Hooligan Zoo

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Mr. Literal

on September 28, 2010

We were blessed with a son seven years ago.  A lovely boy who is really all boy.  Tree climbing, hammer using, accident prone boy.

It’s kind of a funny thing, how much like his father he is.  Once, when I was in University, I had written an essay on a poem.  English major over here, so I am very flighty, very much see things in all different colours.  Can often argue both sides of an issue, and agree with both sides.  I had worked very hard on this essay.  It wasn’t a long one, but I had transferred from College and really felt like I had something to prove.

Handed the essay to my loving and sweet fiance.

Waited anxiously while he read the four or five pages.

And fell into sobs when he handed it back with a careless, “No.  That’s not right.”

Not right???  Not right????  It’s about a POEM!


I married him anyway, but I may still be harbouring some bitterness about that whole situation.

BUT.  That brings us to yesterday.  Yesterday and working on Explode the Code with my lovely, intelligent, and very literal son.

It was a pretty simple activity, really.  Reading comprehension.  You read the sentences and had to put an x in the yes or no box.

The sample question was,

“Can a sled fly in the sky?”  and the NO box was nicely x’d.

Then we move to the next question was, “Can he fry an egg in a pan?”  After some discussion over whether it should be a check or an x in the YES box, he happily checked it and moved on.

And then, oh then, dear Explode the Code writers, then you threw him for a loop.

“Will Sam cry if he is sad?”

Eph: hm.
Me: What’s the matter, buddy? You read that really well.
Eph: Well… Momma, I don’t know if he cried. Sometimes things are really really sad, and they make you cry, but sometimes they aren’t that sad, and then you’re just sad without crying.
Me: But, usually if you’re sad, then you would cry, right? I think that’s what the question is asking you.
Eph: **** blank stare **** But Momma, it’s not ALL THE TIME.
Me: **** blank stare ****
Eph: *sigh* Well, I think I’m just going to have to check both boxes.

And he proceeded to put a check in the YES box, and an X in the no box.

Things went fairly smoothly after that, until we got to “Will we trap a bad spy?”  In which a lengthy discussion on how you know if a spy is bad, how you would go about catching him, the possibility of attempting to catch said spy and then failing, which would mean you wouldn’t actually trap him…  all leading to the check in the YES and the x in the NO.

What did this entire exercise teach me?

There is no way on God’s green earth that I am going to teach this boy any grammar “rules”.  There is always an exception, and I fear those exceptions might actually make his head explode.


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