Jalapeno Noon

Peter paints a peck of piquant peppers

The Four-Year-Old, face crumpled from the jalapeno her father has just encouraged her to try: “Daddyo, I’m not happy.”

Daddyo: “Drink some milk.”

The Four-Year-Old does, face uncrumpling as she slurps.

Daddyo: “Now, drink some water and swish it around your mouth a bit before you swallow.”

The Four-Year-Old does.

Daddyo: “Now eat a carrot.”

The Four-Year-Old, laughing: “You’re making this up.”

(Image of the jalapenos painted by Rachel Pasch / justmakeit, whose Flickr photostream is far more reflective than I had expected. I hope you start painting again soon, Rachel.)

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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