The next Swallows and Amazons book has not come in at the library yet: so M and I have been reading shorter books, and magazines. When he chooses books, they tend to be non-fiction. We’ve been on a hippo jag, but he also re-discovered the Stuart J. Murphy math books. Even Swallows and Amazons have a realistic flavor – even if 1940’s fictional children had a bit more freedom than 2010 children do.
Today we will not have much kitchen table time. Our insurance agent is coming over at 7PM, so I have to have the apartment presentable, and I won’t be able to do my grocery shopping after dinner either. K got up at 5:30, M at 6, so as I cleared the dishes at 7, I decided, let’s get the spelling dictation in. Oh the agony of spelling dictation.
M gave me the deer in the headlights look again when I asked him how many syllables his word had. The his pen went flying. I handed him another one and decided to re-explain what vowels and consonants are, because the definition of a syllable as “the number of times you chin drops in a word.” was making him look like a panicked deer in the headlights, and “you know when you are singing…” made him look like an angry, panicked deer in the headlights. Think concrete Chris, no metaphors…but I think in metaphors…deep breath…M, the number of syllables is the number of vowel sounds in a word (though L can sort of slip in too…)
I don’t know if he got it, but he relaxed a bit, Mom was concrete and non-fiction for once. So, did my accommodation make things all smooth and cheery?
By the forth word, M was making wincing faces, and K was crying too, she couldn’t reach her dolly, and Mom was paying attention to M.
“M, what is it?” I asked.
“My finger sides hurt.”
“Tell your fingers that we will rub cuticle cream in them once we are done with the last word.”
How I long for linearity.
But we did get dictation done.