Friday, April 07, 2006

A tale of two klutzes

Today is my oldest daughter, the Human Crash Test Dummy's birthday. She'll be the big 3.

She and I share a trait (as you may have noticed). We both are the teensiest bit accident prone. I don't know whether it's genetic or coincidence or what, but we both have it. Let's look at our last two mishaps:

For the HCTD, part of the problem is that she's a bit clumsy. She toes-in (is pigeontoed in a common condition called femoral anteversion - much more likely in girls and one that rights itself over time) and tends to trip over her own feet.

Part of it is that she is the Baby Without Fear.

Take the step down to the family room for example. When Boy was a baby we lived in The Other Place (notice I didn't say house) and it was beastly hot (imagine three bugs in a Coors can in the blazing sun) and I'd prop open both doors. There were steps going down on both ends and Boy, when he got to crawling, would get to the top step, look down and inch back into the room. He wasn't about to even attempt to get down them.

Fast forward to about a year later, we're here at the Burrow and the HCTD is crawling. I learnt very quickly that babies are different. I just assumed that since Boy never did, HCTD wouldn't.


She never hesitated at steps, up or down. She threw herself fearlessly down every set of steps we owned until she mastered them. She went straight from walking to running. She climbs like a monkey, she opens doors and lids, and attempts to push and lift things that are twice her size.

All of this combines to result in bruises, bangs, bumps, and occasionally, blood. Every day. Usually several times a day.

It's become so routine that it doesn't elicit much comment. We cuddle and console and go about our business ... after all, Mommy spends a fair amount of time dabbing blood and bandaging herself.

Occasionally, however, the HCTD comes up with something really spectacular.

Tuesday we were all outside (a rarity as Evil Genius Husband hates the out of doors. Hates it. He's firmly anti-bug, anti-heat, anti-cold, anti-dirt, etc. His ideal environment is Couch, Comic Book, Coke (diet)). Well, we have tricycles for the babies, but nowhere really for them to ride them yet. The whole yard slopes sharply, there's no smooth surfaces, and the drive is gravel. Because of this I have all the tricycles parked on the deck until they acquire the prowess to handle the bumpy, steep back yard.

Being babies they like to sit on the trikes and pedal them around the deck. They all know to stay away from the openings and I keep the broom laid across the top of the steps just in case.

Not that any of this deterred the Human Crash Test Dummy.

I don't know whether she did it on accident - got up enough speed to bump over the broom handle and fly down the deck steps in a stunning, hair-flying, arc that tumbled both my gardenias and my un-planted blackberry bush down after her - or whether she did it on purpose, but it was a short flight for her and a mighty case of deja-vu for me. I myself, about 40 years ago and about 40 miles from here, did precisely the same thing. I remember it like it was yesterday.

She wasn't hurt, (she never seems to be, thank goodness), just shaken up and was laughing about it a few minutes later.

I wasn't able to recover so quickly from mine:

We were in the check-out at the Wal-Mart after a big day of playing in the park, eating at Arby's - while the Incredible Bulk clamoured so loudly for bits of mozzarella stick ("Just give me the whole thing so I can cram it all in my mouth, momma!"*) that I feared they'd kick us out - and visiting the feed store (woo hoo!). Boy, suddenly and inexplicably wanted a hug. He never wants hugs unless he's done something wrong and is trying to suck up, the little scoundrel.

Anyway, he weighs just over 40lbs and my back can't take it so I usually just bend down to him. Well, yesterday he decided he would jump up into my arms. That would have been disastrous in itself except that he didn't make it. The top of his head hit me squarely under the chin, snapping my jaw shut with an alarming crack. Unfortunately my tongue was in the way.

So I staggered back, feeling like Russell Crowe in Cinderella Man but not looking nearly so good. Evil Genius Husband dashed to the loo for some paper towels while I tried to talk to the clueless check-out girl through clenched teeth. She wasn't at any point aware that I was trying not to dribble blood on her card reader, that's how cool I was. *snort*

So Happy Birthday, my baby girl! Sorry about those clumsy genes.

*translated from the Klingon

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posted by MrsEvilGenius @ 5:55 am   1 comments


At 10:03 am, Anonymous sherry said...

Happy birthday to two, wonderful klutzes...and, cute too!


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