Probably the single most frightening thing about being a parent is being emulated by your child. It goes much further than your two year old shouting "damn it!" at strategic times. They ultimate mimic everything you do right down to your facial expressions and intonation.
Jack mimics me more physically and Helen verbally. His facial expressions are all me where his speech patterns are Helen. It's funny at times, and quite scary at others. When he grows up he wants to go to my university, but he wants make robots instead of program video games. However he wants to make robots that you can control with the iPhone, he's going to build the robot and I'm going to do the iOS work. I think it's a really good idea and I look forward to the project. He wants to learn karate. He says things like "well that's not very good", "that's not worked very well" and "it's kicking my butt" just like I do.
It's easy to let yourself get caught up in some OCD pattern where you try to censor your every action. It's impossible of course, but you feel compelled to try. It's like you're in some reality TV show where a three and a half foot tall camera man following you everywhere and recording your every move and every time you slip up you have to deal with a 6 month long PR nightmare.
Over all I feel it does make me a better person. It makes me more conscious of my treatment of others and my performance at University. I consciously try to celebrate even the smallest wins and spend little time dwelling on losses. It's a daily battle but it gets easier as time goes by.
Some months ago Jack was walking to school with Helen. She made a casual comment about how handsome he looked and how handsome he would be when he grew up. Jacks burst into tears. Mentioning growing up to Jack is always risky.
Helen tried desperately to calm him down and figure out what had suddenly made him so upset. Finally though his tears he told her.
I don't want to be handsome I wanna look like daddy...