Write On (or not?)

Parents have a right to tell stories about their funny kids, so I have to do it every now and then. Bear with me.

Mary’s anxious to learn how to write, but more often than not, her only examples of manuscript are notes I’ve jotted in cursive. Even when I’m -trying- to print for my kids, I have a hard time keeping the letters in block. So she’s decided that pretty handwriting’s got to have curls. While the results would definitely not win points for readability, I do think I’ve got a future fontographer on my hands. (I’ll include a scan at the end of the article so you can see what I mean)

Ethan, tragically, seems to have lost his spark since starting school. He’s annoyed that his kindergarten teacher demands initial caps followed by lower-case on his name, as he’s been writing ETHAN forever. We were starting to fill out valentines for his class, when I asked, “Ethan, remember… Which letters in your name are supposed to be capitalized?”

He sighed: “There aren’t any I’s in ‘Ethan’, Mom.” Ethan’s other quip isn’t as cute, in fact it has me a little worried. Ill share it anyway hoping someone out there can identify. He just finished “Sideways Stories from Wayside School” from the public library, but he’s only allowed to choose books from the kindergarten shelf on libary day. Frankly, he gets a little frustrated with the arrangement. I talked to his teacher about this, and she said that she can’t allow him to choose more advanced books, and also that his writing isn’t nearly as advanced as his reading. She suggested we challenge him by having him write a sentence about each book he reads. He’s not so excited about that, either.

The other day he got out of school pleased as punch that he’d checked out a book called “School” that has no words at all. I said, “Well, you’re going to have to think of a sentence to write about it anyway… why don’t we try to think of one now so you can write it when you get home?” I quelled his protests with a short pep talk on how he’d like it once it was easy for him, and how it’d be really easy for him soon if he just practiced a little. He sat looking out the window, silently sulking for a moment or two as we pulled out of the parking lot, till I heard him mutter under his breath, “I hate school.”

I tried not to flinch. Not quite knowing how to respond or what to do, I asked, “Why did you say that?” Without breaking his stare out the window, he grumbled, “It’s a sentence!” We’re working on that. Some days go better than others.

Anyway, I’ve still got one kid excited about writing (at least till she reaches kindergarten, eh?). Here’s that promised picture of her curly handwriting.

Translation from this cutie's writing: Mary, Eva, Mom, Isaac, Ethan, Daddy (those are lower case d's)... and Grandma -- though Grandma's name didn't fit on my little scanner.  Mary wrote this on the back of an IHOP placemat.  Eva took the picture home and will send a copy soon.
Translation from this cutie

One more strange kid story added 2/5/7 :
Mary had something in her eye (carpet fuzz more likely than not) and was hysteric about it. After checking to see if I could get it out (I couldn’t even see it) I told her to blink alot. I even gave her an eye drop, and between that and the blinking she felt better in a minute.

Mary: Ah that feels better now.
Ethan: Why do we blink?
Me: Why do you think we blink? (my standard answer to almost any question is ‘what do you think?’)
Ethan: I dunno, you tell me.
Me: Well, it helps your eyes to stay clean and wet. (they stare in wonder) Yup, did you know our eyes have to stay a little bit wet?
Ethan: Noooo, I didn’t.

And now for the Mary-ism: I guess that means we can’t kiss with our eyes in igloos, either.

I’m always amazed how little minds can go a mile a minute in so many different directions :-p