Tuesday 19 February 2013

Shitty Genes

I think the first time I did something really stupid and potentially dangerous with the kids was when Arwen was about a year or so old. We were living in Black Diamond AB and as small Alberta towns go, it was pretty nice. The people were friendly and it was almost like living in the country, without the hard work. Black Diamond is about a mile east of Turner Valley which is another small town. If it weren't for the signs as you enter the towns, you would be hard pressed to tell them apart.

Just about half way between the two towns was a wild area that was kind of boggy in the summer and a pretty good place to skate in the winter. This area was between the highway and a smallish cliff. I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought it would be fun for Arwen and I to climb the cliff. Well, I was doing the climbing and Arwen was in a carrier on my back. One of the things you learn when you climb pretty much anything is that going up is much easier than coming down. Well, that’s assuming that you don’t rely on gravity of course. We managed to get about half way up the cliff and couldn’t go any further, so I was perched on a small rock in the middle of a steep scree slope with a baby on my back. The only way to go down a scree slope is a semi controlled run as fast as you can without falling. This is pretty easy when you are the only person that might be hurt, but when your baby is involved it is pretty scary. Not the uncontrolled fall, but the trying to explain to your wife why you had the baby up a cliff in the first place. We made it down and neither of us told Louise.
The next stupid thing that I remember is when we were out at a local park just after it had snowed. I told the kids to play in the snow and they just kind of hopped up and down on the drift and didn't seem to know what the hell they were doing. I said “That’s not how you have fun playing on drifts, this is…” I then proceeded to dive into the drift like I used to as a kid in Ontario. Well, I wasn't a kid and this wasn't an Ontario drift, it was a boulder that was lightly covered with snow. I think I cracked two ribs, and the kids just looked at me and asked how that was fun. “Shut up and get in the car!”

A year or so later we were on a road trip and we came upon an old school, school playground somewhere in BC I think. It had this really cool wooden merry go round with ropes that went up to meet at the peak. I suppose they were there so that the kids would have something to hang on to. My kids just kind of sat on the base and slowly pushed it with their feet. Pathetic! “That’s not how you have fun playing on a merry-go-round.” Then I started to push it as fast as I could and when it was going real fast, I jumped on. Well, I didn’t jump on so much as I bounced off of it, damaging another rib or two. The kids were kind of smiling and asked if I would show them how to have fun again.
I hobbled back to the car and vowed that no matter how sad and boring their lives get, I will never try to show them how to have fun again.

Today, Arwen called to thank me for my shitty genes. It seems that she walked in on Hurricane trying to do a head stand, and she was worried that he would break his neck if he didn't do it the right way. Of course she had to show him the right way and she did fine until he encouraged her to go all the way up. Well, she went up and as we all know, what goes up must come down. Arwen came down with a loud crunching sound and a very sore back that kept her up all night. She will be seeing the chiropractor for the next few weeks to get her back, back to normal. Hopefully she will learn from this, but I somehow doubt it. 

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