A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Snip snap!
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  
  • At 7/19/2006 11:15:00 AM, Blogger Prezzie said…

    You forgot the past time of learning to blow a bubble with gum. That's hard. :)

    Yay OD! That's so funny to watch them learn things we think of as easy.

  • At 7/19/2006 12:10:00 PM, Blogger Granny J said…

    My pop -- your grandfather -- could wiggle his scalp, a trick I've seen very few do! Of course, he could do his ears as well.

    I mastered neither the cartwheel nor the big bubble from bubble gum. Also not: whistling thru the teeth, boy-style.

  • At 7/19/2006 01:30:00 PM, Blogger Miss Cellania said…

    I still can't whistle.

  • At 7/19/2006 02:41:00 PM, Blogger Scott Ocheltree said…

    I am a strong believer in the value of "useless skills".
    I made both of my older sons learn to juggle and it will be no different for Kai - radial club hand is no excuse!

    The card shuffle thingy caught my attention - I have always heard the arched finish to a riffle shuffle called a "bridge" as opposed to "cascade". See Wikipedia's entry on shuffling or about.com's.

    I'm only a stickler on this as I'm a hobbyist magician. One of best false shuffles out there is the "Zarrow" shuffle. Looks almost just like a standard riffle but the cards don't change order. My problem is the handling is a bit different than what I normally do - you can't end with a bridge/cascade. So I've actually tried to relearn my regular shuffle (which I was so proud of when I achieved it as a kid) so that the Zarrow doesn't look "different".

  • At 7/20/2006 01:01:00 PM, Blogger Vinegar Martini said…

    We're in shoe tying mode at our house these days. It's harder to teach than you'd think.

    I can't wink - is that a learned thing? My DD can wink on both eyes - as can DD.

  • At 7/20/2006 06:46:00 PM, Blogger ¬©Jac said…

    I can't snap. I have weak fingers.
    Congrats to the Dotter for learning!

  • At 7/20/2006 09:39:00 PM, Blogger MommyWithAttitude said…

    I can't whistle, but I can do a cartwheel. Though once in a while when I get the urge to do one, my husband says, "DON'T HURT YOURSELF!" which doesn't make me feel very youthful...

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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