Thursday, November 5, 2009

Father of the Year

Yesterday, my 10 year old, Thing 1, came up to me and said, "Dad, I have a silly question. I can't believe I'm asking this, but how do you spell 'near'?"

"Near?" I asked, making sure I heard her.

"Yes, near. I know I should know this, but it's been a long day and I just can't think straight."

"Simple," I said. "Just remember this classic rule, when spelling with vowels. 'I before E, except after C.'"

She looked at me funny, and thought for a minute. I could see the gears turning. Finally, she looked at me like I was a giant idiot and said, "There's no "i" in "near". I know there's an e, it's n-e-blank-r, but there's no i."

"Thank goodness you at least knew that," I replied. "I'll give you a hint, it's another vowel, and you already eliminated one of them."

I think she then went and asked her mom.


  1. Okay. You made me burst out laughing with that one – and not for the reason you might think. I’ve just been playing an online game where you find words from a grid of random letters. The words can be spelled out in any direction – up, down, left or right.

    You have no idea how easy it is to lose track of even the most basic spelling when under such pressure. Or perhaps you have…

    (Things aren’t helped by the sheer amount of bloody awful spelling you see on the internet either.)

  2. Today, I read how someone was "ease dropping" on their neighbor. And, of course there's the newest word in our lexicon, "pwned."

    Naturally, I was just having fun with the poor girl, but I'm very relieved she caught my ruse. I think if she included an 'i' I would not have written this entry. Well, I would have, but I would've said it was a friend's child or something.

  3. You wait a few years. Then you’ll have sudden, frightening mental blocks when answering questions like that. Or, worse, your daughters will be correcting your spelling.

  4. Ahhh that is the part of parenthood I am waiting for.

  5. Nice!

    My favorite is "Lemme ax you this..."

  6. Naut, trust me on this, one of the best parts of parenting is playfully screwing with your kids' brains.

    I particularly enjoy the blank stares when I tell my soccer team of 4-5 year olds, "The name on the front of your jersey is more important than the name on the back."

  7. Simon, the girl is already correcting me when I use modern slang incorrectly. I was embarrassed to be corrected and told that nobody says "it sucks" anymore. It's now "that's suckish."

    YD, thankfully, one of the joys of moving to Cobb County GA is that rarely, VERY rarely, do you hear anyone axe a question.

  8. I hear people axe questions all the time here.

    Last week I heard two of my 40-50ish co-workers say that they were going to spend the weekend "chillaxing" and I almost vomited.

    I'm proud that you didn't just answer the question for her. Now she will think twice before asking you important stuff.

  9. More importantly, I am curious what she thought the missing letter might have been? N-E-X-R? N-E-B-R? I guess I will assume she had settled on A and E as the possibilities.

  10. It's times like these you wish you had a installed in your head.

  11. Ian, I was at least able to get her to agree O and U were not possibilities. From there, she was able to narrow it down.

    Nat, I was actually at my computer working, I could've pulled it up. But it was a lot more fun messing with her mind.