Meet my daughter, D–, two-and-a-half years old, 0.9m high, and 12.7kg heavy. Her hair was a little thin, with a touch of golden brown, and is now just starting to grow out into a bob. Typical of her age, her cheeks are round and rosy but the shape of her face is quite similar to mine. Already she has the hallmark double-chin of my side of the family; but she gets her nose from her mother’s side, thankfully.

In my dealings with children, even family, I’ve tried to treat them as their own persons, with their own personalities and quirks, not merely duplicates of their parents. That’s largely been borne out of my experience with my nephew and niece. If it so happens that our personalities gel from the start, well, that’s a bonus. With D–, I seem to have hit the jackpot.

One of her first words was “robot” and it tickled me pink to hear her say it. It probably helped a little that the house is littered with my Transformers action figures. To her grandmother’s consternation, her early favorite toys were Hot Wheels, and though she’s weaning from them, they still merit an occasional return. She likes spacey things, and at this point can already name the eight planets of the solar system (though in my heart, there will always be nine.)

She already recognizes all the letters of the alphabet and her counting goes all the way up to twenty. She doesn’t quite read yet, though we try to sneak in phonics whenever we can. Her vocabulary is extensive, including multisyllabic words like “excavator” and “monster truck.” Her focus and concentration can be intense, as when she’s molding clay and fondant. She loves puzzles and can put together a 24-piece jigsaw largely on her own.

Luckily there are a few areas where we’re not alike. For one thing, she’s not afraid of dirt and is quite the helper in the garden. On the flip side, she’s also quite neat, sometimes fastidious with cleanliness, for example, quick to note when the car is dirty. She’s also musically inclined, and that’s where I think her facility for language comes, because of her sharp ear and accurate tones.

As she’s growing, though, she’s gravitating more and more towards her mother, I suppose as it should be. She helps out in the kitchen, and we can ask her to get this or that, and she’s learning to sweep up — properly. She loves to follow what her mother is doing, and is getting to be a fair hand with rolling fondant and pressing shapes.

Her grandmother would be pleased that D– can be girly-girl, too, though I’m hoping we can play robots and spaceships for just a little while longer. Deep down, I’m hoping I can have someone to pass on my love of programming and 3D-printing to.

Whatever happens, though, it’s already clear that we’re going to have the same shape of feet, which would be farmer’s feet, flat and wide. (Sorry, D–, that’s the way the genetic dice rolls, but at least you’ll do great at swimming.)