The acrimonious nature vs. nurture debate is well documented and every expert (and parent) seems to have their own theories. Well, here’s mine.

I know Meebs got her blue eyes and blond hair from MeebsDad and I—genetics say this was predetermined since we both carry recessive genes for hair and eye colour. It was genetically impossible for her not to be a blue-eyed, blond-haired baby. As for features, Meebs without a doubt has her daddy’s eyes and my pouty mouth. This much is obvious.

But where did she get her quick temper and impatience?

We noticed as a newborn that Meebs quickly became frustrated when things didn’t go the way she wanted. Her little temper flared at the smallest annoyances. As a toddler, her frustration is more pronounced. These aren’t typical toddler tantrums over not getting what she wants; her frustration is often with herself. For example, when playing with her shape sorter box, if she doesn’t match the shape with the right opening in the first few seconds then she gets frustrated. I often sit with her, coaching her to take a deep breath and try a different opening. With some encouragement and lots of high-fives she can fit all the shapes into the right openings without getting upset. But if I leave her be, the shapes often get chucked across the room after a few moments, or, she lifts the lid off the box, puts the shape inside and puts the lid back on. A resourceful solution, but she looks very guilty about “cheating”.

The nurture debate says these behaviours are learned and originate from the environmental factors of our upbringing. The nature debate says that things like behaviour, intelligence, and personality may at least in part be genetic predispositions, such as “animal instincts.”

Since she exhibited these traits as a newborn it seems unlikely that her temper was “learned”. Further, in those early months she spent most of her time with me, and I’m extremely patient with her. So based on the nature debate, wouldn’t Meebs be patient? To add another dimension of intrigue, her demeanour is eerily familiar.

MeebsDad is exactly the same way. Something that might take 15 minutes to frustrate the average person, takes just 15 seconds to frustrate MeebsDad. Just give him a car seat to install, IKEA furniture to assemble, or Christmas lights to unravel and you will see an eyebrow-raising, sitcom-worthy display of frustration.

At least in this case I’m inclined to believe that my little Meebs has inherited her daddy’s temper along with his eyes. Perhaps over time though we can nurture away her nature-imposed temper.