my sons’ lives to try to help them develop normally or something. I should get on that.