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July 2, 2007

Get Off Your Donkey

I chugged a celebratory gin and tonic when it was clear that all three of my boys were able to read by themselves.   No more fumbling for a reasonable explanation as to why “cough” doesn’t rhyme with “enough.”  On crotchety days I could screech, “Get out of here and go read a book!”  Best of all, I suddenly had more time to catch up on current events in my New Yorker and US Weekly.

What parent can resist seeing his child engrossed in a book?  Not me, and I know you can’t either.  Try to tear your eyes away.

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Reading during dinner at a restaurant, the hell with the macaroni.

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You can read Captain Underpants anywhere.

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I didn’t know boys were biologically capable of reading during a basketball game, but hey, whatever.

Encyclopedia Brown is still capable of enthralling the small fry.

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Look at these intelligent, calm boys who were obviously raised by a devoted, intellectual mother.

(Okay, they only sat side-by-side reading quietly for a split second, but I caught it on camera which at least makes me a devoted, intellectual photographer of bullshit.)
Given the avid reading in the Glamore house, I wasn’t a bit surprised when I peeked in on the twins the other day and saw them hunched over the dictionary, reading it together.  I smiled, envisioning their SAT vocabulary points rising by the minute, and went to take a shower.

It was when I emerged from the shower and overheard their conversation that I realized that they were not being enriched in the exact way I had hoped.

“When people say that they don’t mean ‘sit on your donkey” or ‘sit on your stupid or silly person.’  They want you to sit on your fanny,” Drew said.

“But it doesn’t say ‘fanny’ or ‘bottom’ or ‘b-u-t-t’ in here,” said Porter.

“That’s how you know it’s a cuss,” Drew said authoritatively.  “Let’s look up ‘s-h-i-t.'”

I heard pages turning and bodies jockeying for position.

“I don’t see it,” Porter said.  “Maybe we aren’t spelling it right.”

“We’re spelling it the right way, stupidhead,” Drew said impatiently.  “It rhymes with ‘sit’ and that’s ‘s-i-t’ but it has ‘s-h’ instead of just ‘s.’  It’s not in here because it’s a bad cuss.”

“I heard Mom say it that time when she dropped her glass of wine and it broke.”

“Now I’m looking up the one that rhymes with ‘witch,'” Drew said.  He masquerades as my most well-behaved boy, but I was getting a glimpse of his dark side.

“It’s not here!  This dictionary doesn’t have any good words in it.”

“It has ‘Lyme disease,'” Porter pointed out.  “I had a tick on my neck and Mom took it off before it sucked out all my blood and gave me Lyme disease.”

“That’s gross,” Drew said.

Talk of ticks and Lyme disease evolved into a discussion of whether boys’ nipples are properly called “nipples” or Porter’s preferred term, “breasties.”  At that point I quit eavesdropping and went to the kitchen to start the Chipotle Chicken on Corn Cakes.

Damn, I sure as hell am glad my boys use the Scholastic Children’s Dictionary instead of Wikipedia.

Posted by Anne Glamore @ 9:09 pm • Boys: Demented & Dangerous,Inventions, Creations, Experiments   

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16 Responses to “Get Off Your Donkey”

  1. Awesome! I love that they are capitalizing on the resources available. Very important in the quest for “knowledge”.

  2. That is too funny! I remember looking up those sorts of words in the dictionary too.

  3. Chipotle Chicken you say? When’s *that* recipe coming?

    By the way, my elementary school in Northwest Missouri in the mid 70’s actually used masking tape to cover up those words. You can imagine the size of the holes we put in the pages trying to peel it up- and the number of erasers we had to clean as punishment. Somehow it’s comforting that some things never change…

  4. That is one of the only times that I ever got in trouble in school. I was sitting at a table in second grade and we looked up some bad words, but we used a real dictionary.

  5. I love it. I did the same thing when I was their age. Plus I didn’t know Encyclopedia Brown was still alive and well. Good to know. My child is engrossed in Junie B. Jones.

  6. You bring back memories of my childhood. It won’t be long before they search for an Illustrated Medical Dictionary and ask for a subscription to National Geographic magazine. All in the quest for knowledge!!

  7. Your boys are the best!

  8. Note to self, destroy and throw away any dictionary that may be in the house so that this never occurs. Snort.

  9. Or Urban Dictionary.

    LOVE IT! Your boys are hilarious.

  10. Oh, dear. And I was just congratulating myself on what a fabulous reader my older daughter is turning into. Who knew I had to hide the dictionary?

  11. Encyclopedia Brown, hooray! Good on your boys for having discovered the joys of reading… and don’t feel to badly about their using the dictionary for less lofty purposes. I used to do the same (and I’m a girl!).

  12. Bwahahaha!

  13. Oh, you proud mama, you!

  14. I love it! I did the same in high school with French curse words (only to later realize my teacher standing behind us) thinking that swearing in another language was much less vulgar avec un accent.

    I recently tried to give my daughter the “birds and bees” talk, only for her to exclaim, “Mom puhleeze! I totally knew all that already!”

    You have a great storytelling ability; it’s always entertaining to read your posts!

  15. […] When I was writing about the twins looking up cuss words in the dictionary I mentioned that I was making Chipotle Chicken on Corn Cakes for dinner and everyone freaked out.  I had NO IDEA everyone would salivate at the mention of our dinner and then send emails pleading for the recipe. […]

  16. […] One year ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Get Off Your Donkey […]

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I'm Anne Glamore, wife, mother, lawyer and blogger. I have three boys, and I'm desperately trying to train them to become Southern gentlemen, but that may be an unrealistic goal. At this point I'd be ecstatic if they'd quit farting at the dinner table. If you're new here, check out the Readers' Favorite Posts below or browse through the Categories. I write about my attempts to teach the boys about peckers and sex (which we call "making googly eyes"), my struggles with hepatitis C and spine surgery, the boys' adventures with fire and pets, my mom's death from ovarian cancer, my love of cooking (with plenty of recipes) and anything else that crosses my mind. Join me on Twitter or StumbleUpon or Email me. I'm happy to speak to your group or club.

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