Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Is it bad parenting to just tell her it spells "smartass"?

“What does this spell, Mom?” Adriana was holding up an index card on which she’d written out E-D-A-D. She likes to string together random letters and ask me what they spell. Sometimes she does hit on a word or an acronym, and I tell her when she has done that. Other times I will try to pronouce the word for her, if it happens to have any vowels in it, which makes her giggle, and sometimes remind her that not all letters make words.

“That spells ‘edad,’ the Spanish word for age,” I told her.

“I know Spanish?” She exclaimed happily. “Like Elena? Okay, what does this spell?” On the back of the card she’d written out N-M-A-F-r-F-E. (And yes, the R was in lower case.)

“I don’t think that spells anything. It’s just letters.”

“I think it might be Spanish. I think you just don’t know Spanish like me and Elena.”

“Oh, then what does it say?”

“I don’t know,” she told me. “I don’t know how to read.”

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