Combining – by Karen

24 Jun

For me one of the greatest bonuses of creating a child*  is the fun of throwing up all your genetic material in the air and seeing how it lands. That’s all metaphorical throwing of genetic material guys, I’m not being gross.

* watch me pretend it’s not the whole point

The physical combination is intriguing, especially if you are very different-looking from your partner. It’s even more fun when the personalities start to become apparent. It’s also enlightening, as it shows up your blind spots. A trait in one child will seem to us to have sprung up from nowhere, but our friends or family will point out how it’s just like one of us.

As we all know, my son  Finn looks exactly like Shiloh, the daughter of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie:

This is hilarious, and as I’ve explained before, it’s because I look like Brad Pitt and Richard looks like Angelina Jolie. It also highlights the random element of creating a child – they can, theoretically, just get the bad bits or the good bits of both of you. I think that’s what scares a lot of people about having a child. You don’t get to pick.

In the womb, I could see that Anika had Richard’s nose. She has my chin and cheeks. They both have my blue eyes, but perhaps slightly larger, like Richard’s. They have my shaped lips, but again, slightly fuller, like Angelina’s Richard’s. Finn is a budding engineer with a grasp of the abstract that must come from his father, and an ability to be orderly that I would trace to him too. He’s also a prolific early reader like I was, and fascinated by animals and plants. Anika is stubborn like her mother, and has a lot of traits Richard and I both would like to claim (charm, flashes of brilliance) but if we’re honest have to throw up our hands in grateful mystification.

A psych lecture I once attended explained that when we use a computer to “average” faces a bunch of faces, creating composites with intermediate features of pairs of faces, the resulting generation will be more attractive than the previous one.

I wonder if this happens with personalities too. If we continue to manage to interbreed for a few more centuries, will we be kinder, more patient, more balanced? Well, it’s a nice thought.

 

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3 Responses to “Combining – by Karen”

  1. Tabitha June 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm #

    I believe there is money to be made in Finn Jolie-Pitt-Gould. Surely. You could stage a paparazzi photo of him doing something outrageous. Smoking maybe. After all, what are children for, if not to make you money?

    Can you please explain to me the blondeness of your children? I was led to believe by Year 9 Science that the brunette gene was dominant, yet it seems that so many children of mixed follicle parentage like you and Richard end up blonde (or blondish, or, not brown), including my own nieces. This concerns me, as Nathan was a very blonde child and I’m not sure how I feel about having one of THOSE around the house. I thought us brunettes were supposed to be breeding all you lot out?

    • Richard June 25, 2012 at 7:22 am #

      I did consider a somewhat absurdist blog chronicling the exploits of Shiloh in Singapore.

      Believe it or not, I was actually quite light haired as a child. The constant sun bleaching also keeps it artificially light. Suspect their brown roots will gain a foothold in Sydney winter.

      • Karen June 25, 2012 at 8:45 am #

        He was nowhere near as blonde as our kids though. It’s a mystery. I was totally expecting brunette, olive skinned kids. The blue eye thing is weird too, although Richard has one blue-eyed parent and is green-eyed himself. Both the kids have almost EXACTLY the same coloured eyes. It’s like Richard wasn’t even considered.

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