Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's in a word?

Chance got to take in show and tell today. His teacher has a "Talk-and-Tell" bag that she sends home with the kids when it is their turn to bring in something to share.

Chance decided that he would bring in his lego candy machine that he made. Chance got some lego pieces for Christmas that allow you to make fabulous contraptions. Chance made a candy dispenser that has a lever to deliver candy. So, armed with some M&M's to serve his classmates as he showed off the candy machine, Chance headed off to school.

When Chance got home, I asked Chance if the kids had liked his candy machine. He assured me that they had. Then I asked him if his teacher had eaten some of the M&M's. Chance shook his head and told me that his teacher was ill today. At first, I wondered why Chance was using the word ill instead of sick. Then I was kind of impressed that he was expanding his vocabulary. Just as I was in mid thought, Chance asked me, " What does ill mean?"

So, all day long, Chance has been wondering what ill means.

Then as Chance was getting ready for pack meeting for cub scouts, he told me that he was doing the flag ceremony. I knew that his den was in charge of the flag ceremony, but I wanted to clarify if Chance was actually performing the ceremony. It turns out that he was. He then told me that he was supposed to say, ' audience, please rise." Only he didn't say the words quite right and so I repeated them back to him and asked if what I said sounded right. He said, "Oh ya!"
Chance repeated the phrase back to me but I could tell that he wasn't firm on the exact wording.
Then I asked Chance if he knew what audience meant. He didn't.

I explained what an audience was, and then once he knew the meaning behind the word, he had it.

It is interesting because at school Chance had been with his break out group of other deaf kids when he did show and tell. He should be able to ask what words are that he does not know the meaning of in that setting.

When Chance is at cub scouts and with his peers, it might be awkward for him to ask in the middle of den meeting what audience means. All of the other boys will know what that word means. He might be laughed at. And Chance is going to be more reserved.

So, we're not sure what to tell Chance to do in such a situation when he does not know what a word means. He can ask us when he gets home, but will he remember? How do you make a word that is unfamiliar and that you may have heard wrong in the first place, stick in your brain?

We'll have to ponder the options that Chance has when he does not understand what a word is and he is out in a group like cub scouts or one of his sports teams. Hmmmmmmmm.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baby Buttercup

Chance is now the proud big brother of the cutest little baby girl anyone has ever seen. We are not at all biased here at our house:)

We did not find out if the baby was a boy or a girl so it was very exciting for Chance and his siblings to find out exactly which sort of sibling would be joining them at home. The kids made a sign announcing that the baby was a girl and stuck it on the garage so that everyone in the neighborhood would know too.

The only down part about the baby coming for Chance was the fact that we had not yet secured a name for her. So as our neighbors and friends asked what the baby's name was, Chance had to answer that he did not know. Chance's dad and I have been known to take a few days to commit to a name when we have a baby. We had ideas for names and all, but we didn't mark anything down on the birth certificate until had had a chance to ponder things for a while.

Chance showed up at the hospital for a visit with a cute little note that had a picture he had drawn of him holding the baby.......and a list of possible baby girl names.

What impressed me about the list was the variety of names. Some names were quite common like Jennifer. But as I read down the list, it became obvious that Chance had picked up on several names by just hearing them used by people around him or off of T.V. etc. One of the names on the list was Scarlette. We don't know anyone named Scarlette. I have helped in Chance's school classrooms for the past several years and there have been no Scarlettes. Maybe Chance has been watching "Gone With the Wind", on the side or something.

It was impressive to read all of the names that Chance suggested. The most amusing one was Anna. We have a neighbor that had a baby about 8 months ago and they named their baby Anna. When we had Chance's baby brother we had another neighbor that had just had a baby and named him Luke. Chance's older brother showed up at the hospital telling us that he thought we should name our baby Luke. Not only that, but he had already told some people that the name was Luke. If we were going to start naming our babies after other babies in the neighborhood, we should have started with our oldest child and been consistent.

Alas, we didn't choose the name Buttercup either. Chance had Buttercup on the list and some of our kids thought this would be a fine name.

As we were looking at a baby name book, we came across the name Buttercup and had mentioned this fact to a friend. She then told our kids when she had them alone, that they should push for the name Buttercup. One of our kids actually calls the baby Buttercup sometimes. I am willing to bet however, that when the kids are all grown up everyone will be relieved that we as parents did not give into the pressure of naming anyone Buttercup.