It takes a certain amount of ego to procreate. At the very least, you have to assume your genetic material and child-rearing abilities are quality enough to ensure your offspring will not destroy themselves, you, others, or the world with their stupidity and/or evilness, or you have to not care, which also takes some hutzpah. Or you have to lack the intelligence to properly use birth control, which I suppose isn't an ego issue, so let's just ignore that category of people because they don't work with my analogy. Most of them seem to live in Hollywood anyway.
But the egos of most of us parents and wannabe parents is such that we move beyond hoping our children will have simple decency and basic street smarts and believe we will birth a child who will really contribute something to society and who will at least not be so hideous looking as to frighten small children. Maybe our kid won't cure cancer, but it won't be because they aren't smart enough, because we are that smart, it will be because they sign a modeling contract at the age of 15 and figure they can do more good becoming a millionaire by age 20 and participating in a Save Haiti telethon with Matt Damon. OK, so I am exaggerating here, most of us don't really believe our kids will be supermodel geniuses, especially since that would require a level of genetic engineering that doesn't exist outside of sheep. But we may take an inventory of our qualities and that of our spouses and figure, yeah, there's at least one awesome human being lurking in here. In the case of Kevin and me, I'm not really worried about personality or intelligence too much; I figure our kids will definitely be smart enough to support themselves and nice enough to get along in the world, even if you just discount me altogether and dilute Kevin's offerings by half (not a bad idea). Unless some concentrated form of my great granddaddy Turner's personality sneaks through--he used to set off firecrackers under the beds of visitors for kicks--I think it's unlikely any of our kids will be genetically predisposed to be Hitler, although there is no accounting for bad parenting, of course.
Physical appearance, while not as important in the grand scheme of things, is more of a crap shoot. I think we all know of very attractive people with ugly kids (I have a certain celebrity couple in mind, but I'm not going to name names on the internet as these are "real people"). Even if both parents have perfect features, not every combination will work out that well, just ask Mrs. Potato Head. Once you consider that most of us don't have perfect features, all of a sudden there is the possibility you could give birth to a warthog.
There are definitely some physical qualities I am hoping not to pass on. Weak jaw, big nose, bad skin...the list goes on. But above all, I do not want to pass on my truly fatal flaw, the one thing that cheats me out of a modeling contract and Haiti telethon with Matt Damon more than anything else. I give you The Cankle (Brace yourselves for the horror):
Yes, that is really my ankle, not that of some 80 year old slavic potato farmer.
The Urban Dictionary gives several definitions for "cankle." I'm going to by-pass this one: "An ankle of a very fat person that is so fat that it combines with the calf of the leg to create one large formation and it no longer has the definition of an ankle" and this one: 'A grossly malformed, disproportionate, and tree stump-like ankle that seamlessly merges into the calf, so that there is no singular "ankle" or "calf".' I'll go with this one, which conjures up a slightly less ghastly image: "the meeting of the calf and the foot where an ankle is not present due to lack of ankle definition." Regardless of which definition we go with, I think you can see why I would not want to pass on this trait to my offspring.
Unfortunately, while she is, I think, still too young for a definitive verdict to be reached, Charlotte is giving every appearance of having acquired the Cankle gene. Hard to say if it's just baby fat or if it is indeed bone structure, but she definitely has stocky lower legs. It's really a shame, too. Her father's legs would be the envy of Tina Turner. Seriously, give them a good shave, put a pair of panty hose on them, and you've got the inspiration for a ZZ Top song. But Charlotte does not appear to have gotten these legs. Maybe that is because she is perfect in every other way, and this was needed to give her character. Maybe God is just a comedian. So a Haiti telethon with Matt Damon probably will not be her grand contribution to human civilization.
Curing cancer will have to do, although based on her current aptitudes, which include knowing every name and face she has ever encountered, it is more likely she will be a politician. OK, perhaps I shouldn't take that simple decency thing for granted after all.