Tag - spelling

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El Gato
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Otter Facts

El Gato

Dear John, as I awoke to your smiling face I could see you were in a hurry — I figured you wanted to get back to your papers full of pink words — the ones I made you leave downstairs on the kitchen table. It was time to stop sleeping with them when you began to get up in the dead of night like the old days, clutching them and demanding to start the day at 2 a.m. Oh no, no. We are not doing that again.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that you’ve now taken to watching youtube videos in Spanish. You hit pause when a new word appears and demand that I write each one down. You listen to the word, repeat the word, “Nutria,” then say, “Write nutria?”

What a lengthy relationship you’ve had with Baby Einstein. All of the DVDs, all of the puppets, all of the books and bath toys and plush characters: I’d guess the entire merchandise line, even the music.

“Time to get up, Mommy? Go downstairs? Ooh-kay!” I was about to oblige but you pulled me to you instead and gave me a hug. That was just fine with me. I wasn’t ready to slide my feet on the cold floor just yet.

One quick hug and then you were ready to split but I stopped you and said, “Hey John? How do you say ‘cat‘ in Spanish?” I waited one beat, two beat, three beats — and you whispered, you said, “Ga-to.”

Seriously. I stared at you in disbelief — could you have memorized a bunch of Spanish words? I tried another: “How do you say ‘dog‘ in Spanish? “Perro,” you said a little louder this time. “How do you say ‘blue‘ in Spanish?” “Azul,” you said.

I laughed aloud at all that you keep hidden, at how very smart you are. And in the silence that followed you said to me, “How do you say ‘red’ in Spanish?” I waited and you answered yourself, “Ro-jo!

And I chased you downstairs to begin our day.

Otter Facts

“Otters are fun creatures to watch and they are highly intelligent.”

—from Top Otter Facts, otter-world.com

My child is in love with otters. Lately Baby Einstein’s Neighborhood Animals has been on high rotation around here. Who knows what it is about the otter that is fascinating him so, but he’s been taking more photos of the TV screen (*note new image count: 1,067):

And he was so adamant that I spell OTTER for him that he spelled it all by himself after I told him that if he did he could have chocolate ice cream.

Last night after I had tucked him and his brother into bed, I heard his little feet scurry across the room. He had pulled a book off the shelf and had torn out the page on Otter Facts. When I went back up to investigate, well…

… he read it to me. He stumbled over “often” and “webbed” and “waterproof.” But he read it to me.

This morning he brought me paper and a crayon and said “Mommy draw otter.” I looked at him and said “No. John draw otter.” And then, even though it was 6:30 a.m., or perhaps because it was 6:30 a.m., I said, “John…Paint otter?”

“Paint?” he said. And so there we sat — did I mention it was 6:30 a.m.? I handed him a brush and paint and water. He caught my gaze, unsure. I told him he could do it and  a split second later he began. He painted.

Fact: Otters are pretty darn cute. And intelligent. Not unlike this child.

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