Still my father’s daughter

At dinner tonight the kids asked if I have any pictures of myself from when I was little. I was impressed by their maturity, you know, because there was a time not too long ago when both of them would’ve insisted I sprung from a pod as a full-grown mother, never having eaten marshmallow breakfast cereal or practiced kissing on my poster of Rick Springfield in a past life.

I assured them that I did, and when I was done eating but they were still flicking rice at each other, I went and grabbed my baby book. My mother gave it to me a little while ago, and I knew there were a bunch of school pictures piled in the box the book came in.

When I returned to the table with the book in hand, their jaws dropped. Thank goodness they hadn’t actually been eating any of the food in front of them, or that would’ve been gross.

They found the pictures fascinating. First, because I was small and snaggletoothed and had frightening hair. Second, because everyone was dressed funny. And third, because I could look at the pictures where the entire class was assembled and name off most of my classmates. (It’s not as impressive as it sounds; I showed them how most of the same kids were in every picture, as is the case when you grow up in a small town.)

Chickadee studied my second grade picture carefully. “I look JUST LIKE YOU,” she said with wonder.

“Yep,” I said, “except you have MUCH better hair than I did.” She agreed (a little too quickly). Actually, she has her father’s eyes, but she is looking more and more like me as she gets older. I should probably start apologizing now.

Monkey pulled out my kindergarten picture, when my hair was super-short. “I look just like you, too!” he crowed. “Cuz you look like a BOY in this picture!” I did look like a boy, and the resemblance between him and the picture he’d grabbed was pretty strong. He, however, has his father’s chin, complete with a deep dimple.

They were marveling at the pictures of me as a child (okay, maybe it was more that they were mesmerized by the vast assortment of psychedelic polyester I sported), and I was thinking how weird it is to sit at a table with two people who look so much like me, and yet utterly like themselves.

After a while we moved on to reading my mother’s comments about me written in the baby book. We flipped through… all of the typical stuff is in there… when I held my head up, when I could sit unassisted, which foods I liked, etc. Further along, the comments tapered off, until eventually whole pages were blank.

“Why isn’t it filled out?” asked Monkey, filled with disappointment. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I think my mom did a remarkable job considering I’m her second child. I think I only filled out one page of Monkey’s baby book.

I was about to close the book when Chickadee flipped it to two facing pages all about the parents. My mother had filled these out, and they contained their childhood addresses, social security numbers, and blood types.

My mom’s blood type was written down as A positive. And my dad’s as AB positive.

Which is really interesting, because my blood type is O positive.

The kids were talking to me and I sat there looking at that page and trying to remember back to the unit on phenotypes in 9th grade biology. Hmmmm. Pretty sure you can’t mix A and AB and come up with O.

I started laughing, and the kids wanted to know what was funny, and I told them to PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD EAT YOUR DINNER, because of course during all of this they hadn’t eaten a thing. And then I went and called my father to ask him his blood type.

It turns out my father’s blood type is actually B, not AB. When he asked why I was asking and I told him about the book, he laughed and assured me that I am definitely his kid. (His tender fatherly words were something like “Your first clue should be all that hair on your back.”) I wasn’t worried, you understand, but for a minute there we had the potential for an exciting scandal.

I mean, one worse than all that laser hair removal I had to have.


  1. Kimberly

    I can name my kindergarten class too. And I didn’t even fill out a baby book for the first kid. oops.

    Darn, and here I was all primed for scandal and family secrets. Sigh.

  2. Lady M

    Hey, am I in any of those pictures? ;)

    I didn’t quite finish three pages of Q’s scrapbook, so no baby book awards for me. I think that once I put his First Halloween picture on the same page as our Christmas card, it was all over.

  3. Mir

    Lady M, I got all excited to see you in the picture of Mrs. Padula’s class. And YOU LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME.

  4. Carol


  5. Lena

    Oooh. You made my stomach do little flips. First Dannielynn, now Mir!!

    Glad your daddy’s as he should be. Yours.

  6. Patricia

    Did I ever tell you about the time I gave birth and asked the hospital what my son’s blood type was? They told me AB-, I said, “That’s interesting, since I KNOW I’m A- and my husband (and FATHER of my child) is O+.” So, I made them re-test my not-yet-a-day-old child again. Yup, he’s AB-. Um??? After a few silent moments where the nurses just looked at me like, “You slut.” The doctor suggested that we re-test my husband, you know the husband who is totally and completely afraid of needles.
    TWO tests later (lab lost the results of the first one), we learned that yes, in fact my husband was not actually O+, but B+ AND that the military had mis-typed his blood oh, low those many years ago — AND it was in his “permenant” record wrong.
    Oh, yes — and I’m totally NOT a slut ;)

  7. Zee

    Hey, I’m impressed you knew that you can’t mix A and AB and come up with O+! Maybe they didn’t learn us that in high school, or I wasn’t paying attention that day or something…

    I do know that I’m B+, so that’s something! :)

  8. Heather

    I’m A- just like my momma, but I have no idea what Dad is. They like me when I go give blood at the donor clinic though, since I’m relatively rare.

  9. chris

    I am O+ too. I can totally give blood to you now if you are ever in need. And then we can be blood sisters. And your father would totally have to adopt me.

    All my kids are O+ also.

  10. meritt

    Patricia! That is a little umm, scarry! LOL. I’m glad nothing happened to him in the military where he needed blood! :)

  11. ChristieNY

    I agree, WE NEED SOME PICTURES, especially of all that polyester! ;)

    I’m O+, and dh “thinks” he’s O+ (but is terrified of needles so he isn’t sure) and the hospital wouldn’t type my kids?! Apparently they don’t routinely do it because “it’s not necessary” and “insurance won’t cover it”?! Weird, right?

    I actually wasn’t typed until I became a donor when I was 18, so maybe that isn’t too uncommon?? :-/

  12. dad

    Your work and the conclusions you drew are worthy of a CSI investigation. I’m glad you sought and found the truth and that the family tree has not been turned into firewood.

    For the record, I would still love you even if my blood type was AB (or you were type R).

  13. Jessica

    In the hospital where I gave birth they put the baby’s blood type on a little card attached to the bassinette. I caught both my husband and my mother in law looking disturbed by the big B+ on my daughter’s card. Then I realized that in our slight sleep deprived state they both were thinking that she didn’t deserve such a low grade. Lol. I had to remind them that it was her blood type, same as mine. We still laugh about that today. (It’s especially funny because my husband’s entire family is either a doctor or works in a medical facility.)

  14. MammaLoves

    Never so grateful for extra hair were you?

  15. Heidi

    Your dad is FUNNY!

  16. Cele

    I find it wonderful that your children wanted to know what you were like growing up. I remember being facinated with my mom’s year books when I was young. But my daughter seems to think I’m a pod adult.

    I was terrible in that I didn’t fill out more than a couple of pages of my daughter’s baby books. But I did save all her baby teeth, report cards, and a lot of art projects. I made her a huge album complete with school pictures for a graduation present.

  17. Contrary

    If I were ever worried about if my father were actually my father, all I’d have to do is look at my feet and then maybe cry a little bit. Of all the things he could have given me, did it HAVE to be his feet?

    Although, now that I consider it, I’d rather have his big, ugly feet than his hairy back.

    Thanks Dad, for the tugboats!

    (Also, I’m glad you’re not a bastard Mir!)

  18. slouching mom

    What a funny story!

    Imagine if that had led to what it might have.

    I would have been FREAKIN’.

    (Oh, and I’m A+, which fits quite nicely with my perfectionistic streak.)

  19. meghann

    Ok, I’m going to be a nerd for a second. Meritt, regarding Patricia’s husband-he would have been fine even if he needed blood. Type O can be given to A, B, and AB. And people with + blood can be given + or – blood. But – can only get -. That’s why the donor centers really love me. I’m O-. Literally every person on the planet can have my blood. I am awesome. (and on the flip side of that, people with AB+ blood are the luckiest punks on the planet. They can receive any type of blood.)

  20. kathy

    I’ve only had one kid in the hospital and I remember seeing the little card they put in the bassinet thingie with an “A+” on it thinking, “Wow! They think he is an EXCEPTIONAL baby!”. It took years to realize that it was his blood type. Doh!

  21. kathy

    I just saw Jessica’s comment and I have to say that I feel So Much Better, especially since I’m probably the age of her folks. :)

  22. Beth  B

    Bonding over back hair – we can top that. Uni-eyebrows run in our family.

  23. tkkerouac

    great blog!

  24. Beth Reid

    I’m pretty sure these days that they re-test you if you need blood no matter what you say, because it’s so easy to get it wrong.

  25. fairly odd mother

    OH! Your Dad commented. That just topped off an already wonderful post.

  26. Otto

    When asked their blood type, my friends usually reply “single malt.”

    I was filling out a form once and needed to know mine, so I called my mother. Her immediate – and hysterical – response: “WHY DO YOU NEED BLOOD? WHAT’S WRONG?”

    And one last story … my friend Frank used to race cars and the series made you put your name and blood type on the side of the car. So Frank had his (A+) and his co-driver Mike had his (B-). Frank’s mom looked at that and said there’s a typo on your car – there’s no way you’re smarter than Mike.

  27. J

    I can’t believe nobody asid anything about the Rick Springfield poster!! I am so totally down with you on that. I still have the vinyl, 33 AND 45.

  28. MomCat

    “Single malt” is my husband’s blood type, Otto. Or “Pilsner.”

    I can’t remember my blood type – it must be a letter – but I could name every kid in my first grade class picture, too. Funny how that happens.

    Great story! :D

  29. Melanie

    Oh, the scandal! Like a Victorian novel! It’s too bad you called your dad and ruined it all. I have to agree on the pictures- share the polyester, Mir!

  30. cassie

    What a great story! I don’t think my parents filled out anything like that for me. In fact, I’d be interested to see what they’ve kept of mine from childhood. I think a lot of it got thrown out over the years.
    Oh yeah, I LOVE your childhood shirts. But, then again, my mom always said I should have been born in her generation, not mine. So, if I had been born a few years earlier, I would have been coveting your clothes. :)

  31. This Eclectic Life

    I just found you through the Kind Blogs blogroll. I’m so glad I did! I just love this story. Thanks so much for sharing it!

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