Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apron Strings

I had a meeting with a financial planner last Thursday. Hey, here's something no one tells you about meeting with a financial planner: it's a lot like buying a swimsuit. So save up your self-esteem before you head in, 'cause you're gonna feel like ass afterward.

At one point during our meeting, financial planner guy said, "It's really something they should teach in school." First of all: Riiiiight. Have you met kids, buddy? It takes them two weeks to learn how to work combination locks. GICs are probably a little out of their grasp.

Secondly: Alright everyone, fess up. How many times have you said those same words about things you only learned about as an adult? In reality, there's only so much time in a day in the classroom, and reading and multiplication are pretty handy skills sooo... you're prolly gonna have to figure some stuff out on your own at some point. Exactly what those things are depends a lot on what your parents know: I'll bet Financial Planner's kids don't know a thing about edible and useful plants, for instance, but mine sure do. (Heck, Small Fry has even cottoned on to some of the salient points of taxonomy - he asked me the other day whether my glasses were in the window family.) So my kids are probably going to need financial planning advice one day, and his kids are not going to know what to wipe their butts with if they need to poop in the woods. You win; you lose.

To be totally honest, I'm always criticizing stuff Medium Fry learns in school. I don't agree with this; I think they should have taken a more nuanced approach with that; wtf is an integer? - y'know, those kinds of things. But I gotta tell ya, it wasn't until she signed up for Foods class this year that I really came into my own. I feel like - I dunno - like a Kitchen Elder or something. All sage and savvy and rocking an apron. Here are just some of the many quality things that Medium Fry has learned in my kitchen that they didn't teach her in Foods class:

- Freezer Management.
- The importance of having a designated no-garlic-or-onions spatula.
- Real vanilla. Real butter. Show that recipe some respect.
- (New cuss words - various.)
- No point putting the battery back in until the smoke clears.
- Clean As You Go.
- Nutmeg: proceed with caution.
- Whisk faster! Faster!
- Don't count your chickens before they hatch, but do count your eggs before you start cooking.
- No! You do not need to mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls!
- Okay, well, you do for this recipe, but not that last one.
- Sleep while the baby sleeps; cry while the baby cries; wash dishes while the muffins bake.
- Are you kidding? No one ever helps me wash dishes. I'm just going to sit and drink my tea awhile.
- Srsly. Put some veggies on the menu, kid.
- You don't decide what to bake; what to bake is preordained by the number of bananas turning to mush on the counter or the quantity of slightly-past-due yogurt in the fridge.
- This also applies to what to make for supper. (See 'Freezer Management.')
- When you are old enough to get PMS, you will need this recipe. Here, I'll write you out a copy myself.

Yup, my kids will grow up able to wipe their butts in the forest, swear like sailors and cook a decent meal. I think we're still ahead of the curve.

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