Dick and Jane To The Rescue

He asked if he could read another story.

It was huge to me. It was a mind blowing, earth shattering, birds chirping around the world kind of statement.

My 5 year old son, Bency is in Kindergarten and is learning to read.

Unlike his older sister, who emerged from the womb and began her love of books and desire to learn to read Bency was indifferent about books.

He likes when I read him stories but he rarely picks up books during the day and tries to read them by himself. My daughter, by 2 years old had memorized the majority of her books and could fool anyone that she was a reader. She read from sunup until sundown and still does.

In Kindergarten they began by teaching the kids the easy words such as the, it, is, can, see, etc. Bency does have these memorized and so now they are moving on to simple books that contain these words.

Last week I brought out an old Dick and Jane book and told Bency I was going to have him read it for me. He made a noise indicating that this would be painful and threw his hands up to his head. I kind of tilted my head and gave him a look and he said, “Fine, but you know I can’t read yet.”

Fun With Dick and Jane from 1940

Lo and behold, Bency CAN read. He actually did quite well and only stumbled over a few words. The words he didn’t know he would only look at for a second and then throw his body back and whine, “I don’t know that word. I can’t read.”

He is seriously dramatic and stubborn.

I kept pushing on night after night. I was patient and amazed watching him get better and better.

Night after night Bency grumbled, moaned and threw his hands to his head like my suggestion for him to read Dick and Jane with me was on par with getting seared with a hot branding iron.

Last night something happened though. We got through the same two chapters we have been rereading for the past couple of days and I began to close the book.

Bency said, “Hey, wait…I want to read the next chapter. I think I know how to read now.”

A half hour earlier when I told Bency that it was time for us to go up and read he said, “Do I have to?” and proceeded to do a rolling flip off of the chair that I can only assume indicated that he would rather knock himself unconscious or end up in the hospital then have to go read what Dick and Jane were up to.

I’m hoping the future holds the constant request for one more story!

I Know A Lot About Thumbs

Trying to get my children to reveal any details about their day at school is as tough as breaking into a bank vault.

Actually with the use of a stethoscope, the ability to hear the clicks and a look out person I would have a much better chance of cracking that bank vault because there is no stethoscope in the world that would allow me to hear the clicks in my children’s heads after a long day at school.

If I ask how their day was, I get the canned answer of “good.”

I’ve tried different techniques such as asking them what the worst part of their day was. I’ve asked what they wrote about during writing time. I’ve requested what they talked about during sharing circle time.

My children, who CAN remember what they ate for dinner 7 weeks ago on Thursday, CAN NOT remember who they played with at recess two hours ago. They shrug, grunt and go grab a snack.

On my son’s first day of Kindergarten, he came home, gave me the obligatory answer of “good” when I asked how his day went. I was like, “Are you kidding me? This is the first time in your life you’ve ever been away from me and you’re giving me….good? I need details…lots of details.”

My 5 year old, Bency, looked me in the eyes and as serious as you can possibly be, said, “I’m sorry Mom. I can’t tell you anything about my day. My teacher said everything that goes on in Kindergarten is Top Secret.”

I told Bency’s teacher this and she started laughing and said I had a little jokester on my hands. I would have called it a bald-faced liar but I guess jokester sounds nicer.

My 7 year old daughter, Iris, is exactly the same way except I have been able to get some information out of her 30 minutes AFTER she is tucked in for the night. My husband and I will just get settled down to watch a television show and out will come Iris, full of news. One night she told me that a kid had got sick all over the computer lab that day and they just wheeled the kid down to the Health Room in one of those rolling office chairs. This news sent off alert signals in my brain because no one who carries my DNA could possibly wait until bedtime to share this kind of information!

I have now added, “Did anyone throw up at school today?” to my daily line of questioning. I still get shrugs and answers of, “I don’t remember.”

I had a tiny glimmer of hope when I asked Bency the other night at the dinner table if he learned anything new that day. He went into a lengthy explanation about the importance of thumbs on human beings. I sat there, intently listening, picturing 20 Kindergarten children enthralled in their teacher’s lesson on thumbs. After his 10 minute dissertation, I finally got the opportunity to ask in an amazed voice, “You learned this all at school today?” He looked blankly at me and said, “No, I’ve always known a lot of information about thumbs.” I sadly shook my head and asked him to pass the peas.

Parent/teacher conferences are being held in two weeks. I’m hoping to get some answers to fill in the gaps on what I’ve missed the last two months.

I know “good” means absolutely nothing because my husband asked Bency how his day of school was last Thursday. Bency answered “good.”

That’s a very interesting answer considering Bency didn’t even have school last Thursday!

Iris’s first day of Kindergarten and the beginning of me hearing “I don’t remember what I did at school.”

Mr. Potato Head Got Cool

Mr. Potato Head


This is one of the first pieces of work my 5 year old, Bency brought home from Kindergarten. I immediately told him “Great coloring job Bency!” I then told him I liked Mr. Potato Head’s multi-colored teeth. Bency replied, “I wanted to give him some gold teeth to make him look cool.

I found this odd as I don’t think Bency knows ANYONE with gold teeth let alone someone “cool.”

After further examination I also noticed Mr. Potato Head has black rotten teeth intermingled among the gold, blood-shot eyes and a whiskey nose.

For fear of what his answers might be to the inquiries of these observations I simply was thankful that Mr. Potato Head didn’t have any tattoos and a big gold necklace hanging from his neck.

P.S. Bency was able to recite back to me the Kindergarten Rules!