Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Smart @ss

Smart-assery runs in my family.

It is most obvious on the loud, New York Jew side, emphasis on the loud. Family gatherings are a non-stop display of wit and zingers.

But the Puritanical side has a quietly wicked sense of humor too. Fewer obvious insults, but these are sharp people who will notice (and point out) one's little contradictions.

My sisters are more of the loud smart asses; my younger sister in particular comes to mind when I think of the definition of 'smart ass.' But I've participated in my fair share of smart-assery. I was still pretty young when I responded to my father's "Don't be a smart ass" with "Better than a dumb ass."

My son is following in these footsteps. At his recent hearing and vision test, the school nurse eventually gave up on assessing his distance vision. After doing his close vision, she made her first attempt. Using a chart with pictures on it, she started with the larger ones while he was standing nearby, establishing a common vocabulary. Then she sat a chair back a ways and had him sit on my lap. As she pointed at the smaller pictures, he named the first couple correctly and then refused to answer again. We finally got him talking again and then... Pointing to the duck, "Star" he said. The tree, "Circle." Mischievous smile across his face.

OK, fine. Move onto the hearing test.

After the hearing test, one final attempt at distance vision. I mentioned to the nurse that he knows his letters, thinking that his interest in reading and writing might make him more amenable to playing along. First couple letters, right on. And then she points to a C. "E," he says. Hmm, vision problem or is he being silly again. D is F, E is H. The smile grows again.

Diagnosis: smart ass!

1 comment:

Aliki2006 said...

Too funny! I see some amusing/hair pulling days ahead of you...