Kemi, like “chemistry”

Random Musings of the Misunderstood

I have no one to blame but myself… April 10, 2008

     It’s completely my fault.  All fingers point squarely at me.  I can’t shift the blame to anyone else.


     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. 

“M-O-M-H-O-W-W-A-S-Y-O-U-R-D-A-Y-W-H-A-T-I-S-F-O-R-D-I-N-N-E-R?”  or


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. 






7 Responses to “I have no one to blame but myself…”

  1. firstsister Says:

    Oh my gosh, I’m a pretty good speller, but I think that would really challenge me! Hahaha I have to say, it’s really awesome that Kendra can put it all together in her head to speak to you in that way.

    I’m not sure I could do that!

    So sweet that Hannah is trying so hard!

  2. pppj Says:


  3. Goldie Says:

    That is hilarious! and so is PPPJ’s comment!

  4. High Hopes Says:

    ROFL. We played the same spelling game.

  5. […] score on the Wii Fit.  While it doesn’t rank as high on the irritating list as, say, spelling out entire paragraphs, it does become a bit problematic when you don’t share the same context.  Sometimes, when […]

  6. lifeofdi Says:

    My best friend and I used to have two of our own languages that we used with each other when we wanted to talk privately.

    One was essentially spelling, but with -ong on the end of consonants.

    It’s amazing how few people can understand you even if they understand how it works, because either they can’t spell well enough or quickly enough.

    I tong wong a song song i long long yong, bong u tong fong u nong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s