Sunday, April 06, 2008

Genetics; it's a freaky thing.

When I was a kid, oh, seven or eight as I recall, I wanted to know how the spigot in the bathroom worked. If the water came out with such pressure, how did a simple twist shut it off? Did the pressure get stronger while it was shut off? Exactly what was the mechanism, where you twisted and the water went on or off? So I took it apart.

Unfortunately I did not turn off the water to the pipes, first.

When my mother found water squirting in all directions she had a complete melt-down, and my dad had to fix it, and I think - looking back - they let me off any major punishment because I stood there wailing "I just wanted to know how it WORKS!" Dad made me help put the sink back together, showing me how it worked in the process, and I never did that again. He gave me free access to his home-repair library and after that I'd either ask him, or look up the information myself. I was always on the spot when he did any repairs, and thanks to him I can do minor plumbing, fix holes in drywall, roof a house, and other assorted useful things.

Fast forward thirty years, and here I am with my own daughter, who I think would have taken the sink apart already if only I'd leave her alone with my toolbox long enough. The Goob is like me, only moreso - not only does she appear to have inherited my curiosity for EVERYTHING (heaven help us), but she's inherited her ol' dad's mechanical genius into the bargain. We. Are. Doomed.

So, yeah, this week's experience with the Goober taking apart (sort of) my spinning wheel was no real shock. She'd been told a million times already not to touch it, and is known to sit next to me as I spin, watching with bright eyes, figuring out how it works. She flips the light switches everywhere we go to see what happens. If the husbeast is fixing ANYTHING near her, she has to help, or at least lean over his shoulder to see what he's doing. Don't believe me?

This is the Goob, a year old, already trying to get to the camera. No doubt to take it apart and see how it works. These days, if you take her picture, she will often ask/demand to 'Push da button?' and be allowed to flash a few photos herself.

So, no, it was no surprise to come out of the bath and find the Goober desperately trying to look innocent while watching cartoons, and the spinning wheel dangling parts and wool like something out of a bad dream. It's really to be expected. This is what it looked like, when I put the wheel together in the first place:

(That's my toolbox - yes, I have my own - that she's into.) It really was inevitable.


Roxie said...

Was your mom a curious child? You, at least, are suffering for your sins. Warn the Goob when she reaches child-bearing age. She'll likely have kids that are a double handful as well. It's genetics plus KARMA!

Technicolor foot! I am envisioning colorways named "Broken toe" blue and "old bruises" green.

Alwen said...

Nah, you're not doomed, you're good. You already have the example of being shown how stuff works, so you know what she needs.

When I had to replace the cartridge in the kitchen water faucet, I discovered that the dinghoots who built this place neglected to put in a shut-off for the hot water line.

In order to fix the faucet, I had to turn off the water to the house, let the pressure tank in the well pit drain down, disconnect the hot water tank, drain the lines, THEN put a shut off in, all so I could replace a stinkin' cartridge.

By that point I was ready to hunt 'em down and put 'em out of my misery.

Losers. They needed a mom who could show them how it worked.

Barbara said...

Every girl needs her own toolbox. We sent our daughter off to college with one and she was instantly known as "that girl down the hall with the screwdriver and pliers" and she knew how to use them. I came late to mechanical curiosity and probably pay extra for the privilege of pelting the handyman with questions. But then who wouldn't want to talk to a 75-ish guy named Norman who's fixing your sink?

Nice bruises. Technicolor toes, that's what you should call the matching yarn color.

Amy Lane said...

Ah, if only... When my dad was three, his dad spent all night putting together a tricycle for Christmas morning. They made the mistake of leaving a wrench out when they were done, and he took it apart in the time it took for grandpa to go get the camera.

I have the handyman mentality of a cat. If it doesn't work, it was meant to be slept on.

Helen said...

My mother said, 'Don't leave your [doll's] pram out overnight, it'll get rusty.' And I thought, How can she possibly know that; so I left it out and it did get rusty. It was one of the most useful lessons of my life.

Donna Lee said...

I was so proud the day I fixed the toilet myself that the first thing I did was call my dad. He gave me a tool box the next day. One of the things that impresses me the most about my husband is his unending curiosity about how things work and his ability to fix almost anything. Most people I know just throw thing away. We fix'em and keep on using them.