Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Genetic Puzzle

"No, I don't know what the mailman looks like".

"Yes, he's Steve's son".

These are my responses to "joking" comments that are thrown my way.

And, it BOTHERS me.

See, Brett was born with a full head of platinum blonde hair, and eyelashes and eyebrows. He also was born with the typical newborn steel blue eyes that have since brightened and gotten even lighter blue. And, after the jaundace passed, his skin has lightened up to the pale color of my skin.

Have you met Steve? He's the complete opposite. Olive skin, with black hair and deep brown eyes. Yeah.

Except for the blonde, Brett has my eyes and my skintone. Blonde babies have been born in both of our families, though. Steve's brother Chris was born with very blonde hair, and mine was pretty light at first.

So, we will occassionally get the comment or "the look". Steve swears that in the delivery room, the nurses looked at the baby and then at him with a "you know he's not YOUR son" look.

This hurts my feelings. I know I should take it with a grain of salt, but these comments/looks are ultimately directed at me. In a way I feel guilty/responsible for my son's features. I feel like it's my fault that he doesn't look more like Steve. In fact, I have apologized to Steve numerous times that Brett doesn't have his looks I guess I'm old school, but I feel like the son should look like his father and the daughter should look like her mother.

Take my niece and nephew. Paige looks just like her mother Mandy, and Derek looks almost identical to his father (and my brother) Brad. It's very cute.

And, I am just deep down puzzled by the whole thing. When I was in grade school we learned that brown hair and eyes were dominant, and blonde hair and blue eyes were recessive. I completely expected Brett to come out looking like Steve.

Steve seems to be fine with all of this, and I guess I need to lighten up. I mean, we couldn't hand pick which features Brett got. It really is a coin toss if you think about it.

I guess I just need to learn to deal with the disapproving glances out of the corner of people's eyes.


Tina said...

Awww, Brett's still little so he could keep changing, and he definitely has Steve's genes for his height!

Mandy said...

He will keep changing, so the older he gets he might take after Steve on certain things. It could be worst. Take Dylan, my sisters son, he is blond with green eyes and both Dayna and Jason have dark brown hair,always have. So my sister gets the question if hes evern hers LOL.
And he might not look excatly like Steve, but he might have his personally as he gets older. He might act just like him.
I wouldnt let it hurt your feelings too much, like you said nothing you can do about it. So enjoy his uniqness and the blond hair for now. It might darken up as he gets older.:)

Andrea said...

Hannah has looked exactly like Rob from birth. Seriously, after 9 hours of labor, the nurse's first comment was "oh my gosh she looks just like her Daddy!" It used hurt my feelings a little too because no one wants to be told their child looks nothing like them. However, as she is getting older, she is looking a little more like me. Plus, now I like to tell people that she has my sparkling personality. ;)

By the way, I have brown eyes and at age 2, Hannah's eyes are still as blue as can be. I'm also still scratching my head about that one too. Must have missed something in biology class...

ems said...

It is true that brown eyes/brown hair is dominant, but if both parents carry the recessive trait, they can have a blue eyed/blond baby (says the recent completer of Biology 103.)

I knew that class would come in handy someday!

I'm going to hazard a guess that no one is looking at you in a disapproving manner. In these days of adoptions from different countries, people don't even bat an eye at a child who looks completely different from his/her parents. Brett has enough features from the two of you that it's obvious he's your child. Wait until he's tall like Steve and picks up some adorable characteristic like walking just like him. It will be obvious he's Steve's son in tons of different ways.

Cathy said...

He doesn't have to be a mini-me, or he could be just like Steve in personality. It could be worse, he could look like neither of you, and you'd get asked, where you adopted him from? He will change, perhaps just because he's a little rounder he has your rounded features. Chris looked a lot like me when he was a butterball (my features are just rounder than Eric's), he had jet black hair and blue eyes at birth and was blond and green eyed by 1 now he's more of a brown and brown, and then he skinnied up and was the spitting image of Eric. Now he's rounding out again, he looks like me. They can change like chameleons, personally, I don't see him as a spitting image of you. None of really matters though, you two know the truth.

Heather said...

Have you SEEN my kids, Carrie!? Of course you have! One looks identical to ME, and one looks identical to her daddy! Maybe the next one will look like Steve ;)

Heather E

Suellen said...

There is a strong possibility that our baby will come out looking nothing like me (and obviously not like Alicia) but people keep trying to combine our genetics to see what the baby will look like. I think it's funny that they don't really think about the fact that her genes will have nothing to do with it! :) (It actually makes me kind of happy!)