His Father’s Son

OK – so there was never really any question about who Owen’s father was. It’s not like I had a mystery lover or anything. But we’ve joked about it and sometimes Duncan wants, you know, proof. One of the “tests” that we’ve been mentioning since before Owen was born was whether he’d be able to wiggle his ears. Duncan has this ability to move his ears without clenching his jaw or moving his face. Maybe there are lots of people with this talent, but it’s the first time I’ve encountered it and I certainly can’t do it. I mentioned this paternity “test” in class one day – I forget the context – we were studying a number of plays in which the notion of women as male property came up, and got onto the topic of why women – politically – need to be faithful to their husbands. Those babies have to come from a verifiable source (the father) or the whole kingdom falls apart. Duncan doesn’t have a kingdom, of course (though he is getting fitted for a crown this week after his emergency root canal – fun times). Anyway, we keep trying to get Owen to wiggle his ears. He does, but he uses his fingers, so that’s no proof of my fidelity. He has, however, inherited at least two of his dad’s quirks.

As we’ve discovered this week, Owen shares his dad’s delicious blood. Mosquitoes love Duncan –  clouds of mosquitoes will hover around him while I walk bug-free. Hanging around with Duncan is more effective than insect repellent. Unfortunately, like his dad, Owen is a mosquito magnet. His arms were polka-dotted with welts this week, poor kid. I bought some citronella and have tried to keep him covered, but they target him anyway.

The second is photosensitive sneezing. When Duncan feels a sneeze coming on, he looks at a light. He often sneezes when coming out into the sunlight and always sneezes twice (no more, no less) . Owen’s sneezing habits are pretty much the same. Owen also sneezes after one or two bites of yogurt. I have no idea why. We’ve learned to feed two bites and then stand back so we don’t get sprayed.

These are traits we have to keep in the kingdom.