Oliver took it upon himself to teach Hazel how to read today.  He asked me how he had learned, and I told him that we had started with simple letter combinations, like AT, and then built on them, by adding “B” for bat, and “C” for cat, etc.

So, Oliver walked over to his chalkboard and wrote “AT” on it.  His conversation with Hazel proceeded like this:

Oliver:  Hazel, A-T says at.

Hazel:  At.

Oliver:  Good!  Now you can read at!!

(Oliver writes a B in front of at.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what sound does B make?

Hazel:  Buh.

Oliver:  That is correct.  [Note:  He really said that!]  Now, if you put ‘buh’ with ‘at’, what does it say?

Hazel:  Buh-at.

Oliver:  That is incorrect.  It says bat.

Hazel: Bat.

Oliver:  Good!  You can read bat now.

(Oliver writes an S after bat.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what sound does S say?

Hazel:  Ssss.

Oliver:  Right.  Now, if you add S to bat, it says bats.

Hazel:  Bats.

Oliver:  Correct!  You can read bats now.

(Oliver writes a QU after BATS.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what does QU say?

Hazel:  I don’t know.  (walks away.  Oliver grabs her arm and drags her back.)

Oliver:  QU says “kwuh”.

Hazel:  Kwuh.

Oliver:  Good!  Now, what does it say at the end of bats?

Hazel:  Kwuh.

Oliver:  Batsqu.

Oliver then writes a – and underneath it writes the word LINE.  The chalkboard now looks like this:


Oliver:  Hazel, L-I-N-E says line.

Hazel:  Line.

Oliver:  Now it says batsquline.

Hazel:  Batsquline.

Oliver (looking at me):  Mommy, Hazel can read now.  I just taught her.

Mr. Speaker

I love harmless practical jokes. You know, the kind where nobody is embarrassed or gets their feelings hurt, or gets so scared that they actually wet themselves.

When the November 15, 2010 issue of Time magazine arrived in the mail, Kullervo and I joked about how our newly elected Speaker of the House looked like he was making a kissy-face.

I have since ripped the cover off and leave it places for Kullervo to find. It never fails to make us both laugh. (And if I can manage to snap a pic of Kullervo kissing him back I will definitely post it!) So far, Mr. Speaker has greeted the hubby when he got into bed (see pic below) and when he got out of the shower. Where will he appear next?

It’s A Miracle!

When we left Trader Joe’s today, Oliver saw an American flag flying over a nearby building.

I heard him say, “It’s a miracle!”

I asked what he meant, thinking he would answer with something about seeing the American flag meant to him, maybe mentioning Kullervo’s military service, or something heartwarming. Or I thought he would be amazed at the flag flying in the wind or something along those lines.

His response?

“Not a miracle, Mommy. It’s America!”

Well, at least he knows our flag.

Let Condemnation (and Literalness) Reign

Oliver told me today that he wanted to put on a show in the living room. He elaborately set up chairs for Hazel and me to sit in and turned off all the lights. I was excited to watch, and wondered if he would be dancing or singing or performing a skit of some kind.

So Hazel and I sat down, and then Oliver came and sat down with us. He said, “Don’t worry, I have, like, five thousand remotes.”

He then pointed an imaginary remote control at the cleared space in the living room, and said we were watching a show about kitties.

No skit. No dancing. No singing. No poetry recitals. Nope. My kid wanted to put on a pretend show.