Conversations We’re Having

As the girls and I got settled in the car after pickup yesterday, I started:

“Okay, Flora and Kate, we need to talk because…”
“Daddy’s out of town.” This was Flora.
“Well, yes, and I’m going to need –”
“Lots of help.”
“Yes, and you two need to –”
“Listen and do what you ask.”
“I — did Daddy talk to you before he left?”
“No, not really.”
“Is this a conversation we have a lot?”
“Yeah, when Daddy’s not around. You get stressed out.”

All righty then.

I don’t recall my mother showing any cracks. Of course, my mother was perfect. Maybe I’m sharing a little too much in front of the kids.


There’s this, vis-a-vis the Bruce Jenner “news”.

My answer, “No. She needs surgery for that.”


Kate’s spelling grade is atrociously bad. If you looked at the rest of her report card, you would never suspect how low it is. It has me (and her teacher) quite flummoxed. We practice every week. We read together — she is a good reader herself.

But spelling. BAD.

Also, we fight nearly every week about practicing her spelling. She hates it. She will procrastinate as long as possible on Thursday nights to avoid sitting down to do a practice test. She can’t find a pencil; she has to go to the bathroom; she has to see what Flora is doing. She throws a tantrum because she’s JUST BAD AT SPELLING, AND IT’S NEVER GONNA CHANGE, MOM!

So we went through it last night, and she finally did it, and she actually got them all right (this week’s list is all contractions). Although she made her ‘d’ backwards on ‘don’t’.

I said, “We need a trick to help you remember which way to make your ‘d’s and ‘b’s.”

“Can I show you something?”


“This is how I think of it. If you draw a big b” I drew a B ” and then a little b…”

I saw where she was going and wrote this: D d B b.

“The little b is mad, and doesn’t like her mother; but the ‘d’s love each other.”

I started laughing helplessly. “Kate!” I said. “I love it! What a good way to remember.”

That girl has an interesting little mind on her.

It’s true, I don’t know what else to do to help her with spelling. I can see when words are spelled wrong — I don’t know if it’s a lifetime of reading or what. I mentioned this to Kate.

Then she said, “Sometimes I write the word, and it looks wrong, so I write it again. And it turns out I was right the first time.”

Hm. Interesting.

“Well,” I said, “maybe instead of doubting yourself, just leave it the first time you write it. I would say that your first guess is going to be the right one. That happens a lot, not just in spelling.”


Later, as I tucked Kate in, I said, “Are you a b or a d?”
“A d,” she said.
“Yeah, me too.”


M's picture of him in my belly

“I drawed a picture of you. And I drew me in your belly.”

Dan has recently told M about how he was in a transverse lie when he was getting ready to be borne. M remembers EVERYTHING.

“Mommy, remember when I was sideways in your belly?”
“I do, little man.”
“So, did I come out of your mouth? Or out of your foot?”
Shades of Flora, this one.
“You came out of my vagina, Michael.”
“Okay.” Off he went to play.


What conversations are you having?

4 thoughts on “Conversations We’re Having

  1. That last one… wow. I don’t know what to say.

    My daughter in 4th grade struggles with spellling as well. This week it is plural and plural possesives. It’s enough to make me go prematurely bald. Oh, wait….

    And as I type this out I just yelled “KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF AND FINISH YOUR BREAKFAST!!” so apparenlty I need to go parent and get off the internet.

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