Don't do that. What?

Sometimes I just yearn for a scientific mind.

You see it most commonly in toddlers and those under the age of 5 when social awareness has yet to eradicate it. It always strikes me as being half way between a yawn and a stretch. It's a gesture that intrigues me as I watch a three year old girl twist and pull her skirt up towards her face, to reveal a pair of pink leggings. It does not appear purposeful, more like the shudder of cat coming awake. It's the same as another child that appears to half pull off his T-shirt. They remained clothed and decent, as they don't complete the motion. Somehow it is not the same as someone undressing. It's more like slow motion followed by a pause.

It should have a name.  Where should I start in the dictionary?

It appears that most children grow out of this phase but others do not. I suspect that whatever prompts the behaviour is outstripped by the stronger motivation to fit in with the social mores. Some others are both stuck in this phase and usually manage to complete the motion unless prompted to do otherwise. Because it is slow and lazy there's enough time to step in. If I could figure out the why, then I might be able to tackle the habit more effectively. It's all well and good to say 'no,' to be watchful and intervene, but it would be so much better to determine the cause.

This is so often the case with so many of their habits. If someone is not aware that they're doing something, it seems pointless to ban it outright without further investigation. If the social awareness and peer pressure element is missing, or not a priority, it is still wise to prompt and guide, but it's not ideal. If the tactile defensiveness component is eliminated, what else is left?

It is not the same as undressing. Undressing is purposeful and fast, over in the blink of an eye. This gesture is a distracted movement, common in youngsters that I never see with adults. If they are both kinesthetic learners, learn by their bodies going through the motions, I wonder if once they start the gesture, their bodies just follow through, as the 'pause' at the apex of the movement for most people, is over-ridden?

It is these kinds of thoughts that make life so unproductive.

Where are all the boffins when you need one?

Come along villagers, out of the lab, it’s time for some fieldwork.

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Be careful what you wish for

He always protests at first, that's just what he does. When in doubt stall at the first hurdle.  He fends me off with an arrow head in a neat pincher grip as I swoop in on my prey.  As soon as we make bodily contact he starts wailing as I lift him off his feet, flailing, “I am be kill you wiv my fing!” he announces.  “What thing?”  I ask casually, knowing that he refers to the half inch plastic squidgey arrow head.  I carry him fireman style over one shoulder floppy and co-operative despite the noise.  Once he is in the bath he will be as happy as a clam, it’s just the same old transition resistance.   Mr. Clean, or squeaky to his friends has an in-built resistance to everything.   “Dis fing dat I am having in my hand.”  He stabs me gently in the back to demonstrate it's magical powers of persuasion.
“Ah, and what is it called?  Do you know what it is?”  He sounds more adenoidal with every advancing step up the stair case to the bath, but that's probably because it's hard to breathe when you're bobbing along upside down and trying to hold a conversation at the same time.  “Yes!” he hisses breathily whilst slurping back the accumulated drool, because lip closure is another ongoing campaign.
“Well, what is it then?”
“It is not dah arrowhead.”
“Oh.  Really?  What is it then?”
“It is dah magic fing dat makes dah bath water beed disappear.”  I step into the bathroom and deposit him upright on his feet in the room of devastation.  Piles of soggy towels and clothes are everywhere, along with a few trails of bubbles and a more than waterlogged spouse.  “Oh!”  he says, standing up from his kneeling position on the bathmat.  A cloth dangles from his hand as he wipes the grime of the tide,  “I thought I'd already done him!  Did I miss him somehow?”
His son steps gingerly towards the bath as the last drops of water gurgle down the hole.  “Agh!  It is be worked!”  he stares at the arrowhead and then back to the empty bath.  “Oh no, now I be dah dirty little mucky puppy.  I need be dah clean and shiny one.  Stoopid arrow.”  He hurls it aside in disgust.

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Dress for Success – Appropriate Attire

How would you advise a middle aged woman to dress for a day out, to a family friendly, outdoor, public event ? I'll make a suggestion and you tell me if I am right? Comfortable jeans, sludge coloured to disguise the stains that will be acquired during the 6 hour trip. Cotton socks and comfortable trainers. [translation = sneakers?] Short sleeved T-shirt to avoid the embarrassment of string straps leaving the shoulders and “exposing” more “flesh” than might be wise, even though the climate is warm. An open in the front, light cardigan for those air conditioned tents. Have I missed anything? Maybe a neon baseball cap to make myself more easily identifiable in a crowd. The underlying theme here, is comfort rather than fashion. What do you think? Will I do?

I thought I would do, but I didn't, 'do' that is to say. I had forgotten a few things. The first thing that I had forgotten, was that my boys' fine motor skills are now so advanced that they can undo “zips.” [translation = graduated with flying colours] My light cardigan has a zipper and two more zipper pockets, in the front. As we queued [translation = lined?] my boys discovered the zips and demonstrated their mastery of this new skill for twenty minutes. [translation = with matching sound effects, towit, 'zip, zip, zip.] There again, I accidentally transformed myself into a form of entertainment, which is no bad thing when waiting is on the cards. Fortunately, there were three of them, zips that is to say, so there were more than enough zips to go around. [translation = simultaneous sharing skills were avoided]

Whilst I would be the first to admit that my mother is right [translation = my arms are two inches too long, to be in proportion to the rest of me] this current habit is only making my bodily defect worse. I don't know quite how to describe this trend of hanging, [jelly legs] off each of my arms, to drag me down, now that they are 65 and 48 lbs respectively, but there again, that doesn't relate to clothing, unless I'm foolish enough to wear long sleeves. But I digress.

The other unexpected quality of this garment, was that it was cuddly and “soft.” Two pairs of hands greatly appreciated this facet, such that I spent the remainder of the time being stroked, pummeled and kneaded, a bit like cats when they're getting themselves comfortable. [translation = “bread making”] But at least it kept them in place. What if I had made the mistake of wearing my other one, the one that feels like sand paper! I would have made myself a pariah and they'd have run away. Anyway, it was probably the nearest thing I'll get to a massage in the next decade, and it was free.

I do worry slightly as hands flurry over my chests in a public forum, not an attribute to be encouraged, but I notice that spouse gets the same treatment in confirmation of their anti sex “discrimination” policy.

I also forgot that jeans have pockets. I have yet to evaluate accurately which is more of an impediment to ambulation: a small pair of hairs in your back pockets or a small pair of hands in your front pockets? There again, I was indeed fortunate to only have one pair of additional hands at any one time. It's easy to see how front pockets help when you're trying to walk in time with your mother, your feet on hers with the pockets for balance and a firm purchase point. The white trainers were a mistake of course, but not a fatal one.

I'm seriously toying with the idea of throwing away all my T-shirt and replacing them with the modern skin tight version. It's not so much to update my image, more a means of prevention. If there's only enough room for my skin beneath the fabric, this might prove a deterrent to people sticking their heads in there, for fear of suffocation. I am gradually adjusting to the raspberry noises that they make on my skin on contact, therein proof positive of lip closure. This development has meant that the general public give me a wide berth, in the mistaken belief that I am flatulent person.

So as you can see, my wardrobe and fashion sense may be dire, but other people are making great strides in all kinds of “unlikely” directions.

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