The Matron has expressed recent concern regarding Merrick's reading abilities, or more appropriately, lack thereof. Her recent teaching experiences, combined with Merrick's disinterest in all things Academe, have rendered the Matron seriously concerned for this 5 year old's future!
So . . . yesterday, packed all sardine-like onto the freeway and going just about that pace (the dead salty ones, that is), her instructional impulses were piqued when Merrick said: "Mama? Does that license pwate spell cow?"
H W A 4 8 1
Matron: "No, that doesn't spell cow. License plates don't spell words -- but (insert inspiration!) we can read the letters and numbers. What letters do you see?"
Merrick: "Q? Is the fwist one Q?"
Matron: "It makes an huh sound. Like HAmburger. Try again."
Scarlett: "Don't even bother, Mama. He's hopeless."
After an agonizing romp through three letters (he knew A), the Matron inquired after the first number? 4
Small silence while the Matron wondered if her bloodline was headed to Planet Ivy.
Merrick: "Mama? What's the B wowd? Can I say the B wowd?"
Hmmmmm. . . child unable to and uninterested in reading, makes Inquiry into the Word. Doesn't matter which one - does it?
Matron: "Yes! Yes, you can say the B word. You can spell it. Sound it out."
Merrick (JOY): "Weally?"
Matron: "The B word is B - itch. What do you think that second letter is. iii sound.
Scarlett: "Mom! You're teaching him to swear!"
Merrick: "Is the lettew a A?"
And so it went, through the traffic jam, two B words ("What's the letter that sounds like ah?"), one D word and one A word, arriving home just before running out of fairly harmless language choices.
Profanity as pedagogical tool! Now there's high end parenting. Today, he asked for another. The Matron gave that child the all time, most dangerous BAD swear word- ever.
"Frankenberry! Frankenberry is the WORST. Merrick, don't ever ever say that in public! Now what letter does that start with? FFFFF sound?"
Merrick lit up like a Christmas tree. "Q?"