Watching adults spell out words in conversations around children has always annoyed the shit out of me. We’ve all seen the films where someone spells some suggestive word and the kid immediately says “Dad, what does knockers mean?” or whatever. You also sound like an idiot s-p-e-l-l-i-ng out words in the middle of a sentence, especially when you do it more than o-n-c-e. But I’m just going to go right ahead and add it to the list of annoying things parents do.
Because it is an ABSOLUTE NECESSITY in our house at the moment. With his wolf-like hearing, our little man does not miss a flipping trick if he catches a word on a breeze. You could be whispering “chocolate” into goose down pillow with a flight of stairs between you and he’ll still come running in shouting “mam, are you eating chocolate?”. Ditto for anything that might be of even slightest interest to him. “Playground”. “Hula Hoops”. “Pool”. “Scooter”. “Breadsticks“. “Cartoons”. “Tacos”. “Holidays”. “Santa”. You get it.
So if a plan is unconfirmed, or up for discussion, spelling is absolutely required to avoid unnecessary MADNESS. But it has to be very clever – and safe – spelling. I had s-e-x spelt back at me one day in a conversation that was absolutely NOTHING to do with him. (Don’t ask. Just morto. Morto.) He also has a very uncanny way of still figuring out what we are talking about but I’m putting it down to coincidence because there’s just absolutely no way the child can spell. He’s a genius, obviously, but he’s not that good. He asked for some popcorn the other day after hearing it spelt. Just a flippin fluke but still reasonably unnerving!
The spelling bit creates its own problems as myself and the other half pause momentarily in conversations to either figure out what was just spelt at us, or fight over the correct spelling. Or we look like we’re having telepathic conversations with silently raised eyebrows.
Has to be done folks, has to be done. I’ve resigned myself now to spelling everything like a M-U-P-P-E-T and the fact that there’s some child-free twenty-something rolling their eyes up into the back of their head at me somewhere. They can add it to their list because I’m only getting started! We’re fairly fooked when the child starts to read though. Is the next step some badly broken Leaving Cert Deutsch I wonder?