I taught my kids how to spell.
When Alex and Kendra were learning how to read, we’d play “The Spelling Game” where we would take turns spelling out a word and guessing what it was. They LOVED that game. We played it in the car, in line at the grocery store, and we even played it at Disneyland for an hour while we waited for “Pirates of the Caribbean”. (To those parents who looked at me as if I was torturing my kids by making them do something -gasp!- educational, MY kids were quiet and well-behaved. What were YOUR kids doing? And how many your kids started guessing the words I spelled? Even the older kids?)
I knew I’d succeeded when they started spelling things at me instead of using real words. Alex would ask, “Can you H-E-L-P M-E with my homework?” or “Can we have I-C-E C-R-E-A-M for dessert?” He outgrew it fairly quickly, learning that it was much faster and more efficient to speak, rather than spell. Kendra is a different story. She spells EVERYTHING rapid-fire, letters flying at me like bullets from a machine gun.
Imagine catching that last one in the middle, which is usually what happens. Who knows what I have agreed to because I only tune in for the second half of her question? And it’s not so much that I’m not paying attention, it’s that she starts spelling from another room, and by the time I realize that she is, in fact, spelling to me, I have missed a good share of it.
I admit to being less than patient with the constant spelling. “Kendra, PLEASE use words,” I beg. “I am (too tired, not paying attention, just waking up, on the phone, reading a book, trying to drive, etc.) and I missed most of what you said. Talk to me in words. Without spelling.” Sometimes she complies, and other times she looks at me with tear-filled eyes and mumbles, “Nevermind.” (Honey, in those situations I promise I wasn’t purposely ignoring you. I really didn’t understand what you were trying to say.)
Yeah. We’re working on it.
So, for the past week, Hannah has started spelling things at me. One instance went like this: “Mom, can I play on the Z-K-L-W?” (I blink)(she stamps her foot impatiently) “Moooooooom, please? Please can I play on the T-O-Q-P-R?” (I am racking my brain. Zklw? Toqpr? What is she talking about ?) “MOM. Please. I want to play the COM-PU-TER. L-V-E-D-J-H.”
Riiiiiight. Silly me, I forgot how to spell “computer”.
And so it goes, again.