Being an English major, and as such qualified for little other than reading, writing, and working at Arby's, I had always entertained the delusion that somehow my education would--by osmosis--sink into my son, making him easier to educate. After all, beautiful people make beautiful kids; English majors should make literary buffs--I read enough Beowulf for it when he was an infant.
They don't, by the way.
I was fast finding out that my kid was just like anyone else--full varying potential and willingness. My son, though blessed with immense physical and mental potential--becoming abnormally strong for a boy his age, at any age, and learning to speak effectively before he should have, or said his doctor--he bears the hallmark little boy bullishness for resisting to learn his language as written. He refuses to read along with his "read along" books or to write in any number of those practice books licensed by Disney.
It's frustrating in many ways, yet in his ignorance of being four he has given us some of our funniest moments through his misunderstanding of many of English nuances.
Our first (and best) came from his daycare. My girlfriend and I were getting ready to take him out to lunch. We did it on the same day every week, so my son, of course, knew the schedule just as well and had for more enthusiasm for it.
When he saw us enter the daycare, he started shouting, "Daddy's here! My daddy's here!" As he grabbed my leg, he asked, "Can we go to McDonald's?"
"Yes, Buddy, but let me punch you out first."
He immediately retracted, his brow falling and lip jutting out. "Please don't punch me out."
"But I have to."
He cried. "Don't give me booboo's. I've been a good boy."
I should add as a disclaimer that my son and I have nothing but a loving relationship. He has never been abused, and knows nothing that is not the sweet joy that should be a four year old's life.
But I did find this misunderstanding hilarious, and I could not help it but to laugh. That did not help things.
"I'm not going to hurt you," I reassured him, hugging him as tightly as I could.
It took till McDonald's for me to allay his fears, though I do doubt how much of that was me explaining that, "People say 'punch out' when they are having their time card," I held up the time card, "marked for their leaving," and how much of it had to do with the fact that we were in McDonald's with a Happy Meal sitting in front of my little boy.
That's all from Elliott at the Kids' Table at the Graduation Party.