Well duh. . .

There are people that see my children and say "Where did they get that red hair from?"

Sure, maybe its one of you reading right now and you know what, the vast majority of you are excused because how many of you have really ever seen the whole family (let alone the whole family in person) to know. Right, see, when it's something like that, I get it.

What I don't get is when people see a child in my arms or standing next to me or even in the same room as I'm in and they still can't figure it out. When they look me in the eye and say "Wherever did they get that red hair?" Well, gee, I don't know:

Speaking of idiots. . .

A few weeks ago Megan and I were doing our typical after-church family ritual. We were standing in the sanctuary admiring the stain glass windows. Logan was doing his usual thing - attempting to climb in the pulpit so he could "teach us."

This elderly woman approaches us and starts to wiggle a finger in the vincinity of Megan's nose. Meg does what she normally does in these situations - stares in hard at the woman with the look that says "What the hell is your problem?"

The woman rests her hand on my arm and gives me this rather motherly-I'm-about-to-unload-some-advice-that-will-make-you-want-to-hurl grin. "Don't teach her her letters," she says confidently.

And I, being oh so very eloquent in these situations, return with "Huh?"

She goes on to explain that if I teach Megan her letters then C-A-T will just be C and an A and a T. But *if* I bypass letter learning and teach her letter sounds then C-A-T will be Cah-ah-Tah, cat.

Ah huh, right, I see.

I point to Logan, who has by now, gotten bored of the pulpit and has taken to standing on the sill before one of the great big stained glass windows. "See that other red-head over there?" The woman nods.

"He's mine too. He's 3. He knows all his letters. He learned them early. He also knows all his letter sounds. And he's capable of using both of those skills to sound out words."

She blinked. "He reads?" she said.

"When he feels like it," I said. "You know he *is* three, so we don't press him on it. If he wants to sound out a word, he does. If he wants to be read to, we read."

She said "Oh." Megan pointed to a section of window and said "Purr-bull." She pointed to another and said "Blue." And a third and said "Reh." I said "Yeah, she's not quite as interested in letters right now, she's focused on colors. When she's ready, I think we'll teach her the same way we taught him. It seems to have worked for us."

The woman smiled sweetly. She tugged at Megan's curls. "You know," she said knowingly, "she's a rare breed - a red-head."

I smiled and resisted the urge to say "Oh, really? Wow! I thought she was a brunette!"

She smoothed Meg's hair with her hand and Megan, my 'don't think you can push me around 'cause I'm only one' sassy gal, pushed the old hand away. "When she's in school the kids are going to tease her bad for that hair, but when she grows up, she'll be a knock-out with it."

"Oh. Really?" I said, pretending to be quite confused. "That's funny. I was never teased growing up because of my hair. And I even had a bad perm when the movie Annie came out."

She stared at me. She studied my hair. "Well, her's is red," she said in a voice that seemed to add "you dumb idiot, red. Not brunette. Not blonde. Red!"

Perhaps I should send her the photo of our three red-heads pressed together.


Blond Girl said...

Gee, your almost as sarcastic as I am! Next time someone asks where the red hair comes from, you could try, "it's a rare genitic disorder. They got it from eating tomatoes; the hubby and I didn't realize we were carriers when we got married."

Say, thanks for stopping by to wish me a happy b-day; it was wonderful!

I'll be back; I'm enjoying your writing and your butterfly.

Zee said...

Good grief... suddenly I got the urge to inflict pain. The woman IS an idiot. To add insult, she is blind.

You three are beautiful!

I taught my son the same way you did, Sandy, and he was reading by the time he was 3 yrs old. In Kindergarten, he was the MC for the Parent/Teacher celebration, and he read a book to the audience. Kindergarten. His reading skills topped the charts, reading at an adult level. This was in 3rd grade. I didn't teach him phonemes, I taught him his ABC's, and read with him daily -with him, because by 4 yrs old, he was reading to me.