Pecking at my Reflection

What do you do when you have a child who’s just like you?

There is a beautiful that hangs out in a tall tree (yes, tree) in our back yard. He’s wandered the streets and yards of our neighborhood for almost two years now, somehow eluding the jaws of the . He’s become so familiar with us he no longer puffs up at the bursts of loud sound forever emitting from our house. 

This turkey has a routine that brings him pecking at our back door several times a week. We love this. It’s so funny to see the turkey right there on our doorstep, politely knocking to gain entry. Of course the boys want to open the door, and even I considered it for a crazy moment, before I remembered… turkeys can be mean. Then we realized he didn’t want to visit with us at all, he was merely pecking at his reflection in the glass… probably in aggression, possibly in frustration that the “other” turkey wasn’t responding to him. 

Well, THAT I understand. There have been times I have BEEN this turkey—pecking, pecking, and pecking at my reflection—with no results or meaningful connection; nothing to show at all for my efforts except a massive headache.  

I’ll explain. 

I have twin sons. One is a carbon copy of me… barring the obvious difference in our genders of course. Other than that, we’re the same. We think the same; we vice the same; we move through life the same. We’re both emotional; we love hard and cry hard. Our hearts are forever on our sleeves; we want to please; we’re wide open. Words affect us more than others. We’re sensitive, dammit.  

We’ve got each other’s back with a loyalty that’s rock solid. I tell you, I’ve got a diehard champion in that one. He’s my heart.  

He also drives me up-a-wall-and-down-the-other-side bonkers.  

He’s stubborn, like me, and no more so than when we clash. We can crash against each other like waves against a rocky shore. When I see him making the same missteps or mistakes I made as a child I want to scream at him to STOP. And I usually do. And he screams right back. We’re too alike to communicate effectively at these times, and we often end up at loggerheads.  

During these episodes, I feel like I’m pecking against my image in the glass. In fact, that’s what my husband says to me when he steps in and takes over, pulling me out of the ring kicking and screaming. “Give it up,” he’ll calmly suggest while grabbing me around the waist and physically hauling me out of the room, my legs and arms kicking and swinging. “You’re just pecking at your reflection.” 

Did my husband just call me a turkey? 

He should talk, he’s got his own little doppelganger. My other son is my husband’s Mini-Me. He is the spitting image of him inside and out. And as we’ve already learned that can make for some awfully frustrating struggles in communication. After an especially exasperating evening of locking horns with his diabolical double, I might find my husband in his office: 

“My dearest wife,” he’ll say to me. “Oh how I love you, but I must leave you now and jump head-first through this third floor window, and I am not even going to open it first.” 

“Fret not, my love,” I’ll say with gracious empathy. “Sit down and relax. I got this one.” 

And I do. For this child and I connect so easily. We exist on an even plane together … smooth sands … level trekking. Easy, breezy, beautiful. He and I … we’re like butter. 

I find it so ironic that I gave birth to identical twins and yet they are each spot-on the personality of a different parent. To remain sane, my husband and I have created a sort of parenting tag team to accommodate those differing dispositions. We relieve each other at crucial moments to make sure we’re never banging our heads against the glass door for too long.

We’ll leave that to the turkeys.

Wendy Schapiro February 06, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Love this! Even though we're now divorced, my ex-husband and I do a good job of divide-and-compromise (NOT conquer) with our two. Each child possesses some of our qualities and...er, opportunities for growth but if we tackle the *problem* and not the offspring (tempting as it is), things tend to come out well.
alexis February 06, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Boy do I know how that turkey feels ... my daughter and I run up against that door several times a day! It does help when my husband steps in, much clearer heads prevail!
Heidi February 06, 2012 at 04:39 PM
So true, so true! There's nothing like a miniature version of yourself to make you feel like a turkey ;-)
tamara February 06, 2012 at 05:00 PM
That's so funny, I was just discussing this exact topic with a friend of mine the other day. Do you have any suggestions for breaking through that barrier? We decided it was a hopeless situation, and we were doomed to fight with our daughters forever ...
Beth Cole February 06, 2012 at 06:09 PM
What a PERFECT way to put this epidemic, Adrienne! Love it!


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