Mark vs Cancer

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Spontaneous Wipeouts

A young child is ambling on without a care in the world. Suddenly, through a mixture on incoordination, head-size disproportion, and just plain bad luck, they collapse in a heap.

Cue the crying.

Elizabeth and I refer to this sudden, catastrophic collapsing malady of childhood as the "spontaneous wipeout." Our children are masters of the art.

Joy may be routinely brushing her teeth, and suddenly she has fallen violently, wedging herself between the toilet and the trashcan.

Grant may be eating his breakfast cereal, sitting flat on his bottom, and suddenly, without any obvious impetus, he has toppled head first onto the hardwood floor, scattering soggy cheerios to the four corners of the kitchen and sustaining a large goose egg on his forehead.

Justin, being only a year old, can be forgiven his frequent falls, but I have no doubt he will soon be following--or should I say falling?--in his siblings footsteps.

New light was shed onto the origins of this phenomenon last week. Joy was standing still in the kitchen, not moving in the least, when suddenly she crashed through the screen door, ripping the screen out of its frame, scraping her foot and bruising her arm in the process. In my ultra-calm but deadly serious voice, I questioned from the couch, "So, Joy. What happened there?" She whimpered plaintively from the porch, "I don't know, Dad. I just went out of balance."

Ahhh. So that explains it. Going in and out of balance without a moment's notice.

In medicine, there is a condition known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV. But this is not that, for this may be paroxysmal, but it is by no means benign.

This is the Spontaneous Wipeout. Who knew gravity could be so malevolent?


Rappster said...

There's a sister disease to the "Spontaneous Wipeout." I call it the "Collision Detection Breakdown." Sometimes, whether walking through the house or through the mall, I find myself about to make a turn. Suddenly, my collision detection system breaks down and I completely misjudge the necessary angle needed to safely clear the turn. In such a situation, I collide horribly with a wall and/or railing. Often times, this hurts horribly. Sometimes, the collision overlap can be more than 50% of my body width. We're not talking about clipping an edge. We're talking about running almost dead-on into a wall.


Tankfos said...

The random wipeout sounds painful.