Thursday, November 08, 2007

Genetic Traits

Thursday evening we had a bit of a contest. The idea came when John started pouting and stuck out his lower lip. I've never been very good at this. When I was a baby I would drop my mouth open an sob.

It didn't work.

But my kids have a better tactic. Over the past 14 years I've seen it over and over again. The lower lip jutted out and quivering; the puppy dog eyes. Where did they get this?

We had a contest. After John was done pouting the rest wanted to chime in. I got a picture of John and the rest thought it would be a great game. Matthew was out hunting with Gary L. And when he got home he didn't have anything with which to feed our family.

The photos are from youngest to oldest of the participants. And the genetic source of this particular form of pouting will be revealed at the end.

Sophie is capable of a myriad of emotive faces. And she was excited to show her own prowess at the jutting lower lip.

Clara has more of my mom's family in her facial structure. She resembles her Great-grandmother on my mom's side. She and my cousin, Amber, have the same jaw line and chin. That means a pouty, but stubby lower lip.

Gotta love her hair in this photo. This was just after she'd taken a bath and her hair was yet uncombed. She has Mary's epicathnic fold- looking like she's descended from Asian or Icelandic stock.

Elsie has the flat brow. And, next to Sophie, she's the most expressive with her facial muscles.

Elsie is the tough one who can climb like a monkey. (Elsie, that's a good thing.) While Clara is the most solidly built of our girls, Elsie is the most dexterous. she is capable of amazing feats while climbing clothesline posts or trees or anything.

It's too bad Stella fell asleep at the meal. Her pout is excellent. And she's a little nanny-goat that will give us just as much trouble or more than Elsie when it comes to getting into gravity defying situations.

Louisa loved the game. We have a precious photo of her among the dandelions up in the mountains of Colorado at Bob and Aimee's wedding. She's becoming more and more socially sensitive at her age: loves the music from "High School Musical" and tries to get all her younger siblings to dance. She's the mastermind when it comes to putting on stage shows for our family--especially when Grandpa and Grandma A. visit.

But her emotional tool when trying to get something out of Mom and Dad is that of a disenfranchised teenage girl. Sorry, Louisa, but that gig doesn't swing in our hall.

But she does have the lip.

But the grand champion of the lip is the source of the genes that makes it possible. Momma! And what a Momma you are, Mary. You pout, babe. You the best! Look at that lip extension. I bet her step-parents were sick of it!

Hey, Bud and Joan, (for the rest of you, that's Mary's step-parents) did you know that when you lived in Puyallup, Mary was out riding her bike and intentionally crashed and got scraped up one time so she could come crying home and get sympathy. All this was done to avoid punishment for her going out without permission.

She was probably about Louisa's age at the time. She's not proud of it now. But it makes a good and funny lesson for our kids.

Anyway, this is the woman I love, the woman (who beyond all reason and evidence) who loves me. She's my best friend, ever. And I echo what her step-mother used to say. "You better put that lip back in or a little bird will sit on it and poop on it."


Mary said...

Ah, yes, thank-you, Joe. Lovely photos. I don't see one of your lip there. So we have only your word for it that the lip is from merely the maternal gene.

But, alas, I must correct your tales from my childhood. I was only seven when intentionally scraping my knee while riding my bike. And no, Jaan was not taken in by it.

Nor did the other one work, "Um, no, the clothes aren't dry yet. I put them in another time. Can I go out and play now?"

The most embarrassing, tho' is the following. I was sent out to the garage after supper for something. Perhaps to take the garbage out. I got distracted and was diddling around doing who knows what. When Joan found me, I tried to put this foggy expression on my face as though I was out of my mind. I tried to pretend that I didn't know who I was or what I was supposed to be doing. And, no, that did not fly either.

Joan, you were just to sharp. I couldn't get anything past you. Now, of course, I apologize for my behavior and rue it all the more when I see so much of it in my kids. Grrr!


Lou said...

thanks dad you are so kind to put such nice pictures of me ;(