Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Curse you, "Sing, Spell, Read, & Write!"

I've had a revelation. It dawned on me exactly when I lost control around here. It was when I taught my kids to read.

See, it doesn't take long, once a kid can read, that he gets twice as smart as his parents. One day he's working his way through The Cat In The Hat, and a week later, he's making subversive messages with those plastic letter refrigerator magnets: "DOWN WITH OPPRESSIVE BEDTIMES! STOP THE TYRANNY!"

And then they learn to spell, and from that point it all goes to hell in a handbasket. No more can you say to Hubster over your dinner of Beanie Weenies, "Tomorrow's agenda includes a f-i-e-l-d t-r-i-p," because your five-year-old will pipe up, "Well, I hope it's not to the dumb ol' zoo, 'cause I really would rather go to the jet propulsion laboratory. I have an idea for an experiment I'd like to discuss with the engineers." So you're left sitting there, dumbstruck, thinking that maybe you've been right all along - Beanie Weenies really do aid in brain development. But you look over at Hubster and he's still mentally working on "f-i-e-l-d..." and you realize it's not the Beanie Weenies that created this scary, midget brainiac, it's books.

And don't think for one minute that you can avoid the same consequences with the younger children. Oh no. The older ones will teach the babies the communist power of books, and at that point, your reign as Sovereign Parent is o-ver like last year's American Idol.
Pretty soon you'll be getting notes written with blue crayon that say, "No more tuna casserole. For both ethical and health reasons, I have become a vegan. Research findings available upon request."

In summary, I have only myself to blame. I'm the one that encouraged their reading habit. But for some of you younger mothers, it's not too late. All you have to do is enroll your kindergartener in public school. I have it on good authority that most of the kids coming out of our public schools can't read their way out of a tin can labeled "b-e-a-n-i-e w-e-e-n-i-e-s."


Anonymous said...

Yup, once they learn phonics, the spelling out doesn't work. It is amazing how quickly they can keep up, no matter how fast you spell.

And watch out pointing out things of interest when driving. Next thing, they are complaining because they don't want to go wherever it is you are driving, in spite of the fact that you did NOT tell them where you were going. Maddie knows how to get to her favorite Mexican restaurant among other places. And a detour near our house had her quite concerned. And all this at age 4.

Netherfieldmom said...

So true. So true. Another big mistake is English cinema. Our whole family says "avert your gaze" and "are you not di-verted?" It's hard not to get smug. ;)

LadyMother said...

Did you write this?
Application for Permission to Date My Daughter
NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage, and current medical report from your doctor.

NAME_____________________________________DATE OF BIRTH_____________

HEIGHT___________ WEIGHT____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________
SOCIAL SECURITY #_________________ DRIVERS LICENSE #________________

BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES__________________________________________

HOME ADDRESS___________________ ____ CITY/ STATE___________ ZIP______

Do you have parents? ___Yes ___No
Is one male and the other female? ___Yes ___No
If No, explain: _____________________________________________________________

Number of years they have been married ______________________________

If less than your age, explain

______________________________________________________ ______________


A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __No

B. A truck with oversized tires? __Yes __No

C. A waterbed? __Yes __No

D. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __No

E. A tattoo? __Yes __No

F. Do you have an earring, nose ring, __Yes __No
pierced tongue, pierced cheek or a belly button ring?



In 50 words or less, what does 'LATE' mean to you?



In 50 words or less, what does 'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you?



In 50 words or less, what does 'ABSTINENCE' mean to you?




Church you attend ___________________________________________________

How often you attend ________________________________________________

When would be the best time to interview your:

father? _____________

mother? _____________

pastor/priest ? _____________


Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely, all answers are confidential.

A: If I were shot, the last place I would want to be shot would be:


B: If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my:


C: A woman's place is in the:


D: The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is:


E. What do you want to do with your life ? ___________________________



F. When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is:


G. What is the current going rate of a hotel room? __________________


_________________________________________________________ &
Applicant's Signature (that means sign your name, moron!)

_______________________________ ________________________________
Mother's Signature Father's Signature

_______________________________ ________________________________
Pastor/Priest/Rabbi/Bishop State Representative/Congressman

Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual.

You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write. If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases.
(you might watch your back)

To p re pare yourself, start studying Daddy's Rules for Dating ....
Daddy's Rules for Dating
1. If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking anything up.
2. You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her, so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them.
3. I'm sure you've been told that in today's world, sex without utilizing a 'Barrier method' of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you.
4. The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool. Places where there is darkness. Places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops , midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with a strong romantic or sexual themes are to be avoided; movies which feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay. Old folks homes are better.
5. Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me.
6. Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi. When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns.

your ole friend from HSB.
Miss Meg

Mostly Sunny said...

OOOO, man, them's fightin' words. Did you just slam reading AND public schools all in one blog?
A-hem, I am a READING specialist in a PUBLIC school. Okay, so I've gotten that off my chest and I respect yoour opinion, even if it is wrong. :) Truly, I am NOT offended. And you know I love you dearly, my seester!!

TobyBo said...

yep. And you can just forget slipping any pig latin past my dh. The kids always got it before he did, even before books.

Keeley said...

Haha, brilliant! =D =D

Mostly Sunny said...

Hey, I just heard on the news that George W. and wife are moving to Dallas after his presidency. If you run into him at StuffMart, please give him my regards.

Antelope said...

Cute pictures! I assume their yours? Bunhead and IceJet?


Debi said...

Yeah, once they learn to do that we parents have to get much more creative in order to be sneaky don't we?

And man, you slammed PS big time, sad that it's based somewhat in truth, that many of our kids graduate unable to read or fill out a simple job application. Here in Memphis we're just worried about our kids surviving the day. I'm thankful I am able to live where my kids aren't in the city schools here. But I digress..

I guess learning sign language is out of the question?

Chris said...

see my rants never had that prob...i never did learn how to spell :)

Ottawa Gardener said...

Teaching math has its downfalls too like they stop believing you that you only need 'special money' for the rides at the mall.

But mom it says 1 dollar, that's four quarters, and I saw five in your purse this morning when...

Bedtime mom? But it's only 7.40 and my bedtime is 8. I counted by five mom, did you notice?

Yes darling... I did.

Anonymous said...

I am also a Reading Specialist in Public School, who USES Sing, Spell, Read & Write with First Graders. If only, all schools would use this powerful program! You're right, the kids learn, ALL of them even the slow ones! And their spelling is incredible...
To see more about Sing, Spell, Read & Write and Sue Dickson, that incredible author, go to
Thanks for this blog, it's VERY cute!
Christine D'Amico, Reading Specialist, Brooklyn NY