January 3, 2019

Food for Thought

I wanted to take a picture of the Tabasco bottle but my kid insisted on getting in the picture. So, here she is. I was going to discuss the design of the Tabasco bottle (which has not changed much since the first bottle produced in 1868), but now, I’m going to talk about parenting.

The other day, I was arguing with her about something that I fixed in the house (now I can’t remember what it was) and bombastically claimed that I don’t do anything half-assed. Without skipping a beat, she said, “But your parenting is half-assed.” I was literally stunned and speechless for about 10 seconds because I would’ve had to think long and hard to come up with something I do half-assed. It’s true; parenting would be one of the few things I do half-assed. I was impressed by her lightening-speed come-back. If Harvard evaluated students for being smart-ass, she would be accepted with a full scholarship.

In today’s world, being smart is useful but only to a point since there are so many kids (particularly in China) who are smart. It’s just a matter of studying hard and of being lucky enough to inherit the right genes. Being smart-ass, on the other hand, can’t be acquired or inherited. We commonly see siblings where one is smart-ass but the other is naively sincere. If there were an IQ test for smart-assness, the scores would be vastly different. I’m not sure where smart-assness comes from. Clearly, it’s not nurture or nature. It’s something they can rightfully claim as their own. Wherever it came from, I’m glad my daughter has it.

#parenting #badparent #nycfoodie #fatherhood #tabasco #smartass