Thursday, June 28, 2007

Inheritable Clumsiness Syndrome

My youngest son had an accident yesterday. He's just over two years old and was climbing on something (according to my wife -- I wasn't there) and fell down and smashed his teeth into something hard. Apparently, one or maybe two of his front teeth were knocked loose. My wife immediately took him to the dentist to have him checked out, and it's felt that as long as he doesn't eat any hard foods (so we're back to 9-month-old foods ...) and stops sucking his thumb (he's the only one of our three who ever did that) his teeth probably won't fall out. Probably, but if they do, he'll be front-toothless until his adult teeth grow in. My wife is going to a pediatric dentist for a second opinion and for better instructions today, so we'll see how that works out.

Last night, though, while we were talking about it, my wife was saying that he can't help being clumsy because it runs in the family. Then she recounted a series of events in her father's, her brother's, and her own life where they have done something extraordinarily clumsy. So I got thinking about it, and remembered some events in the lives of my other two children, and you know what? I think she's right! Clumsiness must be inherited!

Exhibit A: On a camping trip when my oldest was about three years old, he was climbing across a bridge, after explicitly being told to not fall down, he fell down and embedded wood chips in his hand, which required much screaming, two doctors, and four nurses to remove. I'd never felt queasy in a hospital setting until that day.

Exhibit B: One day at home when my daughter (second child) was about two years old, she was walking on the couch for some reason, and managed to fall down and slam her upper lip against a nearby desk, getting a gash that has scarred and is visible on her upper lip.

Exhibit C: On another day not long thereafter, my daughter again fell down and hit her eye against something (I don't even remember what), thereby experiencing yet another gash that has scarred on her upper eye. In this case, luckily, it's mostly hidden by her blond eyebrow.

Exhibit D: Just last weekend while my family was out camping, my oldest was riding his bicycle and was attempting to ride up a hill. Halfway up he stopped with a look of panic in his face, and fell to the side, rolling over completely with his legs and bicycle in the air above him. Afterwards he just lay there, unhurt, but stunned, and eventually started to laugh.

All of these are just a few of the cases where our children have demonstrated clumsiness. I think my wife is right, and since there's so many wonderful examples of blatant clumsiness from her side of the family, this trait clearly must be inherited from the mother!

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