Wednesday, July 19, 2006
OmegaDotter has earnestly been trying to snap her fingers for a few weeks. Last night, she succeeded. I heard her dash into the kitchen and excitedly tell OmegaDad, "Daddy! Daddy! Listen! I can snap my fingers!" And, mutedly, snap! Then she dashed into the room where I was, thrust her hand right up next to my ear (kinda smushing it, in fact), and went...flub. Oops. But then she tried again, and a crisp, snappy SNAP! rang out. She got an enormous grin on her face as I exclaimed, "Wow!", did a little twinkle-toes dance, and crowed in awe, "I can snap just like a five-year-old!" Then she neglected her dinner while she practiced snapping some more at the dinner table. Ah, well, win some, lose some. There are some things that all kids (in the U.S.A., at least) seem to need to learn to know: How to snap. How to turn a cartwheel. How to somersault. How to skip. How to whistle. How to ride a bike. How to stand on your head. I never learned to do cartwheels. Every time I tried, what happened was a sad mess to behold. The really limber kids would cartwheel around the playground, and I'd watch in sad envy. To this day when I attempt a cartwheel I fail; these days, I usually end up with a wrenched back, as well. Then there are the oddities that some kids pick up. My snapping, for instance, is not the normal snap-with-the-middle-finger or index-finger. I snap using my ring finger. Any time I try snapping with a different finger, I get the flub sound. Another oddity: I distinctly remember one afternoon in the after-school program when I learned to shuffle cards with a "cascade" finish. It was winter, so we were stuck inside the lunchroom, afternoon light streaming in the windows. Some boy whose name I now cannot recall (but who was older and thus very impressive to me) showed off his cascading riffle-shuffle style, clowned around some, then was picked up by his parents. I was struck. How cool! So I sat down in the alcove off the lunchroom, the one with the big bright white high-backed wooden both with the big white table, gritted my teeth, and determined to figure out how he had done it before I went home. I practiced. And practiced. And practiced. The first few times, the cards went splaying across the table in all directions. But slowly and surely, I began getting the arch into the shuffle. Then, every time I shuffled, I was cascading the cards like a cardshark. I did this for an hour. The end result? I find it difficult, to this day, to shuffle cards "normally". The arching cascading riffle-shuffle became ingrained in my kinetic memory that afternoon, and has never left. But I still can't do cartwheels. And OmegaDotter can snap her fingers.
posted by Kate @ 7/19/2006 10:47:00 AM