• http://www.wendrina.blogspot.com wendy

    Every single country? I’d fail that miserably, since the only globe in my house is Cold War era.

  • victoria

    But what’s the third kid’s name? Merrilee? Marian? Maryanne?

  • http://jenniam.com jennIam

    Great Aunt response. I just found out one of my cousins (I could be her aunt but aren’t) is self-mutilating. I only hope my letter to her was as cool as your response to your niece!

  • http://earthmamagoddess.blogspot.com Deb

    Hey Heather,
    The title struck me as I checked in today. Definately one of my personal bugaboos.

    I have 4 kids and NO I am not Mormon or Catholic, altho I am married to a reformed Mormon such as yourself. They are all so different it surprises me by the minute! I am also a recovering Perfectionist learning daily to remember to breathe and trust.

    Thanks for all you share!

  • Laurie

    I bet the older child can’t accomplish the goal list of the younger child. It’s just as hard to learn a backhandspring at 13 as it is to memorize the globe at 15. As a parent of a 17 year old and a 14 year old I find the globe thing ridiculous. But I’d be way more stressed out over it than either of my kids.

  • http://amys-blogger.blogspot.com/ amy


    I just love reading your site!

  • http://www.kirala.typepad.com marian

    Uh oh. I was just over at blurbomat. My condolences. Sewer week has arrived at your house it would seem. Sorry this is off topic. I didn’t have much to say otherwise, except that sometimes in midlife, people switch roles! The inner perfectionist awakens in one and the inner slacker awakens in the other.

  • http://www.billygean.co.uk Billygean.co.uk

    My god Dooce, I commented on this and have had about a *million* hits. It’s incredible! I must confess I am a blog-hit-whore.

    Hm. Now I love you even more!

  • syzygy

    After all that hard work and freaking out I was appalled to discover most of life is an open book test. The real trick is critical thinking which often schools and somem parents can be quite against.

  • MeAhna

    Smoke a bowl? (lol)

  • Card Chick

    I can soooo relate to this. My two kids (10 and 14) couldn’t be more different. 14 yr. old worries over project due 2 weeks from now and 10 yr. old can’t remember his spelling book on a daily basis.
    This is my first comment and I gotta say I love your blog – always makes me laugh. When I first read it, my first thought was, “Wow this woman is so talented. Why isn’t she writing sitcoms in Hollywood or something??”

  • Rachel

    Brad Martin’s comment scared me. A lot. even if he was kidding…

    I’m a Mariah trapped in a Meredith’s body and it’s really stressing me out!

  • http://venusinblue.livejournal.com/ Andrea

    It just occurred to me:
    topics of discussion

  • http://blog.thesilentk.com thesilentk

    Oh my good. That link to about the sockless baby just made me realize how long I have been reading your site.

    I actually remember reading that. Like when it happened.


  • http://knowshouldyouthings.blogspot.com shredbettie

    Hey Dooce, my bad regarding M&M’s (ouch oh oh it hurt so much to type that!) No wonder no one knows how to use apostrophes when a major coporation can’t get it right for their OWN PRODUCT NAME!@!

    I still stand by that letters, when plural, don’t deserve the ‘.
    Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Solistella

    I saw this and thought of Dooce. It’s like the Mormon bookstore post meets the Amsterdam post: http://www.justaplant.com/story/index.html

  • http://www.kebmillard.com Keb

    I completely agree that it is amazing how two completely different people can come from the same family. My two daughters are 8 and 6. My 8 year old is very serious, studious and well, uptight. My 6 year old is a fly by the seat of her pants kind of girl. I’m sure I have scarred (and will continue to scar) them for many years to come. 8 takes after me. I wish I could be more like 6.

  • ChristyD

    It sounds like you’ve learned enough about yourself to let the Meredith side come out and have fun too. I love that you told her the list was perfect.

  • http://www.supermom2005.blogspot.com/ supermom_in_ny

    I used to be a Type A, then I married a laid back fellow and surprise we got a divorce! No, really…I learned by being a parent that there are many ways to accomplish the same thing. So what if something is perfect-it’s not going to last forever! So, it was perfect for a second and then it deteriorated. Who remembers that it was perfect anyway?

    Now I encourage my 7 dwarves and others in my inner circle to try their best and not be afraid of failure. Not trying leads to regrets and who wants to live wallowing in regrets??? You’ll never know if you don’t try! Success is about trying your best and being passionate in your endeavors-not about perfection. Perfectionism leads to ulcers.

  • Marivic

    I’m a WAHM freelance geek. My sister’s a stripper.

    My 18 y/o daughter just came home sporting a rather fetching mohawk, courtesy of her boyfriend.

    My 16 y/o daughter has her induction into National Honor Society tonight, accompanied by her girlfriend.

    Of my 15 y/o twin daughters, thing 1 has eschewed all things girly and feminine, while thing 2 is perfectly happy to look like a girl. Although both have uber cute glasses.

    And the baby, well, Lola’s only 4 mo. Working on her own mohawk.

    Anyway, my favorite advice to teens: Learn how to drive a stick. You’ll thank me later.

    Loved your advice to your niece!

  • http://www.childisborn.blogspot.com AChildIsBorn

    Amazing how much personality matters every bit as much as upbringing. I have two girls as well, and wonder how much they’ll be alike and different.

    I’d describe my oldest as a perfectionist, but I don’t think that’s quite fair, as she’s not quite three yet and children this age are anal about the strangest things. She can run around with frosting on her chin all day long, but if the straps on her shoes aren’t completely straight…hell hath no fury like a toddler with crooked straps.

  • windinthewillows

    I have two delightfully different kids.

    The first born, who’s a boy didn’t have a bad day until he was about 5. He hardly ever cried and smiled all the time. The second born, a girl, came out of the womb kicking and screaming and hasn’t stopped! I always wondered if I’d had the challenging kid first would I have had the courage to have a second child?

    Now that they are both in their 20′s they are still totally different from one another. Looking back I can see how much more alive our family has been because we are each such different people. It would be so boring to be the same.

    I wonder if you have another child if he/she will be the easy one? If you do I hope you still find time to write.

  • http://theboldsoul.com The Bold Soul

    I always thought that either my younger sister or I had to have been adopted, because we are that different in looks, personality and the way we see the world. (One day when we were younger I convinced her SHE was adopted because she was the only redhead among the rest of us brunettes, and she ran crying into the house demanding to see her birth certificate. Good times.)

    Now I no longer think one of us is adopted but clearly *I* am the one who was dropped off with the wrong family in the first place. I’m the oldest, but I’m not the typical oldest child overachiever… that was my sister. I’m more open minded and liberal whereas my family is more conservative and tend to go through life with blinders on, such as believing President Bush is doing a great job. And somewhere along the line, my sister and I switched lives: I always thought I’d be married with two kids and be a school teacher, but my sister is living THAT life while I am nearly 45, single with no desire to necessarily marry, and no desire now to have children. And I changed my major from education to business years ago.

    There is no telling why some siblings in a family turn out completely different even when they are having the same experiences more or less, or at least have the same parents. I love my sister and I know she loves me, but we don’t understand each other very well and her life, while a good one, would drive me up a wall. I daresay she’s say the same thing about me, if asked.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh my gosh! I actually saw someone the other day at the suburban store I frequent, grocery shopping in bare feet! And she did look absolutely carefree.

  • http://www.cleopatraqueenofdenial.blogspot.com gypsy

    I am the younger sibling — the one who wants to learn to do a backhandspring. Unfortunately, I always believe that I was more of a “dooce” — smart, good grades. Turns out it was only my mother telling me that, while all the while she should have let me go on being (and believing) in the value of a good backhandspring. Now, I have neither. Feck.

  • dehb

    “you know, some people could accomplish three and four at the same time”

    That right there is exactly why I keep coming back here. Go, Dooce!

  • http://www.mymixedcompany.com Lynnlaw

    Her list is definately perfect as it is. I am a total Meredith and even though I sometimes wish I could have been a Mariah, I think I turned out okay. This is a great post