So we’ve come through the hard, thankless slog of early infant/toddlerhood and now my oldest kid is finally at the age where I find him kind of interesting. He is almost four years old and full of curiosity about the world and how everything in it works. He spends most days peppering me with questions and I answer them correctly – for the most part – or with very authoritative deflection. It’s fun, except when he categorically stumps me with something.
The other day we were reading a book called “Can You Moo Too?” It’s kind of a baby book, # 45 687 in the exhaustive catalogue of children’s literature flogging that long dead horse otherwise known as “farmyard animals and the sounds they make”.
Neigh. Snort. Yawn.
We were both kind of bored and glazed after we’d finished going through the motions of ducks that go “quack”, dogs that go “woof” and mummies that go “I wish I’d gone back to work”, so my kid started asking what the words on the cover were because he is in the early stages of a burgeoning interest in reading.
Literacy is typically my strong point. I have an almost photographic memory for letters so I spell like a mofo. I have a fairly extensive vocabulary and a solid understanding of the rules around pronunciation. I like words. I know words. I’m down with words. If there is one thing my kid can ask about and I’m gonna know the answer, it’s words.
Until this stupid baby book.
Mr 3.5: (points at book) What does that say?
Zilla: That spells “MOO”. Mmmm. Oooooooo.
Mr 3.5: (nods) What about that one?
Zilla: That spells “TOO”. Tuh. Oooooooo. See, they’re almost the same.
Mr 3.5: And what does that say?
(points at the authors name)
Mr 3.5: What does that word spell, Mummy?
Zilla: (pauses) Ummm. That, spells….. David….
(sighs) I don’t know.
Mr 3.5: Why not?
Zilla: Because I don’t, OK. I have no idea.
Mr 3.5: Oh, OK.
(pats my arm) That’s alright Mummy.
I still have NFI how you pronounce your name Mr Wojtowycz, but thanks for making me look like a dumb-ass in front of my kid. My three year old condescendingly patted ME on the arm because I didn’t know something. That’s MY inalienable right as a parent, and you robbed me of that.