Peery Genes

ej-baby-hat-bitey-escapeI can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard from my biological father in the past several decades, and I’m torn about reaching out for more stories about mom and about me because reasons.

But I am SO glad to have this story because it tells me that I have been me since I was eensy.

(Also good to know there was regular face-thumping going on. Explains a few things.)

Anyhoo. Here, have a story that cracks me up:

As told by my biological father

“You were small when this happened, still racing around in a device called a hula-coupe. You had a tooth, and you knew how to use it.

I wore shorts a lot, and when I sat on the couch with my legs crossed, absorbed in conversation or one of my many wine spritzers, you would roll up in your hula-coupe and try to bite me on the leg.

My methods of parenting came primarily from being raised around cattle and from watching lots of black-and-white science fiction movies from the fifties.

So when you would try to bite me, I would thump you in the center of your forehead with my finger. Not a whack, just something to make you think.

I only did this if I caught you before you chomped, and sometimes you would surprise me, but after a while I learned to keep a closer eye out, so you would try to sneak one in, but I would thump; you would blink several times; and then you would roll away disappointed.

You were a quick study, but stubborn. We reached an impasse. You would roll up, lean a bit forward with your mouth open for a bite; I would hold my middle finger tensed against my thumb and hold it up for you to see; and you would sit back and roll away.

Until, of course, the Peery genes kicked into gear.

The day came when you rolled up, leaned a bit forward with your fang at the ready, and then sat back. You leaned forward again, this time watching me closely. I cocked my thumping finger and allowed you to see it. You sat back again. Only you didn’t roll away, you sat and thought.

Then you smacked yourself on the forehead and bit the crap out of me.

I suppose this was your infant understanding of the ‘double jeopardy”concept at law. You know–you can’t be tried twice for the same crime. Or it could have been something else, because you were very pleased. You rolled away grinning like a hockey player.”

This episode was so satisfying to you that I don’t think you ever bit me again”

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