As the proud father of a newborn boy, my life is filled with equal parts stress and bliss. To have been a part of the creation of another human being is a miraculous thing. Though there have been many sleepless nights and dirty diapers, I wouldn’t trade a second of it for the world.
With that said, I keep hearing from friends, family, and even loose acquaintances, that my son, Rodney, looks exactly like me. This is an absurd statement and one that is patently false. Rodney is a baby and I am an adult man. We look nothing alike.
For starters, look at how much smaller Rodney is than me. When he was born, he weighed 8 pounds, which is about the size of a housecat. At my last annual physical, I came in at about 210, which is about the size of a well-fed panther. Honestly, if I stepped on the scale right now, I’m probably closer to 220 because you know… baby weight.
All of this is to say that when Aunt Ida told me that she can “see the resemblance,” I couldn’t help but show my annoyance. She was literally holding baby Rodney in her arms when she said it, and she hasn’t been able to pick me up in years. I mean, hello? I’m a 5’ 10’’ man who lifts at Planet Fitness at least once a month, and Rodney is like 16 inches and isn’t even allowed in the sauna.
When we’re next to each other, it’s glaringly obvious. I can’t be the only one who notices that.
And do these people not see our hair? Rodney was born without much hair at all and while some has sprouted up over the past month, the kid is in no way as hairy as his grizzly bear of a father. You see, I have long, slicked-back hair like Michael Douglas in Wall Street or the Money Never Sleeps sequel, but my son couldn’t slick his hair back like Gordon Gekko if he had all the hair gel in the world.
When I took Rodney grocery shopping for Cheerios, a well-meaning cashier was going on and on about how my baby “looked just like me,” so much so that I started running my fingers through my hair to subtly point out how off she was.
The cashier didn’t even pick up on it so I rolled up my sleeves to show off my hairy arms and stretched my arms high to reveal my bushy belly button. Rodney’s navel? Smooth as a cue ball.
Last but certainly not least, my son and I have completely different senses of style. I’ve worked for years to cultivate a certain image: a youthful bad boy who works hard and plays harder, a guy who’s as comfortable in a boardroom as he is on the keyboards, gigging for an Imagine Dragons-type band.
Basically, I only shop at Express. Rodney, on the other hand, has no cohesive style, wearing basically whatever anyone throws at him. I’m talking about novelty t-shirts with jokes about his skill in picking up women, diapers with pictures of monkeys, and something called a sleep sack.
Sure, I love the kid, I do, but when his fashion sense is compared to that of his father, he doesn’t stack up especially well. So before you tell me that my baby looks just like me, maybe take a closer look at my $300 wool-blend topcoat and see if it looks anything like Rodney’s ducky slicker. (It doesn’t.)
A part of me is flattered by the comparisons, really it is. I love my son and he is the light of my life. But to those people out there who say things like, “he’s a spitting image” or “I see his father in him,” I just don’t know what to say.
My son is a baby and I am an adult man. We look absolutely nothing alike.