February 16, 2010

A Matter of Genetics

I had to talk myself into blogging today. I'm feeling rather lazy as usual. The funny thing is, I usually blog as a way to avoid all the other work I'm supposed to be doing. So how bad am I if I'm getting too lazy to sink into denial and procrastination? I would hate to think I've really sunk that low so...I'm blogging.

Today was a beautiful, sunshiney day. A little on the cool side, perhaps, but just right with a small jacket on. And my children (being that they are, in fact, MY children) had to be forced to go outside and play. They could not be convinced to go outside and enjoy the weather until we threatened them. We told them they couldn't play on the video games until they'd spent some time outside. For every 10 minutes they played outside, they earned 5 minutes of video game time. Even that was only enough to keep Howdy outside for about 10 minutes. It was only after Daddy suggested they play "trampoline dodgeball" that Howdy reluctantly went back out. Nothing will change his mind faster than the thought of inflicting pain on his siblings.

How many children have to be forced to play outside on a sunny day? We just bought the kids a trampoline for Christmas, we have a huge pile of rocks and dirt to dig in and they have little cars and bikes they can ride. Why aren't they begging to go out there and play every day?

Why? Because they are my children. Apparently when they were being knit together in my womb, my DNA got bossy and took over the place, kicking most of MC's peaceful DNA out of the way. The compulsion to remain indoors? They got that from me. The insatiable desire for books? That's all me. The angst, worry and stress? Their therapists can reassure them that also came from me. The picky palates? OK, that one can be blamed on the both of us. But the point is, most of these little quirks and odd personality traits can be traced back to yours truly.

Sometimes I actually feel a little sorry for them. Why couldn't they have their dad's love of sports and the coordination required to be good at them? Where is MC's laid-back, don't-worry-be-happy attitude? Where is the love of the outdoors? And if they had to favor me, why did they have to inherit my hermit nature and my perfectionist tendencies?

I know a little of MC's DNA lurks in each of them, waiting until the Slacker DNA has become lax and unsuspecting. I know it because I see it appear for brief moments before the Slacker DNA beats it back into submission. Knowing my husband's reluctance to rock the boat, I'm not sure his DNA really stands a chance. I can only hope that one day, it will rise up and take over. I'll know that day has come when my children ask me, completely of their own free will, if they can go outside and play in the sun.

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