Archive for October, 2010

Nose for Truth

I smooch Mark.

Mark:  “Hey!  Go away!”  Inspiration strikes.  “You’ll catch my cold!”

Me:  “No I won’t.  I hardly ever get sick.”

Mark (skeptically):  “Why?”

The truth is, after 14 years of preschoolers, viruses don’t get much past my experienced immune system.  But it’d been a long day, so I say:  “Cause I’m Wonder Woman.”

Mark (even more skeptically):  “No, you’re not.”

Me:  “Yes, I am.  I lost a bet with Superman or he would have been your babysitter tonight.”

Mark pauses to think for about 30 seconds.  Then he sniffs all around me.

Me:  “What are you doing?”

Mark:  “You are Mom.  You smell like Mom.  Not Wonder Woman.  I am a super sniffer.  I can tell.”

This Morning

When the day starts at 6 AM, a lot can happen before 9 AM.


Mark (singing to himself over breakfast):  “I’ve got peas like a mountain, I’ve got peas like a mountain, I’ve got peas like a mountain in my sssoooulll.”

I’m pretty sure he knows the real lyrics are ‘peace like a fountain’ and he just likes it better this way.



Me:  “It’s a chilly morning.  The radio said it’s only 38 degrees.”

We put on Mark’s hat, mittens, warm coat, and hood.

1/2 block later.

Mark:  “I’m too hot!  Take off my hood!”

1/2 block later.

Mark:  “I’m too hot!  Take off my hat!”

1/2 block later.

Mark:  “I’m cold!  I need my hat back!”

1/2 block later.

Mark:  “I’m cold!  I need my hood too!”



Feline Frosting Caper

So Paul’s off at a Boy Scout camping trip.  He was in charge of bringing food for his patrol, and he’d done a good job with the shopping, including picking out some lovely frosted sugar cookies.

Now Paul’s at camp.  But not the cookies.

Paul had set the box of cookies carefully on his desk so they’d be safe until time to leave for camp.  We found the box knocked onto the floor, where of course it had popped open, and part of each cookie nommed.

The evidence is circumstantial, I admit.  But only Betsy, the cat who can turn on the radio, is smart enough to have both pulled this off.

Sorry, Boy Scouts.  Make a s’more or something.

Mark and the OED

Mark is busily teaching himself to read.  He’s had some help from preschool, especially the new M-W-F preschool at the neighborhood Catholic school, where they’re teaching the kids the alphabet with the same anthropomorphic balloon letters from when I was in kindergarten.  Each letter has an obvious feature related to its  name and sound (C wears a cap, A says ‘Achoo’, etc.)  They also each have their own little song.  Can’t wait till he gets to F–I remember that song (“I am Mister F.  And I’ve got funny feet, funny feet, funny feet.  Mister F, that is I!”)  and it will be hilarious to whip that out on him.

Anyway, with the help of preschool and his Leap Frog Fridge phonics set, Mark’s having discovery-based reading practice.  The Fridge phonics thingy holds three letters and if the word you assemble is a) real and b) not dirty, it will sound it out.  So this morning he poses this head-scratcher to me:  “I want to make a word where the first letter is G and the next letter is N.  What should the third letter be?”

Me:  “Well, gnu is a word.  That’s an animal kind of like an antelope.  Put ‘u’ as the last letter.”

He does.  “It didn’t say it,” I hear him mutter.  “That’s not a real word!” he hollers accusatively.

Me:  “Yes it is.  Come with me.”

We go to the office.  I have a compact OED.  We approach the hallowed tome, Mark on a chair to see because OF COURSE it’s kept on a high shelf.

“This, ” I say, “is a book that has ALL the words.”  We look up ‘gnu.’  “See it?”

“Oh, wow!” he says.

“Now you are smarter than the talking word box.”

“Oh, wow!”

Problem:  now he’s obsessed with learning words that the talking word box DOESN’T know.  “Can I borrow your big book?” he asks.

“No!”  I am adamant.  Luckily we have a children’s dictionary.

“Emu!”  He crows.  “It doesn’t know ’emu’!”

The Scrabble dictionary also, thank goodness, has a list of obscure three letter words.

Apparently the teaching-himself-to-read project is going well.  I was helping Kate with her homework last week.  “Here you’re supposed to list the spelling words that end in…” I pause, to let her sound it out.

Mark peeks over her shoulder.  “At.”

Kate:  “I knew that!  I just hadn’t SAID it yet.”

Mark:  “Hfpm.”

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