Did you know that Circque du Soleil of the tongue is the #1 leading cause of tongue ouchies?

Remember my beautiful youngest daughter, Helena, and her freaky tongue that she can fold on command like a sandwich? Seriously, she slaps that thing in half faster than you can blink, which is a good thing because that means your eyeballs have a better chance at staying protected from the spittle that comes flying out of her mouth when that tongue comes splashing down.

It’s like a little miniature Shamu tail living in her mouth.

I took this photo today, just so I could show you that the practice of tongue yoga is alive and well and flourishing in upstate New York, inside Helena’s mouth.

Remember the clover/flower thing she could do?


Be careful where you step, would you? My stomach just lurched and I think it might be hanging out on the floor somewhere.

Remember I told you that no one else in our entire family could do this? Nobody in our immediate or extended family? That in our house, Helena was special? Unique? An anomaly? But this time, in a good way?

My eldest daughter, Zoe, decided to make a liar out of me today. She simply sat down and without warning, she and Helena curled their tongues in unison right in front of me, leaving me no choice but to stand there and shriek in terror while trying to adjust the focus and white balance on my camera.

It’s hard to photograph stuff that makes you wig out.

Honestly, for me? Watching my kids do this is like watching aliens swoop down into their skulls and then blow raspberries at me. Double jointed raspberries.

The genetic fluke responsible for this talent must come from me because I am the only DNA my kids have in common as they have different fathers. Just so you know, in case you’re new around here, I’m divorced from Zoe’s dad and I’m married to Helena’s dad, lest you think I’m blogging from the set of Maury Povitch while taping a WHO MY BABY DADDY segment.

So, I must be the culprit responsible for this freak show. And yet, while I can manage to roll my tongue without killing myself, I cannot get my tongue to do anything remotely like this, much to Nate’s disappointment. And just in case you’re still new around here, Nate is Helena’s dad, lest you think I’ve got something going on the side and I’m blogging from the set of Maury Povitch while taping a I’M CHEATING ON MY HUSBAND WITH MY BABY DADDY, WHOEVER HE IS segment.

Don’t lie now … how many of you are curling, twisting or otherwise contorting your tongue at this very moment?

And looking wildly about in a sudden panic that people on the Internet are watching you?

I just want to make sure I’m not alone.



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42 thoughts on “Did you know that Circque du Soleil of the tongue is the #1 leading cause of tongue ouchies?”

  1. Avatar

    Hmm. It appears I’ve only achieved mediocrity in my tongue movements and bendiness.


    However, I can flip you off with my left foot. It’s not much, but it makes me feel that I can still be rock star when my arms become useless. Now I just gotta learn how to knit with my toes and I’m going on the road. Maury, here I come.

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    I can do the clover-leaf fold too. You know when I discovered this ability? When I was eighteen. It would have been far more cool to discover it at eight, when all of the school kids would have been awestruck. At eighteen it was pretty useless, since my face looks horribly ridiculous when I do it, so it negates any sexiness merely possessing the talent might give me.

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    Impossible to read this post without a little tongue aerobics!!!

    I am with you on this, can’t do anything abnormal or freaky (not that your kids are freaky….well maybe just a wee bit!)
    .-= janmary, n ireland’s last blog post is here ..No post tonight =-.

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    *raising hand* I totally can – and did – roll my tongue into both configurations shown by your darling daughters (and a few other configurations as well, mwah ha ha).

    Now, it’s been more than 20 years, but I recall from my Genetics class back in high school that being able to do tongue twisty maneuvers like that is a dominant gene trait, like brown eyes. I very clearly recall that we all sat there in class doing tongue yoga the day we learned that. I’m like 99.9% positive it’s a dominant and not recessive trait, because I am mega-dominant-gene chick, with brown eyes and dark hair and everything else we covered that day in class.

    The real question is: can they (and you) lick their own elbow?
    .-= Heather @ nobody-but-yourself’s last blog post is here ..Mostly Wordless Wednesday… Lilac Festival =-.

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    I just rearranged my space and right now there is a huge mirror behind my screen. Yes, I did pop my head up and check out my palty tongue gymnastics. LOL!

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    Of course I tried it! But I have no earthly idea how to contort my tongue like Shamu’s tail or a clover leaf–holy cats!

    If you could steal your stomach long enough to video them teaching how I have a feeling it would definitely go viral!
    .-= Scraps’s last blog post is here ..The Finished Trivet =-.

  7. Avatar

    I can barely roll my tongue let alone do all those gymnastics with it. I wasn’t contorting my face while I read either. I was happily munching on Chocolate Cheerios LOL.
    .-= Amanda’s last blog post is here ..Living on Post =-.

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    Ironically, it was pics in your first tongue post that brought me to your site to begin with. Why was I searching weird tongue things? I have NO recollection. Maybe I was trying to describe the folding the tip back to a friend and needed pics since I can’t do that?

    I’m afraid I didn’t try anything as I read this, I already know I can curl my tongue into a tube, rotate it upside down in either direction or stop with it vertical.

    I learned these things from a poster I saw as a kid, complete with mirror and illustrated examples. Separately I taught myself to raise one eyebrow (either one, or both, or have both up and lower just one) but can’t wiggle my ears, which my maternal grandfather could do.
    .-= RJFerret’s last blog post is here ..RJFerret: Sure records were set, but I was shocked to see this high recorded yesterday, in the shade! #weather =-.

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    How do yu do the 3 leaf clover. ive been trying to do it but i cant. someone plz help me. thanks!! help is highly appreciated:)

  10. Avatar

    HEY! I am able to do the clover shape thing with my tongue! And all the other mentioned above!

    And I can even flip my tongue to the left and right, so that it looks as if it’s twisted!

    But to tell you, my talent of making it into the clover-shape isn’t “natural”, ie I didn’t inherit it from everyone. In fact, I learnt how to do it. It all happened when I was 8. There was this interesting show on TV which showed a girl who can do the leaf clover thing with her tongue and I was amazed! So for the rest of the day, I stood in front of the mirror and with two fingers from each of my hand, I held my tongue in the clover shape.

    AND HOLY MOLY! After 45 minutes or so, I could finally do it! Although the next day, I suffered from tongue muscleache.

    I am 15 this year, and still am showing it off to my friends! πŸ˜€

  11. Avatar

    I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue and also do what your daughter does, the tongue bending thing. Sadly, I cannot do the clover. =(

  12. Avatar

    Does either or both of your daughters tongues cup upwards into a bowl shape in their mouths when they yawn? The reason I ask this is because 2 of my daughters tongues do this and they can both make the clover with their tongues, however my 3rd daughter’s tongue stays flat when she yawns and she cannot make the clover shape. My neighbor has 2 daughters and one of them cups her tongue when yawning and has clover ability with her tongue while the other daughters tongue stays flat when yawning and like my 3rd daughter she has no clover ability. An interesting correlation I think.

    1. Avatar

      My tongue cups when I yawn, but I can’t do the clover thing with my tongue unfortunately. I was just trying it in the mirror, using my fingers to push the corners in, and I found I could do that a LOT easier when I cupped my tongue, so your speculation is someone accurate. Cupping does correlate with the clover.

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    Andy–found your post on your daughters’ tongue yoga while doing research on, well… tongue rolling. Makes sense, yes? And I also clicked on your bio (even without being insanely bored). I write humor and self help for women and, have to say, I love your writing. I subscribed to your blog. Kudos to you! Keep it up, my dear. Your life sounds as chaotic and wonderful as mine!

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    I can do everything their doing w/ their tongues. I’m also a contortionist and can fold completely in half! πŸ™‚ I’m planning on going to Cirque Du Soleil someday! I’m so excited!! Wish me luck! πŸ˜€

  15. Avatar

    I can do the clover thingy πŸ™‚ as well as a couple other tongue tricks πŸ™‚ see if they can lick their noses/chins. i guess that’s supposed to be rare too, but i can do it.
    i wonder if anyone knows if there’s an actual statistic on how many people can do this stuff… O.o … anyone?

  16. Avatar

    Tongue bending is not actually a genetic trait, it turns out. I remember learning that it was, but apparently it isn’t :/

  17. Avatar

    I can actually do both of those…. my parents and people I show get scared and font think its possible LOL that is why I just loomed it up… to see if other people can do it

  18. Avatar

    I can fold my tongue in half too! It’s not impossible apparently it has something to do with an extra muscle? I haven’t a clue but I can’t do the clover thing, I’ve tried but I can’t. But I can also flip my tongue.upside down:)

  19. Avatar

    Oddly enough I have always been able to do this. Just recently though to look on the Internet and this is the first thing I saw ????????????

  20. Avatar

    Thank you so much for sharing this!! I thought was the only one who could fold my tongue! I have yet to meet someone who shares my ability!

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