When Children Learn to Read

Or, what really happens now that my children are reading.

My seven-year-old, Squishy, loves to read.  He is at the point where he reads everything. He will read over my shoulder.  He will read labels.  He will read t-shirts.  He will read basically anything.

There is a fun print my sister-in-law gave The Captain for his birthday.  He likes to make (and drink) martinis.  Squishy now knows how to: 1.  Say martini and 2. Spell martini.

Squishy has become a reading machine.

He also likes to read over my shoulder while I am on my Kindle.

“Mom, what the crap is wrong with this lady?”

“What lady?” I ask, “and don’t say crap.”

“The lady in your book named Anne.  She is a freak.”

I am reading about Anne Boleyn.  “She is not a freak, Squishy, she just had some issues.”

“Like what?” he asks as I wonder briefly how far to take this.

“She was married to a famous king of England and it didn’t end well for her,” I strategically answered.

“Why?  Is his name Henry?”

“How do you know that?” I asked.

“I read it over your shoulder,” he grinned triumphantly, “See ya, I am going outside, OK Mom?”

“Sounds like a plan,” I answered.

Yesterday, heading for a quick grocery store stop, Squishy said, “Mom, the truck next to us has a bad word on a sticker.”

“What does it say?” I asked, trying to navigate through the zillion traffic lights in our small town.

“Will I get in trouble if I say it?” he asked.

“Just read it to me,” I said, with the patience and kindness of a women with mild road rage.

“Bad ass,” he said, “It says bad ass.  Why is he a bad ass, Mom?  He doesn’t look like a bad ass.”

“OK,” I said, using the mom voice, “You can stop saying it now.”

“Well, he doesn’t look like one anyway…Hey, Mom, the sign over there says not to text and drive.  And that one says the service begins at 10, and that one says…”  And so on, and so on.

I think I may need that martini.  Stat.

23 thoughts on “When Children Learn to Read

  1. Just so you feel better, my brother taught his oldest two daughters how to argue their point. Now he just looks perplexed when his kids talk their way around him. Only the 3 year old hasn’t mastered the technique, and that’s just a matter of time. He outsmarted himself this time. Bwhahahaha

  2. Well, look at it this way, when your eyesight starts to fade (as mine has), he’ll be able to read all the small print for you. 🙂

    Hey, just noticed my blog on your blogroll. Thank you!! Such a nice surprise. I really should do one of my own. I will add it to my ever growing blog-improvement to-do list. 🙂

  3. We have a similar issue….a first grader put in a 3rd grade level reading group so we can no longer spell things to each other in front of her – this morning we tried spelling something backwards…..and realized we are not that smart !

  4. We have this large wooden picture, its decoupage or something, probably 50 years old at least. My mother-in-law gave it to us years ago. It’s a train falling off a bridge on the side of a mountain and the caption simply says “Oh, Shit!” I used to be so scared to hang it up, I didn’t want the kids reading it. Then my kids all go so big, I went ahead and hung it up. Then we adopted our little ones, and the other day my 4 year old says “mommy, what does S-H-I-T spell??” Hmmmmm

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