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Raising Lefties

Before becoming mom, I made certain, shall we say, presumptions about my future children. They'd need glasses early, just like their dad and mom. They'd be adventurous eaters, not unlike mom and dad. And they'd be right-handed, again like mom and dad.

Turns out I couldn't have been more wrong about the offspring. I was zero for three.

I didn't really think too much about the kids' handedness until my oldest was about 6 months old. We were eating with my sister and her parents-in-law, when mom-in-law said that I'd better work on teaching little babe to grab with his right hand. "The world's made for right-handed people," she said. To make her point, she showed how silverware is placed at the table in a way that makes sense for righties.

While some kids take three years to decide handedness, my first son came out knowing which hand he liked best. All objects were grabbed leftie ... and thrown leftie.

At his fifth birthday party, a bowling party, I handed another boy a ball. His mom looked at me nearly defensively and said, "He's a leftie." I hadn't really noticed how he'd grabbed the ball, maybe because I'm so used to my kids. "Mine are both lefties, too" I said. She got a relieved grin; it was as though we'd formed our own little club -- moms of left-handed kids.

Through the years, there have been slight differences and some small annoyances -- mostly for me. For instance, soccer practice. The coaches all show skills starting on the right. Or holding a baseball bat, where I've got to figure out the proper hold for a left-hander. Or buying hockey sticks. We bought a hockey set this past weekend without extra thought about the sticks. Turns out the set has one right-handed stick and one left-handed one. Not really practical when I've got two lefties. (Note to self: Remember that hockey sticks come in left and right!)

Writing has been another challenge. Can I teach my lefties to write without getting ink all over their wrists? So far, the answer is yes, though they definitely write many letters differently, for instance bottom to top. And I'm wondering if any teachers will complain over the years when they see my 6-year-old writing his numbers from right to left. As for other school-related issues, left-handed or universal-sized scissors are a must. The right-handed ones simply don't work for a leftie.

Turns out my two lefties are in esteemed company: Both Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are left-handed as are presidents George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Benjamin Franklin and Pablo Picasso. According to co-authors Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt in yesterday's Op-Ed "Vast Left-Handed Conspiracy," some lefties' brains may process language and dexterity with both sides rather than just one. And "lefties are overrepresented among the mathematically talented and are also more likely to find unexpected or counterintuitive solutions on problem-solving tests."

Are your kids part of the left-handed club? What are some other left-versus-right issues you and your children encounter?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  July 7, 2008; 7:20 AM ET  | Category:  Babies , Elementary Schoolers , Preschoolers , Tweens
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Comments


First!

Posted by: First Comment | July 7, 2008 7:57 AM | Report abuse

Second!

I'm left-handed, but all four of my kids are right-handed, so I have the opposite problem - it's hard to teach a right-handed kid to write!

BTW, bowling shoes also come in right and left-handed (one shoe should stick and the other slide; it's the opposite shoe for right and left-handed people), as do many other pieces of sports equipment.

As the kids grow up, you'll discover that many magical little kitchen gadgets were built for right-handed people, as well. Just learn to deal with it.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 7, 2008 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Kinda' tough for my youngin's to shoot lefty. With that there rifle we be usin' that there hammer being next to their cheek and all.

Of course, with a double barreld shotgun, I justin' have them load the left side and use it!

Posted by: Jed Clampett | July 7, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Mine and my husbands entire extended families are right-handed. Some of us have slight ambidexterity (sp?) - I hold bats, golf clubs. . . left handed, but still throw and kick right.

So my adopted twin daughters are completely left handed! One of them has never done anything righty- the first time she picked up a fork or crayon, it was lefty. The other one has switched a little, but she is mostly lefty. I have had to learn how to cut paper, write their names, and hold a spoon with my left hand so I can show them how to do it. And sitting next to them at dinner is annoying unless we are in the right "position!"

Both girls tend to write their names backwards, but I think lots of 3/4 yr olds do that. I'm guessing there are lots of other challenges that lie ahead. We start soccer in the fall- we'll see what happens!

Posted by: LBH219 | July 7, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

My parents are both lefties; my mom has terrible memories of being forced to try to do things right-handed (things like tying the left hand down), and vowed that would never happen to her child. So when I was born, they just presumed I'd be left-handed, and consistently handed things to my left hand. And somehow never noticed that I immediately switched everything to my right hand. It just didn't occur to them that they could have a righty until my Granny pointed it out months later!

Posted by: Laura | July 7, 2008 8:19 AM | Report abuse

My daughter started out seemingly ambidexterous. But, she's a leftie now. The only one we know of on both sides of the family. So far, it hasn't presented many challenges (she's 6, too), but I wonder if it is the reason, or part of the reason for her sloppy handwriting.
I do have to say, she falls into the "very creative" leftie stereotype and I love that!

Posted by: Kim | July 7, 2008 8:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm left handed, though I'm not completely lefty. I kick with my right, among other small things. Guitar, knitting, stuff like that, I do as a righty because I don't see any advantage not to.

I never really faced any issues with learning things, and I never had any problems learning to write like the rest of you. I don't curl my wrist over, and no one ever made a big deal, except positively, about my hand preference.

Sports-wise, I loved playing baseball and softball as a lefty: the batters box is always empty. Another skill I think I learned pretty well was mirroring; I instinctively know to reverse everything.

One last comment: yes, hockey sticks come in left and right, and to make your life even worse, most people who write left handed usually play hockey right handed. At least that's how it usually is. It's not always the case, but for most people who learn hockey early, they're "lefties" for hockey, except the people who write with their left hand.

Posted by: kate | July 7, 2008 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I am a lefty and 1 of my 5 girls is lefty (another is completely ambidextrious). Writing was always an issue in school! My mom was kind enough to stock up on left handed spiral notebooks as I got older, because the other ones are too hard to write in with your left hand. They are readily available on the internet for those of you who have young lefties. My daughter's teacher constantly takes issue with the fact that she does not write her numbers from top to bottom, or left to right. I remember never being successful in Handwriting in Elementary school either. I finally just told my daughter not to worry about it and to do it the way she is comfortable and as long as the writing is neat and ledgible I don't care how she goes about getting it on the paper.

Posted by: Momof5 | July 7, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I didn't learn to tie my shoes until a lefty taught me when I was 7.

I'm now an adult and I sail, and I could only tie sideways bowlines, until show by a lefty.

Other than that, I am a switch hitter -- I am more comfortable batting lefty, but I can hit more consistently righty -- and kick with either foot -- my soccer coach dad loved that part! Made me a great right wing!

Posted by: NC2 | July 7, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Two of my three daughters are lefties; my husband and I are righties. We never thought one way about it. That's the way their minds and bodies work - okay by us. The only "difficulty" we have encountered are golf clubs. While they make them, many golf stores do not have a big selection. So when they reach a point to be fitted, could be a problem.

Posted by: Mom23grlz | July 7, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Both my husband and I are lefties, as is my oldest child. Imagine our surprise when our second turns out to be right. The funny thing is that everything in our house is geared to lefties, so my youngest will be the only rightie that feels the need to adjust to the majority left!

Posted by: Burke Mom | July 7, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

LBH: "And sitting next to them at dinner is annoying unless we are in the right "position!" "

BWAAHH! Yep, I learned long ago when heading out to dinner with a group to put dibs on the "left-handed seat". That's the seat on the left end of the table - helps to ensure that you don't spend the meal bumping elbows with the righty on your left.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 7, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

I could also switch hit. But my lefty hitting was "inside out" so I wound up hitting the ball to left field all the time anyway.

Posted by: switcher hitter also | July 7, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

My 4 year old son is a lefty and I'm having the hardest time finding a small baseball glove for him, even after searching all over online. All the left handed gloves are for bigger kids. Anyone know where to get one?

My younger son is a righty but he kicks the soccer ball left footed, probably from watching his brother.

Posted by: Monday | July 7, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

My kids are both right handed, however, I taught them to play all sports left handed first. If you teach them to do something with the off hand (or off foot) first, the dominant hand/foot will still learn. One son still shoots hockey left handed. He can hit forehand shots with either hand, but throws righty. His handwriting is about par with his Dad's: miserable.

Now they are in high school and the one thing I've learned is to not sweat the small stuff. Which hand is dominant is small stuff.

To find a small left hand mitt: search the internet. It is so much easier.

Posted by: not such a big deal anymore | July 7, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

When my mother reported to our pediatrician that her son was doing everything with his left hand, the doctor responded, "don't worry, he'll make millions pitching for the Phillies." Sadly, that didn't happen.

Baseball, tennis and hockey are all geared to lefties (shorter run to first, big points played on stronger serving side and fewer players competing for spots).

The hockey comment above was correct, most professional hockey players play "opposite hand" to their strong side. This is because your strong hand is on top giving you better control of the stick. I should know, I made my mother return the lefty stick she bought for me at age five to get a righty.

I never found sports instruction tough as a kid, I always thought of it as looking in the mirror when coaches were teaching me to hit/serve/shoot.

Posted by: Snidely | July 7, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

great points snidely

Posted by: whiplash | July 7, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

My, my -- the horror and shame of having a 'lefty.' Force that kid to use the right hand at all times, including Curly's suggestions. If they get married, check which states allow leftys to marry only leftys.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I am the leftie. DH is right handed except for sports and DD is completely right handed.

I had to let day care teach her how to hold her fork and write properly. I will also need to find someone to teach her to tie her shoes.

Posted by: shdd | July 7, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

To: not such a big deal anymore: "If you teach them to do something with the off hand (or off foot) first, the dominant hand/foot will still learn."

Not always true, at least for klutzes like me. My right-handed father taught me sports skills, so I bat, throw, etc. righty. I'm terrible, too. :-) I tried to change over to playing lefty later on, but it never worked.

(I did learn to switch-hit while playing little league. I hit much more consistently right-handed, but with more power lefty.)

To Snidely: the point about lefties having an advantage at the plate in baseball is even more true in softball. It's 60 feet from home to first, and the batter's box extends four feet up, so if you bat lefty and either bunt or slap you're only about 56 feet away from first and running when you make contact. That's about an 8% head start over right-handed batters, so it's very common to make softball players bat lefty no matter what their natural side is.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 7, 2008 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm lefty, but none of my three boys are lefty.

I just read an article this weekend (of course I can't remember where) that gave this test to determine the strength of ones handedness:

http://airto.bmap.ucla.edu/bmcweb/consent/edinburgh.html

The interesting thing is even tho I'm lefty, there are several things I do right handed or with either.

I score -66 (-100 is total lefty, +100 is total righty).

BTW, I always thought a proper dinner setting was perfect for a lefty, fork on left, knife on right. I never had to switch utensils.

@Jed
For all shooters, check to see which eye is dominant. I'm lefty, but right eye dominant. Which means I shoot righty.

Posted by: reswob | July 7, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Hey Monday - I could never get a left-handed glove when I was small, either. I learned to catch with it, then DROP it fast and throw with the same hand. I can shake a glove off my left hand into the grass really fast now, while holding the ball in my right, so that I can throw with my left -- and I'm so used to this strange-looking maneuver that I always choose a right-handed glove now. You adjust.

I'm the only leftie in the family. I expected to find that my kids, some one of my kids, got the gene: not a one did. I suppose it's nice for them. I never really think about it (except, as someone mentioned, when choosing a chair at a dinner table).

As you get older, a good set of left-handed scissors is a must. Otherwise, you can adjust to most anything. OH - and I remember using the folding table for the seat next to mine in lecture halls: the placement of those folding tables is otherwise a major back-twister. Just keep the seat to the left of you empty so you can use that seat's table.

Posted by: Bad mommy | July 7, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

"My mom was kind enough to stock up on left handed spiral notebooks as I got older, because the other ones are too hard to write in with your left hand."

Or you just buy normal spiral notebooks and work from the back cover towards the front.

Posted by: Dirty Davey | July 7, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

My Irish mother taught me to eat with both the knife and fork in hand at all times. She called it barbaric to be passing utensils from hand to hand at the dinner table all the time or clumsily trying to cut with the side of your fork. My American grandma was quite offended at being called barbaric.

Either way, eating with both the knife and fork in hand is easier (if you ask me) and neater. Yes, peas are complicated, but you can handle it. Anyway, how often do you eat peas without mashed potatoes?

Posted by: Em | July 7, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse


I am the leftie. DH is right handed except for sports and DD is completely right handed.

I had to let day care teach her how to hold her fork and write properly. I will also need to find someone to teach her to tie her shoes.

Posted by: shdd | July 7, 2008 9:56 AM

Why can't her father teach her to hold a foork and tie her shoes??? Geez.

Posted by: Pebbles | July 7, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Em

"My Irish mother taught me to eat with both the knife and fork in hand at all times. She called it barbaric to be passing utensils from hand to hand at the dinner table all the time or clumsily trying to cut with the side of your fork. My American grandma was quite offended at being called My Irish mother taught me to eat with both the knife and fork in hand at all times. She called it barbaric to be passing utensils from hand to hand at the dinner table all the time or clumsily trying to cut with the side of your fork. My American grandma was quite offended at being called barbaric.

Odd.
My American grandma called called my Irish grandma "barbaric" for giving birth 11 times on the kitchen table.

Posted by: Mmm | July 7, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hi!

As a lefty, i also have some weird habits, like when i iron. my mom's a righty and has the ironing board set up with the iron on the right hand side. Since i iron with my left hand, i am used to picking up the iron with my right hand and passing to my left so i could iron with my left hand.

Posted by: Ennierda07 | July 7, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I do all the fine-tuned type of skills with my left hand: writing, drawing, using utensils or tweezers, etc.

I do all the strength oriented types of skills with my right: throwing, opening jars, bowling, golfing, batting, etc.

Do I still count as a left-hander? Or am I some weird hybrid?

Posted by: Tim | July 7, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Reswob,

My youngin' can squint with either eye! So maybe I oughta' takes 'em to the eye doc to see which'n theys see outta' more gooder!

Posted by: Jed Clampett | July 7, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Tim, you're ambidextrous. Quite a skill if you can perfect it. I was ambidextrous until I fell off a horse and broke my left arm at age 5. The neck to waist cast forced me into using my right hand. However, I can still use my left to do things if I feel like it. Also play piano, which makes good use of the left.

Can somebody get Jed Clampett outta here -- that schtick is getting old.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Sometimes being different works out. Ringo Starr is a leftie who was forced to learn/play on a right-handed drumkit configuration, but continued to "lead with his left"; a major factor in the uniqueness of his style and the difficulty in duplicating it.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'm a lefty, but fairly ambidextrous. Both my children seem to be righty. Never had too much trouble either way.
If your children are at all ambidextrous, teach them to use scissors righty. Left-handed scissors are often not available, and often lousy. Baseball gloves are your own - you buy them and bring them yourself, so no big deal either way, but scissors- seriously, learn to cut with right-handed scissors.
Oh, and knitting, if you knit European style you are using your left hand for throwing, your right for the needle. It's two handed so righty-lefty shouldn't much matter. Much faster than throwing with the needle hand. And if you knit two-color you need to learn to throw with both left and right anyhow.

Posted by: inBoston | July 7, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Can somebody get people who don't use a name outta here -- that schtick is getting old.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Jed never did label anyone any nasty names and never did ascribe certain behavioral habits to infants and young children as others have.

Posted by: You Too! 11:18 | July 7, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Can somebody get people who don't use a name outta here -- that schtick is getting old.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Jed never did label anyone any nasty names and never did ascribe certain behavioral habits to infants and young children as others have."


Skirmish of the Nerds: Part 1/2

Posted by: You gotta stop living in your Mother's basement! | July 7, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

It is my daddy's basement and the Cheetos are fresh!

Posted by: You too! | July 7, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Any chance of getting the offensive post by Curly out of here? And I thought this was a blog for adults.

BB

Posted by: Fairlington Blade | July 7, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Some of the articles on Obama and McCain's left-handedness implied that efforts to get lefties to switch ended by the 1950s. There were still some die-hard old biddies on the verge of retirement who were making the effort well into the 1960s. I ran afoul of one of them, a teacher I had for first and second grade. She kept trying to get me to switch, the only effect of which was to cause me to confuse left and right to this day.

Somehow my mom found out about this -- it wouldn't have occurred to me to tell her -- and she read the teacher the riot act. Her mother was also left-handed, and mom wasn't going to stand for any of that nonsense. She went right out and bought me a pair of left-handed scissors that had "LEFTY" written on them. I really loved her for that; I still have those scissors to this day.

Posted by: BZ | July 7, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Some people may age but they never grow up!

Posted by: to: BB | July 7, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm a very left-handed individual, and eternally grateful to my wonderful first-grade teacher who looked at my efforts to write in rightie-style longhand and said: "This isn't going to work." She taught me to write a sort of straight up-and-down script, basically connecting my neatly printed letters. No twisted wrist, no arm pain- thanks again, Mrs. Wolfson!

About scissors- you can find very good left-handed scissors. G Street has an assortment, and they're also available online. And don't forget the leftie tape measures- they're very handy for those of us who sew and knit!

Posted by: chevy chase, md | July 7, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm mostly right-handed, but write with my left (my "laterality quotient" according to that UCLA link is +62.5). However, I often find it easier to write on a chalkboard or dry-erase board with my right hand -- maybe because it's a vertical surface rather than horizontal?

Also, I use right-handed scissors, but in elementary school teachers were always giving me the lefties (used to be distinguishable by their green plastic handles) assuming that because I wrote with my left I'd cut with my left.

Posted by: Jay-El | July 7, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I disagree that baseball/softball are for lefties. Yes, it's a shorter distance to first base but most positions in the infield favor a rightie. Pitching is good and first base and catcher are OK but they still favor a rightie.

Soccer is another story. I knew I liked a new soccer coach who was working with my daughter when I saw him feed her to the left when all the other girls were being fed to the right. We stayed with him and he turned her into a left-footed player. Now she has a huge advantage. I tell her she doesn't have to be the best player on the team, just the best left-footed player.

She was completely ambidextrous until she started to write letters and then she turned into a rightie. That probably had a lot to do with everyone who modeled for her was a rightie. It took a while of hit and miss and good and bad coaching before we realized she was left-footed.

Not much advice here except if you have a soccer coach who is treating your leftie like a rightie -- find another.

Posted by: free bird | July 7, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I'm also a lefty/quasi-ambidextrous. Only thing that I really have to do with my left hand is write. I also grew up with folks constantly trying to teach me the right-handed way to do things and that just led to me be able to play most sports either way depending on how I feel at that moment...which I find to be an advantage.

Honestly, I don't even bother now as an adult to buy the left handed version of tools etc - I either learn to use whatever piece of equipment it is with my right hand or just use it with my left hand and struggle (ie scissors - it is possible to use right-handed scissors with your left hand...it just isn't very efficient or comfortable).

Honestly, except for a few essentials if your kids are going to be very good at sports I just don't think its something worth getting upset about.

Just be patient with the handwriting - I am fortunate to be one of those lefties that doesn't curl my hand over but my handwriting is still not as neat (and never was) as a typical right handed person. I think that's just one of those things you need to learn to live with and not to push your kids too hard on that - its something most of us lefties have in common.

I definitely fall into the creative category as does my father, who is a lefty as well. Definitely keep an eye out for some potential creative skills (lots of us are really good pianists) and nurture them.

Posted by: vicky | July 7, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm a leftie, both my parents are not. My Italian grandmother forced things into my right hand as a child, but when I started to write as a child I wrote with my right hand but as a left handed person. Teachers noted this, but at that time they felt it was better for me to learn right handed then to try to switch me back. My cerebellum and co-ordination is really screwed up to this day. I write equally badly with both hands.

My husband is a leftie, and if we were to ever have a child, I'm curious as to the handedness of that child.

Posted by: amw | July 7, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Being left-handed is not a big deal and children just adapt naturally to it. The less made of the fact the better a child will adapt to being left-handed. In 4th grade I wanted to have nice cursive writing like my right-handed girlfriend, so on my own I got rid of the curled wrist and turned the paper to make it easier to write. I have nice handwriting because I wanted to have nice cursive writing.(Not printing... which is one of my pet peeves that parents make no effort to ensure their child does cursive handwriting even in college. I find it ridiculous that I receive printed thank-you cards from college graduates who are to be teachers and doctors in life. How did parents let this happen? Sorry, got off subject....) I never had to find a special person to teach me to tie my shoes, I just learned. I do bat right-handed and golf right-handed. I attribute this to the fact that child observe and mimic other kids. I never use left-handed scissors and have never even seen a pair. Let a child just adapt without making it into a big deal.

Posted by: Tina | July 7, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

freebird: defensive positions in baseball/softball pretty aren't that uneven. Pitchers don't matter; lefties have a little bit of an advantage because there are so few of them that the hitters take a while to adjust. The three outfield positions don't matter, either. Lefties have a strong advantage at first base, while righties have it easier at second, third and short (although third is pretty close). Right handed catchers have an advantage over lefties simply because most batters are right handed, and they're in the way of a left handed catcher trying to throw to second and especially third.

Those biases can be overcome, but with difficulty. We had tryouts one year for a travel softball team; when the 5'10" left-handed girl walked up we told her "okay, you're the first baseman". She insisted that she wanted to be the shortstop. We finally gave in and let her try shortstop for a while, and she did okay. But that "tall + lefty = first base" was hard to get past.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 7, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Tina, the only purpose of learning how to write in cursive other than it looks pretty is so people can put their signature on legal documents, otherwise it is a waste of time.

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 7, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat

"freebird: defensive positions in baseball/softball pretty aren't that uneven. Pitchers don't matter; lefties have a little bit of an advantage because there are so few of them that the hitters take a while to adjust. The three outfield positions don't matter, either. Lefties have a strong advantage at first base, while righties have it easier at second, third and short (although third is pretty close). Right handed catchers have an advantage over lefties simply because most batters are right handed, and they're in the way of a left handed catcher trying to throw to second and especially third.

Those biases can be overcome, but with difficulty. We had tryouts one year for a travel softball team; when the 5'10" left-handed girl walked up we told her "okay, you're the first baseman". She insisted that she wanted to be the shortstop. We finally gave in and let her try shortstop for a while, and she did okay. But that "tall + lefty = first base" was hard to get past. "

Oh, my God!! I thought curling was boring! Now I know why Armybrat's missus popped out 28 kids! None smart. This guy is more lethal than Novocaine!

Posted by: Die Hard | July 7, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Die Hard: that's cute, but come on, you can do better than that! I'll await your next attempt.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 7, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

ArmyBrat

"Right handed catchers have an advantage over lefties simply because most batters are right handed,"

"Simply" is blue collar...

Posted by: Hans Gruber | July 7, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Better watch out Army Brat! There are some people who remember you from OB and will whip out a "SpongeBob" song on you!

Posted by: There is evidence somewhere! | July 7, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I, too, believed curling was boring until I watched it during the last winter olympics. There is some serious strategy going on. It isn't just a game of pure brawn, but rather, a game of brains over brawn. I loved it.

Posted by: brains over brawn | July 7, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I love women's curling as it teaches them how to use a broom!

Posted by: Woman's curling only, please | July 7, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I never know what to say when people ask what I am. I scored a 23.1 on the test. I write righty (though very messy) and eat lefty. Pretty similar concepts in my opinion. I throw and shoot lefty, kick either, bat righty, golf righty but sometimes putt lefty, and I switch hands in tennis so I have 2 forehands and no backhand. I can also write fairly well with my left hand and I taught myself to play basketball lefthanded as well. In volleyball I serve lefty too... There are no other lefty's in my family and my parents got me a little league glove for a righty, I used to wear it backwards so I could throw (not very effective)
DD is only 6 months, so not sure what she will be.

Posted by: Bludevil8 | July 7, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Curling: Death Wish 2009

Posted by: Mmmmmm | July 7, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if being ambidextrous is a good thing. My ambidextrous daughter has some learning issues. I asked a doctor if he thought there was a connection and he said there are some stats that show more learning difficulties in people who are ambidextrous but most ambidextrous people don't have problems. Sometimes it seems like her brain works inefficiently, like a dual processor that wasn't programmed properly.

Sports-wise she turned out properly -- right handed for softball and left-footed for soccer. She's definitely not first-base or catcher material so right handed is best, though mostly she pitches. Yes, Army Brat, our team's leftie did a great job as catcher. The 5'8" player tried to pitch but was too uncoordinated. When she finally played first-base she turned into a great player. It's a hard thing for parents but it isn't which position is best for the kid but which position is best for the team. We're struggling with that now in soccer.

Posted by: free bird | July 7, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm a leftie (one of two in my family), and my husband is a rightie. We don't have children, but I guess that the person who teaches the kid how to tie his/her shoelaces will depend on which hand the he/she uses to write with. I don't understand the writing backwards thing....I write from left to right. Do other lefties write from right to left????

Besides the everyday difficulties I encounter being a leftie, I find it very interesting how in Spanish and Italian (and I'm sure in other Romance languages) that the word for leftie implies that something is incorrect or veering from the right path.

Posted by: MV | July 7, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

My favorite thing to do is switch the mouse controls to make everything lefty on as many computers as I can. The funny thing is, I've never had a problem using a right handed mouse and I figure it's good medicine for all the righties in the world to get a taste of the other side :)

I've never noticed a good/bad handwriting difference based on handedness.

As a lefty, I notice all the little and big ways in which the world is right hand oriented. Most of the time it's no problem at all and makes for good conversation. It's annoying when it's something you have to operate or hold close to your hand to manipulate that gets irksome.

Posted by: Liz D | July 7, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"which is one of my pet peeves that parents make no effort to ensure their child does cursive handwriting even in college. I find it ridiculous that I receive printed thank-you cards from college graduates who are to be teachers and doctors in life. How did parents let this happen?"

Wow, honey. I'm guessing they stopped reviewing their children's written work long before college - and most of it was probably done on the computer long before then. They may also recognize that cursive writing has no inherent value.

Posted by: really | July 7, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"I never know what to say when people ask what I am."

Some problems even the know-it-alls on this blog cannot solve.

Posted by: hmmmmm | July 7, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

A pattern is emerging on the OP. The lefties seem to have the most awkward social skills...

Posted by: Darwin's flunky | July 7, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"I never know what to say when people ask what I am."

Some problems even the know-it-alls on this blog cannot solve.

Posted by: hmmmmm | July 7, 2008 2:42 PM

My usual response is 'it depends', which works on many levels

Posted by: Bludevil8 | July 7, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"I never know what to say when people ask what I am."

How often does this come up in real life?

Posted by: Wow! | July 7, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"which is one of my pet peeves that parents make no effort to ensure their child does cursive handwriting even in college. I find it ridiculous that I receive printed thank-you cards from college graduates who are to be teachers and doctors in life. How did parents let this happen?"

Guilty. I'll explain. He has serious problems with small-motor control. People worked with him from pre-school through middle school. I had him with a special teacher for a couple of years who tried to teach him basic drawing skills. In all we put tons of time into trying to address this problem. It was a complete waste of time and cursive writing is not a particularly useful skill. He's good with a computer which is a useful skill.

Posted by: free bird | July 7, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

fr Momof5:

>...My daughter's teacher constantly takes issue with the fact that she does not write her numbers from top to bottom, or left to right....

I would SO be telling that teacher to leave my kid alone and work with those who can't write legibly. If the teacher refuses, I'd be seeing about changing classes or schools, AND notify the principal.

Posted by: Alex | July 7, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"Better watch out Army Brat! There are some people who remember you from OB and will whip out a "SpongeBob" song on you!"

I'll see your SpongeBob and raise you a Hillary Kole rendition of "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered." And I was on this blog long before OB went away.

""Simply" is blue collar...

Posted by: Hans Gruber"

Hans, I'm just a blue collar kind of guy at heart. Oh, and McClane sends his regards.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 7, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

nice comeback, AB. I didn't get the allusion until you pointed it out.

on topic here, for those of you who rate themselves as uncoordinated, would it matter if you were really a leftie, but forced a rightie (or vice versa)? Or is your lack of coordination due to lack of desire or will to be coordinated?

Posted by: Holly | July 7, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

The word 'sinster' means left-handed. Muslims also use their left hands for toileting, so it's an insult to offer your left hands to them. Therefore, if Osama ever gets into the White House (the devil will be wearing ice skates) the lefties in this country will be shunned.

In defense of Curly, Stacey wrote articles about her kids masturbating, picking their noses, and peeing on the toilet seats. Seemed to be rather proud of that, actually, so Curley was merely commenting on past blogs. No need to censor him/her/it.

FWIW, I worked in a Big 8 accounting firm and the majority of our accountants were left-handed.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

They may also recognize that cursive writing has no inherent value.

Posted by: really | July 7, 2008 2:38 PM

Spoken like someone who never uses a grocery list, never writes down directions to or from anywhere, leaves a note at a conference for a colleague, doesn't have to use a whiteboard or run meetings, and generally is unable to function if the power goes out.

Clear, legible, adult (that means cursive) handwriting is one necessary arrow in your quiverful of communications skills.

All of life isn't lived at your keyboard, Wally.

Posted by: Dilbert's cousin | July 7, 2008 3:56 PM | Report abuse


if the power goes out.

Thought of that one!

That is what U.P.S. are for!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Most cursive writing is not nearly as legible as print writing, which is what I use for all of those tasks, my dear Dilbert. Cursive used to function as a way to formalize important documents and correspondence. It doesn't serve that purpose anymore. Times New Roman is the new cursive, honey, and cursive no longer has any value over print writing.

Posted by: really | July 7, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

One thing that I learned from this blog is that the parents of lefties are really boring people.

Posted by: SpareTheRod | July 7, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Or is your lack of coordination due to lack of desire or will to be coordinated?"

Wow, nobody's ever suggested that my clumsiness is essentially by choice, because I'm too lazy to be coordinated, LOL. Would you say the same for those who lack artistic or musical talent - they simply lack the will to be artistic or sing well or whatever? Could be, I guess... I really never thought of it that way.

Posted by: LB | July 7, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

My husband the LE office is left handed. He did have a problem with getting a left handed holster issued to him. But I love him anyway.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 7, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

oh LB. try harder. interest in sports => more practice => better coordination If you aren't interested, you won't cultivate coordination. Hence the 'throw like a girl' dig. I'm a girl and I throw like a boy. So catch that. it isn't like music at all, unless you believe in Suzuki method of teaching.

Posted by: to LB | July 7, 2008 4:52 PM | Report abuse

You all have been so busy here. I feel like I missed so much while my computer was broken. My husband has been so busy that he didn't have time to fix it until this afternoon.
My children are both right-handed thank goodness. I am a lefty as is my husband and we both have been frustrated all of our lives with things that righties take for granted - like scissors, doorknobs, can openers.
We have taught our children to eat what we consider the correct way; that is by cutting with the right hand, holding the fork with the left, then putting the knife down and switching the fork to the right hand. People who don't look as though they are just shoveling their food into their mouth. This also helps them slow down while eating so that they do not get indigestion. Good table manners are so important in life.

Posted by: Donna | July 7, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh come on, to LB, try harder. Interest in music => more practice => better playing. That's fine to a point, but I'd still say there's no doubting some people simply start with an innate talent that exceeds others', both in sports and in the arts.

I am uncoordinated walking, which I have done daily all my life; and in fact I walk and hike quite a lot in spite of clumsiness. I have no particular love of falling down in front of people, trust me, and yet it happens fairly often. So it goes. If that makes you feel like a better person than me (maybe you walk like a boy?) then I hope you enjoy that, LOL.

Posted by: LB | July 7, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't serve that purpose anymore. Times New Roman is the new cursive, honey, and cursive no longer has any value over print writing.

Posted by: really | July 7, 2008 4:17 PM

If you left that cubicle from time to time, you'd be aware that using "honey" as an all-purpose pronoun hasn't been socially acceptable since Dean Martin held a cocktail and smoked during prime time. Do you intend to carry a portable printer with you wherever you go? That'll show everyone your fierce social skills.

Posted by: oh my | July 7, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Have to agree with WhackyWeasel and really on the printing/cursive issue -- I learned cursive 30+ years ago and though mine was probably of above-average legibility, I abandoned it in high school in favor of printing, which was even more legible, and for me more natural and expressive. I don't think I know anyone under 50 who uses cursive for anything other than signatures. Who carries communication skills around in a quiver anymore, anyway? Talk about out-dated... ;)

I do suspect that the legibility of cursive and printing, for both young righties and young lefties, has suffered in the last couple of decades on account of earlier computer use -- but then typing skills are probably up by the same proportion.

Posted by: Jay-El | July 7, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

I think calculators have done much more damage than computers. Kids can't even do basic math without them. Sad to see that some can't even make change in the grocery stores without the register.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I only walk like a girl when I wear heels (also known as the world's cruelest invention). I refuse to bow down before cruelty. You may be falling down because you're wearing heels. just saying.

Posted by: to LB | July 7, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I write left and do most other things right, and I'm equally comfortable using a fork with either hand. I'm grateful for this latter skill, and that Donna (5:02 pm) wasn't my mother, so that I didn't have to be moving my fork from hand to hand all the time which always looked to me like a terrible nuisance. Perhaps I wasn't eating the "correct" way for this side of the Atlantic, but my ancestors are mostly Brits anyway so I can also plead "ethnic tradition" to justify my gaucheness. ;)

Posted by: Jay-El | July 7, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I only walk like a girl when I wear heels (also known as the world's cruelest invention). I refuse to bow down before cruelty. You may be falling down because you're wearing heels. just saying.

Posted by: to LB | July 7, 2008 5:42 PM

Sweet Jesus, knock it off.

Do you diagnose everyone you meet?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh goodness no, I don't wear heels. Can you imagine? Seriously, the only remedy is being able to laugh it off when you walk into the wall in front of your colleagues or pull some spectacular fall. At least when I'm in the woods I can blame it on the snow or tree roots or rokcs or whatever. And thankfully my son has inherited his father's hand-eye coordination which is far, far superior to mine.

Posted by: LB | July 7, 2008 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"Do you intend to carry a portable printer with you wherever you go?"

You do realize that there is a difference between print writing and printed, right?

Posted by: uh | July 7, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Well, I don't righlty know bout totin' a printer everywhere. And I don't know nuthin' much about cursive or printin'

I just be a-knowin' that my ole "X" on the dotted line does the trick!

Posted by: Jed Clampett | July 7, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Cursive writing is much faster than printing. It is readable if the person wants to take the time to have good handwriting. The thing that bugs me with the young people printing today is that is looks all the same, like they were in first grade. They don't even have any individuality in their printing. So boring. Wait until they get out in the real world as someone stated above using white boards and in meetings. Their immaturity will show. Perception is an important in the workforce whether people want to admit it or not.

Posted by: Jenny | July 7, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Hm, I can't resist the handwriting debate any longer. Both cursive and printing can look childish, and both can be illegible, and both can be done nicely. Personally I think nice printing is much easier to read than cursive writing. My husband has amazing neat block printing, the type you would see on blue prints and technical drawings, which I rather like. Most people I know though have a combination of print and cursive with varying degrees of stylization and legibility. I think when you're talking about white boards and meeting and "the real world," legibility rules at the end of the day. A cursive scrawl is no more preferable than any other to me.

Posted by: LB | July 7, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

My, my, aren't we full of assumptions? I don't work in a cubicle, honey, and I don't mind admitting that use of that word has become outdated. At least I am honest about it and don't feel the need to insult you for pointing it out. But aside from attempting to insult my social skills, I notice you can't explain your attachment to cursive and why you think it is so important. As so many others have stated, printing is common among most adults and cursive has become just another style of handwriting. It has no particular importance, except in the minds of a few people like yourself.

Posted by: really | July 7, 2008 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Sweet Jesus, knock it off on the handwriting too!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Germane Comments: 12

Troll Bark: 77

Censored: 0

Posted by: Today's Count | July 7, 2008 9:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't believe sweet jesus would truly care about handwriting other than to portray the word. so maybe anon needs to take a valium or something.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 7, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Knock it off with the 'Sweet Jesus' comments. That's blasphemy. Obviously the 'moderator' of this garbage doesn't realize that.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 8, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

My sister and her husband are leftys, as was our paternal grandmother.

My sister however cannot use left-handed scissor or ball gloves. Dad bought her a glove for ball and found out the one he bought wouldn't work because it was for her left. School always insisted she use left handed scissors. Fortunately she can write with either hand, especially when she broke her fingers on the left.

When we have a family get together, my sister and BIL sit across from each other on an end when we go out to eat.

Their son, is a righty.

Grandma self taught herself to crochet...she said everything was backwards.

My cursive handwriting is atrocious because in 2nd grade, I needed glasses to see the board. By the time I got the glasses I missed most of the instruction because I couldn't see the board clearly. I half print and use cursive. Typing is the best.

Posted by: Pennagirl | July 9, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

To Free Bird
You ALMOST never want a left handed catcher in baseball (cant make the throw to 2nd with a right handed batter blocking your throw). A lefty can pitch, play first or outfield. Only four positions they can't play!!! A sub par lefty pitcher can have a great career. Lefties also have a better jump to first from their side of the plate. My son is only 16 months but throws, shoots and swings as a lefty. I hope it continues!!!!

Posted by: Coach | July 10, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

My rh daughter went through 5th grade in Australia where they don't teach cursive. They have something called Victorian Script which is pretty much like connecting printed letters. When she got to middle school in the US, the English teacher had a rule that all papers had to be written in cursive. Luckily, my daughter was not shy and let the teacher know she hadn't learned cursive. The teacher got her a booklet and she learned, however, she still writes mostly up and down these days (at 18) with her own version of Victorian Script, cursive and printing. I can read it, and she can read it, and apparently the graders of the AP English test could read it as well.

Posted by: ABQ | July 14, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

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