Tuesday, September 8, 2009


One of the fun things about being a parent is when you see how much of yourself (or your family) gets inherited by your kids. Valerie spent the last four days in Michigan, with Zoey, visiting her family. That left me home alone with the other three kids. I was able to observe a couple of cool inheritances in my kids.

First, do you remember back when I was about 13 or 14, Joe was a year younger, and Sarah was about 10? If you are a member of my family, you probably do - unless you are Caleb (who wasn't born yet) or probably Abby (who was really little). If your are not a member of my family, it's ok, remembering it isn't all that important because I'm going to tell you about it anyway - so calm down. Anyway, Mom and Dad would head off on an adventurous weekend where they would save the world in the wilds of Borneo, leaving us kids to fend for ourselves. They knew we would be safe because Sarah would babysit everyone. Well not everyone, me and Joe didn't need babysitting, but we had more important things to do than watch a bunch of kids (like play Super Mario Brothers), so we were there just in case there was an emergency. Sarah took care of everyone else. She fed them, changed diapers, bossed them arround, mediated their arguments, put them to bed, gave them baths, etc.

Well it turns out that CJ has inherited that! I was obviously a carrier of the '10 year old taking care of everyone' gene (which was deactivated in me by the presence of a Y chromosome). These past four days CJ has cooked, cleaned, fed, bathed, played with, taught, mediated, and altogether mothered Mia and Xander while Val has been gone. Me? I had better things to do (like play Playstation and XBox) . She is awesome and I really couldn't have done it (by 'it' I mean get 150 head shots with my AK-47 in Call of Duty 4) without her. All kidding aside, she gets so excited to be the mom and reminds me a ton of Sarah that way.

The next thing I observed is something inherited not from me, but from Valerie.

It was very hot on Friday. It got up to 82 degrees. Hah! you may scoff - you who live in the middle of a desert! Well, you have to understand that becasue the average temperature (with the cool breeze coming off the Bay) is about 65- 70 degrees, no one here has an air conditioner. All you need to do is open the windows and you get a wonderful natural air conditioner. That's great until the temperature reaches 80 degrees. At that point, the wind stops. Now you are in an un-airconditioned house with no breeze at all. To make things worse, we live upstairs, so all the hot air accumulates in our house. While it's 82 degrees outside, its more like 89 degrees inside. Sure we have fans blowing nonstop, but it really is unbearable.

I tell you all this so that you will have some sympathy for us. Also, I tell you this so you understand why I left Mia's bedroom window open overnight Friday night. While she slept, a swarm of twenty million mosquitos came into her room and ate her, leaving a dry husk behind. Ok, so that is an exaggeration, there was really probably just one mosqito, and rather than a dry husk, it left a plump, oozing, puss filled princess behind. You see, Mia has inherited Val's alergy to Mosqitos. I didn't even know people could be alergic to mosquitos! Of course, I have inherited my mother's mosquitophobic aura which repels mosquitos. On the rare occasion that I get bit, the mosquito either combusts spontaneously, or imediately flies off in a panic, seconds before exploding with a loud POP! (CJ has inherited this from me). Afterward, there is hardly a mark of their attack.

Poor Mia (and Val) , draws mosquitos to her. They fly from the other side of the world just to taste her blood! After they bite her, rather than the little pimple-like itchy spot most people know, she gets a huge welt or hive that is frighteningly huge. On Friday night, she got bit a total of 10 times; One on her forearm, one on her triceps, one on the tip of her finger, and 7 times across her face, giving her a black eye.

I know! I know! they look like spider bites, but they're not. As miserable as she looks, she is actually still very cheerful - she gets that from Val too. I did, however get scolded by her about leaving her window open overnight. She told me I need to remember to shut it so the mosquitos (she cant say it, so pronounces it either "skamitos" or "posquitos") don't "eat her guts".

Oh, one last thing, we're talking about genetics - we get some of our genes from an egg - i have a picture of eggs at the top of the post! Ha! I tied it in! I really just wanted to show off the smiley that my eggs made by themselves - right before we turned them into lemon bars. The mouth was actually even cooler, but by the time I grabbed the camera to take the picture, it has started to slide to the side.

One more "one last thing":
I got mutton chops!

Also known as the kissable beard, (Val won't kiss me when I have facial hair) or inverted goatee. Check out how much red hair I have!


Betsy said...

Nice Ben, very Wolverinish.

Andy Porter said...

Woah, nice chops! Ha ha...I'm wondering if India is allergic to paskitos too. She had the weirdest spot on her face yesterday that looked like a huge swollen ball under her skin. Kind of looks similar to Mia's arm.
One last thing...can you please not talk about lemon bars?!? Come on!! That's just cruel and unusual punishment.

Abby said...

OH MY GOSH! I can't believe Mia's bites!!! CJ pretty much ran the house when I was there babysitting in March too--she is so great! I was wondering why Andy was worried about the entire country of India being allergic to mosquitoes. Hahaha. I forgot.

Andy Porter said...

Dude, if you had a pair of plastic rimmed glasses you would be that dude from 30 Rock. I have never had the courage to go that hairy. I need to try it.

hanndallfam said...

Wow! I'm amazed by the red in those chops.

Kathy said...

Funny hair. Wonderful kids. So you noticed that Sarah took care of everyone while you and Joe played video games. I wasn't sure you were even that aware. Good job with your kids.
Love ya

Sarah said...

To think I almost missed this post!I always thought being responsible gave you more work. CJ is destined to be a GREAT mother. Oh, and the mother in me wants you (and your brother) to have nice crew cuts and NO facial hair! Thank you.

Sarah said...

I mean being responsible always gave ME more work...you boys never did anything!