I have a (bad?) habit of considering just about everything a teaching moment for my daughter. She’ll ask me some simple question and I’ll grin evilly and she’ll sigh, knowing that she’s going to have to listen to me explain something in nauseating detail for the next half-hour or so.

So we are driving up to Grandma’s yesterday and we pass a sign touting how AT&T and SBC have merged again and I tell my daughter about how they were forced to break up in the mid-Eighties because the government felt that AT&T was misusing its monopoly power. Then I said, “Okay, now the government is letting the smaller companies like SBC rejoin AT&T again. Why do you think the government is allowing that?”

And she replied, “Um…so you can talk about it?”

A fine bit of snark, that. I was actually pretty proud, even though it was directed towards me.

She did quickly come up with the answer that I was looking for (that the telephone companies now have viable competition from cellphones and the internet) so I was proud of her for that, too.