Potato, Potahto: A Story of Me, a Fictional High School Football Player, and My Kids.

Last night I was in such a hurry to gobble down some delicious deli-purchased “loaded baked potato salad” that I grabbed a fork and began inhaling the goodness before my kid could come around the corner and accuse me of doing anything wrong.  Admittedly, my intention was to consume as much of it as possible because let’s face it–kids don’t appreciate pricey pre-made deli salads.  Plus there was still one last baggie of microwaveable Kirkland edemame in the freezer–my kids got their servings of vegetables after all, so pipe down you guys.

But with my head still inside the fridge I noticed that my frantic desperation to shove the creamy, bacon-laden, green onion-topped side dish into my face-hole caused me to grab a fork with the wrong hand and literally begin shoveling the food into my mouth.  I was eating with the wrong hand–have you tried this recently?  I was lucky to even get the fork near my mouth, much less finish half a pint in three minutes (ahem).  I did slow down though, just to behold the sight.  I gripped the fork in a most caveman-like way, then stabbed at the food, and then sort of stabbed the food into my mouth.  All I know is that there was lots of stabbing.  I was embarrassed.  I darted my eyes in either direction, making sure nobody witnessed all of my awkward stab-eating and then slowly capped the container.  I couldn’t get over how weird it felt–not the secret binging of potato salad deliciousness, but doing it with the wrong hand.

I am left handed.  But this time, I “ate” with my right hand.  There are American pig farmers who shovel slop into troughs more delicately than my right hand was able to place potato chunks into my mouth.   For a few moments there I was a neanderthal:  “FOOD.  GOOD.  PUT HERE. (unintelligible) MMMM.”  Honestly, I should check my hair to make sure some errant mayo residue isn’t still visible.  Imagine a husky, hungry, overworked young high school wannabe football player.  The kind of kid who drinks a gallon of milk a day.  After his two-a-day he sits down to dinner and doesn’t even care what’s on his plate or what it tastes like–he needs protein and carbs inside his belly and preferably before he passes out on his bed in a Gatorade-induced electrolyte coma and the dim glow of Angry Birds Star Wars Edition.  He’s a machine.  His thick, fork-grasping fingers are the vehicle which delivers food to his face.  He finds a way to get the job done and now here we are back in the glow of my fridge, me gripping this fork and stabbing potatoes into my mouth.

So anyway, this is a post about the twins and their handedness.  It’s something that’s been on my mind, but then last night I grabbed that fork in a weird way which made me write all that and I’m not even sure what that has to do with my kids.  It’s been fun to write so far, though.

True to their theme of “yin and yang”, Lauren is mostly left handed (unless she’s being evaluated by an occupational therapist, in which case she “just can’t decide!”) while Kyle is steadfastly a typer.  That’s right.  He types.  He’s right handed if you force him to hold a writing instrument, but his kindergarten team introduced him to a keyboard last year and he found he can express himself so much more with a typewriter.  And I love it!  A pencil requires hand strength, requires grip.   He can’t apply the pressure to write words with a pencil.  But with a keyboard he can express volumes. Still, he exhibits typical attributes of a left brainer–excels at math and problem solving but struggles to express his creative side, keyboard or not.

Lauren though, she’s my girl.  A fellow lefty.  I totally relate to her.  She starts the day left-handed (writing, eating), and as the day wears on and she fatigues, she tends to favor her right hand.  I like to think she’s training herself to be ambidextrous but I can see the telltale signs of a right brainer–she’s artistic, imaginative, expressive, and creative.  I don’t mean to suggest that her twin brother is none of these things, but…well, kind of.

The twins have just finished kindergarten, and I understand that handedness might still be waiting to establish itself with them.  As for me?  Well, I just hope that eating my next meal/late-night fridge snack is something so normal and not awkward that I don’t feel the need to blog about it.

And with that, send forth upon me some epic potato salad recipes–something I can’t buy from Safeway.  Pretty please?

potato salad







Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at byrdsforacure.org.