Monday, September 14, 2009

Disposable Thumbs

I love the overheard conversations among my kids.

7yo: Well you know monkeys have disposable thumbs.

10yo: Ha! You mean OP-posable thumbs. Disposable means "easy to throw out".

7yo: I know that... but it's just easier to say.

So I'm painting my mother in law's house this weekend. The tall peaks and the stuff that no one else can reach. I'm the designated "tall guy". I used to do a lot of painting back in the day. I didn't really mind the high stuff back then. In fact, I can remember jumping off the roof and doing a stunt roll into my back yard... carefully avoid the dog terds. It used to seem so cool. I never broke anything. Somehow. But as I scaled the ladder and felt it go twisty under me as it settled into the rocks, I felt that pit in my stomach. That "oh no I'm going to fall and break my leg" feeling. Having never fallen and broken my leg, I wonder why it is that I worry about this quite so much. I mean, sure... if I had felt that pain before, I would sure as hell want to skip it the next time. But no breaks. I can only conclude that the "older, wiser" me understands the potential more than the "younger stupider" me. But this isn't entirely true. I knew that it was possible that I would break something. But I did it anyway. There was no one ever around so it wasn't like I was showing off. And I knew the risks. But I jumped anyway.

I find this interesting. I wonder if kids who are brought up to decide for themselves are more able, at a later age, to figure out what works and doesn't work... and therefore avoid the stupid things when they get older. Which then also makes me wonder if the overly protective way that most parents today handle their kids is going to lead to a generation of risk takers of adults trying to find their limits. Do risk taker kids = more cautious parents? Or do overprotected kids = risk taking adults.

While I was thinking all of this the 10yo appears below me.

10YO: Can I get on the roof?

You would look at me like I was crazy if I let my little monkeys get on the roof. I know you people. Because I've become one of those people too. Besides... it is a high roof. *Gasp* what was he thinking??

Me: Not today, buddy.

10YO: Why not?

Me: Cause your thumbs or none of the rest of you is "disposable".

10YO: Can I get on the ladder?


Me: Ok.. but be CAREFUL.

Coming from the kid that jumped of the roof...


  1., is risk tiaking like having disposable thumbs?

    my favorite thing that my niece says is someone is 'mad of her' instead of mad at her.

  2. I had to work it in somehow. :)

  3. Funny. I don't so much mind my kids jumping off imposing edifaces. But I become hysterical when they neglect to wash their hands post-potty and then touch me.

    And to think - I used to share with my best friend AND never made her wash hers before she handed it to me.

    Claire says her brother's "annoring her" constantly. I don't correct her much cause either way she's right. He annoys the crap out of her, AND ignores her blood-curdling screams to stop.

  4. i used to jump of roofs... but only when the snow was good and deep