I think I have passed on some heredity traits to our boys that I didn’t know would be hereditary. I haven’t taught them these things. I would suggest that these are nature, not nurture; that is to say, if we had adopted out either child, it wouldn’t matter how they were raised and by whom, they would still have these traits which I passed on to them through my genes.
1. Eating dry cereal out of a cup or bowl.
When I was younger I loved eating Nutri-Grain, Rice Bubbles, Coco Pops, Corn Flakes, Frosties and Fruit Loops straight out of a cup with no milk. Sometimes I would eat them straight out of the packet, but come on, I’m not uncouth, so mostly I transferred them to some sort of eating device or vessel before consuming them.
Both of the boys also enjoy this but I can’t remember ever doing this in front of them (if I do do it, it is normally once everyone has gone to bed and it’s my secret midnight snack). And these days when I do it, it is not those high sugar cereals but something tasteless but healthy. But seeing I did not teach them this, and my wife definitely didn’t (she thinks we’re all gross doing it), then it must be a genetic trait.
2. Princess and the Pea Syndrome
I can feel a wrinkle half way down the sheets in our bed. When this happens I cannot get to sleep. We’re not regular makers of our bed; sure we pull the covers up but we are not doing hospital corners or making our room look like a display home bedroom, so that’s as far as we take it. I don’t care, nor does my wife. But what I do care about is, if she is heading off to bed before me, I just would like her to pull the sheet up evenly and shake the quilt cover so that it’s even and there’s no bulked up bits of the quilt folded over.
I also need to make sure that my socks are perfectly straight on my feet. Okay, I know these sound a little bit obsessive, but believe me, it makes me feel icky when I can feel the bumpy lumpy bits on my feet, or the wrinkled sheets upon my legs.
Whilst I am alone on the bedding (although our little one has issues with his Grobag sleeping bag when his foot touches the hole which is meant for seatbelt or stroller straps. If his foot touches this, he hates it. And the older one needs to have his socks on perfectly straight and they can’t be inside out (which I fully support).
3. Being Into One Thing Only
I love music. I always have and I guess always will. But here’s the thing. Compared to some people I know, I have a relatively small record/CD collection. Back in the mid-to-late-Eighties I was really into hard rock. I liked Bon Jovi, Poison, Guns n Roses, Extreme, Warrant; the list goes on. And on vinyl I had all the records. But I mainly listened to Bon Jovi. The other albums would go on occasionally but Bon Jovi was every single day. And I often had Bon Jovi only days.
Later I got into grunge. I loves all those Seattle groups Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, (and even the one that got lumped into the grunge sound even though they weren’t from Seattle, and they weren’t grunge) Stone Temple Pilots. I had many of the albums of these bands but Peral Jam was who I was obsessed with. I pretty much never listened to any of the hard rock bands I “grew up” with during this period. It was grunge, but mainly it was Pearl Jam. I had tunnel-vision (or should that be tunnel-listen???) for them.
I really got into some local grown music sometime in the Nineties with the whole post-grunge alternative music scene happening. I loved Australian bands like Custard, Pollyanna, Silverchair, Screamfeeder, Regurgitator, Bodyjar, Powderfinger, You Am I, Grinspoon, Jebidiah, Shihad, Something for Kate, Big Heavy Stuff, Skunkhour, The Superjesus, Eskimo Joe, and many others but I fell heavily into Powderfinger up until their Vulture Street album (that album lost it for me) and at the same time became obsessed with Something for Kate who released the more pleasing The Official Fiction album, and then after that it was pretty much SFK (as the fans call them) on my stereo night and day.
Now, for me, it is Tool. I could listen to them, album after album, continually until I die. I would never get sick of them.
And for our eldest child, it was The WIggles. He was really obsessed with them until… Ninjago took over his life. My wife and I heard that The Wiggles end-of-year concert tour that is always conducted in Australia in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and we told the boys that we were taking them (the little one is also obsessed with them). And then the older one shocked me with this;
“I don’t like The Wiggles any more. Just Ninjago. I don’t want to see The Wiggles.”
Knowing my own traps of obsessive compulsive behaviour when it comes to liking things I found myself reasoning with him. I explained to him that he can still love The Wiggles and also love Ninjago. And I think I have gotten through to him. Maybe…
4. Quoting Lines From Television Shows and Movies
I am not the only one who loves quoting lines from The Simpsons or Family Guy. Nor am I the only one who loves quoting from comedies such as Flying High (that’s Airplane to those outside Australia and New Zealand), Mel Brookes comedies, Cheeck and Chong movies, and those great Monty Python movies. Oh, and how could I forget those National Lampoon’s classics as well?
And now our eldest quotes lines from Toy Story, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The Simpsons, Ninjago, and Lion King to name a few. He can even do a few Peppa Pig episodes word-for-word. And when it comes to Peppa Pig, the younger one surprised me a few weeks back by saying the lines along with the show in a few episodes. Of course he doesn’t so much say the words as he’s still learning words, but he gets the sounds of the words and phrases down pat.
I now find myself doing scenes with the older one from The Simpsons. God help my wife once the younger one joins in.
I love to scratch. My mum would always yell “STOP SCRATCHING.” But I would scratch and scratch and scratch.
Again it is the older one who shares this. He loves it too. And now it is my wife who yells “STOP SCRATCHING.” But he just goes on scratching and scratching and scratching.
6. Telling Long Winded Random Stories About Things That Only Interest You
I remember the kitchen being the heart of our house. We would congregate in the dining section just in front of the kitchen bench (mind you, we rarely used the table in that room for eating meals) but we would sit there and chat. Well it was mostly me who would do the talking. I would tell my mum about Metallica and how their songs aren’t just loud and angry crap, but are meaningful poetic lyrics will well crafted riffs and beats backing the words. (Look, I know you’re most probably going to get bored if I just keep explaining the nuisances of thrash metal bands) but that’s what my mum had to put up with.
I would talk to her about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Master of the Universe before that, and possibly Star Wars even before that. Her care factor? Probably zero.
And now our eldest son is doing the same.
“Dad, did you know that the Green Ninja can use all the elemental powers of the combines forces of the blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…..”
“Mum, do you know that Jay, the Blue Ninja needs to find his true potential and then he’ll unlock the elemental power from the….”
“Dad, when the ninjas all get together and fight against the evil Overlord, and then Lord Garmadon….”
Yes, this is all he talks about. Well, that and now The Simpsons…
So do your kids have any “generic” traits that you are sure they only have because you have passed them on?