Wednesday, October 08, 2014

What Tricks Can You Do?

I grew up with a lot of boys.  I learned early how to make nasty sounds with my arm pit, how to belch the alphabet and generally how to horrify Mother.  Two things I never did though.  I never farted outside the bathroom for fear that Mother would beat me.  And I never put my feet on anyone else.  Nasty foot humor was the domain of my brother Dan.

I can turn my eyelids inside out and blink.  Quite terrifying when you are wearing eyeliner and mascara.

Through some genetic accident, I can reach my nose with the tip of my tongue and lick off the ice cream.  I can probably reach inside a nostril if I try really hard, but I have never bothered.  My daughter has been practicing, but is not quite there yet.  Who knows if she has my tongue or not.  She seems to have inherited a blend of parental traits.

My daughter occasionally requests that I perform eye and tongue tricks.  I usually decline, as they are not meant for polite company.  Occasionally, I will favor her with one, or some combination of them.  I have found they are quite effective as motivational tools.

Tonight, my daughter struggled through the last few minutes of a piano lesson.  The teacher was at the end of her rope.  I stepped into the room to lighten the mood and encourage my daughter with my eyelids turned inside out.  The teacher gasped, but my daughter started laughing.  She straightened her back, and said, "Mommy, watch this."  And while she counted the last two measures of her new song and played the notes, she farted.  On purpose!

After she did that, I expressed my grave concern.  I told her girls don't do that.  And she said, "I can probably fart the alphabet."

I was immediately transported back to my own childhood.  I said, "Yeah, well I can burp the alphabet."  Now both she and her teacher were demanding a demonstration of this long-dormant skill.  I politely declined and immediately issued a moratorium on alphabet farting and burping.

There is a word I have always liked, abecedarian.  I have never considered it to be a compliment word particularly.  It connotes one learning the rudiments of something - a beginner.  The implication is that the way of thinking or doing is rudimentary and linear.  I cannot decide if burping and farting the abc's is abecedarian.

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