Thursday, January 14, 2016

Vroom is for dump truck (that's good enough for me)

Benjamin's been doing "homeschool preschool" this year but, to be honest, we haven't done very much of anything remotely formalized. We've done nearly eight months of "big brother training camp" but not a whole lot of academic training. That's probably okay because...he's three.

When his sisters went back to school, though, he importantly boasted that we'd be doing "homeschool preschool," too, so he'd better get to bed so he could get up in the morning, too. He hadn't forgotten about his claim in the morning, so I indulged him and went over a few pages in a workbook with him and found out: the boy is clueless.

Chances are high he knows more than he's letting on and simply enjoys infuriating me more than getting answers correct. I had another child like that once (*cough* Rachel *cough*).

"Let's sing the alphabet," I said.

"Can't," he shrugged.

"Sure, you can," I said.

"Don't know how," he shrugged.

"Sure, you do. What letter does the alphabet start with?"


"No. What's the first letter of the alphabet?"


"Come on, that's not a letter. You know how the alphabet goes! Won't you sing it with me?"

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18...6!"

"Those are numbers."

"Mom, those are letters."

"No, they're not. They're numbers."



And that's pretty much the stuff all of our "lessons" are made of—the kind of thing that remind me that if I had to homeschool I probably would, as my friend Melissa once said, "poke my own eyeballs out with a pencil." Hyperbole aside, we've continued with daily "preschool time," at Benjamin's insistence and he continues to be a royal pain the whole time. Why he won't cooperate when he asks me for a lesson is beyond me.

Today we were going over letter sounds again—you know, "A is for apple. Ah! Ah! Apple! B is for ball. Buh! Buh! Ball!"—when the garbage truck drove by.

"Look! There's a dump truck!" Benjamin said.

"Yes," I said. "What sound does 'dump truck' start with?"

I was hoping for him to say something like "Dump truck. Duh, duh, dump truck," since that's what we'd been practicing doing.

Instead he said, "Vroooooom!"

"Yeah, okay," I said. "I concede that a dump truck might say vroom when it starts, but I want to know what sound is at the beginning of the word. What sound does the word start with?"

"Start," Benjamin said.

"No, like, what letter?"


"That's a number, buddy. I want you to say the word dump truck and then try to figure out what the very first sound is."

"I can't say dump truck."

"You just did."

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did."

"No, I didn't."

"Yes, you did."

"Did not."

"Say dump truck, Ben."

"Fine. Dump truck. Duh-duh. D! Dump truck starts with D!"

Halle-stinking-lujah. Class dismissed. I need a nap.

Did I mention it took him an hour and a half to put the silverware away? And that was only after he started actually doing it. He spent the whole entire day avoiding it.

"Just like me when I was his age," Rachel pointed out cheerfully at the dinner table, soothing my frazzled nerves. "Only with less screaming," she added thoughtfully.

That bit is true. He might be obstinate but at least he's not a fit-thrower. He does his fair share of screaming, but they're usually happy screams, not crazy tantrums.

I'm so glad three-year-old Rachel only lives on in my memory. She was cute...but volatile.

Benjamin's cute but wild. So, so wild.

I loved my girls when they were three. And I love Benjamin now that he's three. And I'm sure I'll love Zoë when she's three. But, uh, let's be honest: three's just not my favourite age.

1 comment:

  1. We have been thinking of Benjamin each day as the workers are busy with all their various trucks and tractors and large noisemakers on our street outside. They are digging up the street to put in a pipeline, and much equipment is involved. All of which Benjamin would truly enjoy. It is wasted on us--we do not have the same level of appreciation for all the noise and activity that Benjamin would have!