Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Shopping and learning

Maxfield is pretty interested in letters. He asks, all the time, what words spell. He also likes to state each letter in the various signs and packaging he comes across throughout the day.

Last night I took Maxfield out so we could Christmas shop for Lauren. As we approached the store he said, "O.T. A. R.G.E.T. What's that spell dad?"

"That spells Otarget. But that is not an O. That is a symbol."

"A cymbal?"


"What's a cymbal? Like a drum?"

"Uh. no. A symbol is like a sign. And yes a cymbal is like part of drums."

I do my best to teach my kid as the situations present themselves. But it was cold and I could not figure out what the best way to describe what a symbol is or means. And I have tried to discuss Homonyms with him in the past and he and I both got confused. It was like the time I tried to explain what the word "opposite" means. Seriously, try explaining the word "opposite" without using the word "opposite". It is tough.

So the opportunity to educate Max ended there.

We entered the store and walked towards the women's clothing department.

"W.O.M.E.N.S." Max said reading the sign hanging from the ceiling. "What's that spell?"


"Womens?" He questioned.

"It's like girls. The sign means that the clothes in this section are for girls."

"Mommy is a girl." He said knowing why we were at the store.

I explained to Max, on the way, that he got to pick out the clothes for mommy. I knew what style of outfit to look for, but Max was going to pick the actual color. I figure if the gift is from him, he should pick it out. Plus, if Lauren does not like it, I can always blame the kid.

I pointed to clothing rack and said, "Okay Max. Pick one for mommy."

He took his job very seriously. He studied the various colors. He walked around the circular rack. Then he noticed the letters on the hangers.

"Hey Dad." he said. "That has an M on it. M is for Max."

"That's right."

"This one has and L on it. Ooh dad. This one has an X and an L on it. X is in Max."

"Okay. Well lets pick one Maxfield. Pick a color that you think mommy will like." I said trying to redirect his focus on the task.

"Okay." Max said. "Let's get this one with lot's of X's on it. X.X.L."

"No Max. Let's stick to the M's."

"But I want to get the one with lots of Xs."

It was time for another lesson. And I thought discussing Homonyms was tough.


Unknown said...

Hee hee. :)

Good luck there, William.

Shannon said...

You and I are living parallel lives as parents. I have a kindergartener and a preschooler spelling things out and asking what words they are all day long.

I pray they never hear of homonyms. That would send me over the edge.

Moi said...


Here is an easy way to explain it:

Never buy a woman clothes with an X in it. Even if she needs clothes with an X in it.

And when he asks why, just say it's a rule.

Amber said...

You're right it is time for another lesson! You better nip that in the bud right now mister!

OhTheJoys said...

Cute, though I would have said Lauren needed an S.

Anonymous said...

Ah, "What does x mean?" Our youngest is five, so we're getting that a lot. My favorite:

"What does 'any' mean?"


I'm a freaking college professor, I should know this one!

Squirl said...

Pretty sneaky, being able to blame the kid if your wife's not happy with her gift.

Now, where's the vodka?

Maddy said...

Yes we share to much. Mine definitely prefer XYZ to any other letters.

This is my calling card or link"Whittereronautism"until blogger comments get themselves sorted out.

BOSSY said...

Bossy is exhausted just watching you be educational.

Sheri & SuZan said...

He is so precious! But I'm with MOI - Tell him to NEVER buy a woman any clothing with an X! It's a rul!

eclectic said...

Have fun with that...


Anonymous said...

Oh dear, rather you than me!

Crumbs said...

What a great storyteller you are!

LilSass said...

I love kids at this stage but I fear the day (well, for you) that he recognizes his name in "M-A-X-I P-A-D" and you have to explain THAT one. Hahaha!
Yeoman's work, my friend ...

Anonymous said...

Sweet. This lesson can segue right into the Never Hesitate When Asked "Do I Look Fat In These Jeans?" lesson!

Just sayin'. Two birds? One stone?

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Where has your blog been my whole blog life? I love it!!!

Now trying explaining to him why when we need an "M" we still want to buy an "S!"


Rising Rainbow said...

I think moi has a point there.

The Egel Nest said...

Talking about that many x's could lead to you guys being ex's...which would lead to a whole other kind of homonym talk :)

The Egel Nest

Anonymous said...

i hope lauren doesn't read your blog because now she knows that she's getting clothes from the women's department at target from santa, and that may ruin the whole surprise.

i'm kinda thinkin' you should've pretended you were buying her an Xtra-Xtra large rotisserie oven instead. ::winkwink::

Chris Cactus said...

Awesome. It's pretty amazing just how complex language is and how quickly they catch on.

Anonymous said...

Hi Bill - only found your blog recently and love it!! What a great family you have. Was reading some of your archives and found something odd... I had a high school french teacher named Madame Brust too - but only for a short period of time in Flushing, MI. Wonder if it's the same?!?!? Did she do some horrid crime that led her to different schools around the country for only short stints?!?!? hmm..

Anonymous said...

MAybe when Maxfield gets older you will share your XXX collection.

Laura said...

Children are wonderful in their innocence;aren't they? I just 'loved' it when my daughter informed me that I was 'fat'. I was so shocked and then told her; well, yes you are correct; but you don't go around telling people they are fat because it can hurt their feelings. She was like why? It is the truth! LOL How can you argue with that?