These days, kindergartners and first graders are encouraged to use something called “best-guess spelling”, where they write things completely on their own, spelling everything phonetically. I’ve discovered that, as a parent, translating best-guess spelling is an art form. It’s like playing a complex word game while trying to read your child’s mind at the same time. Because word games and child mind-reading are at the top of my short list of skills, I’ve gotten pretty good at reading WCK’s best-guess spelling. For example, yesterday she came home with this story she’d written all by herself:
“I like Cirmus. Cirmus is the best tim fo the yer. It adout babbe Jesus’s brthday and the sar shn doa war he lad.”
Translation= “I like Christmas. Christmas is the best time of the year. It’s about baby Jesus’ birthday, and the star shined down where he laid.”*
* I know it should be “lay”, but check out how she knew to use an apostrophe with “Jesus.” Not too shabby.
Anyway. A few days ago, some packages addressed to Jay arrived from Amazon. Jay and WCK immediately smuggled the packages upstairs to his office and shut the door. A short while later, WCK came out and told me I was not to go into the closet. Shortly after that, an illustrated best-guess-spelling sign went up on the closet door:
I thought I had gotten pretty good at best-guess spelling, but this one had me stumped for the longest time. Jay and I puzzled and puzzled over this sign. I got the “NO MOM!”, but what is “wigleeadic?” Is that person me? If so, what is falling on my head and making me go, “AAAAAAA!”?
I was ready to give up, when all of a sudden it all made sense.
The opening to our attic is in the ceiling of this closet. WCK was warning me that we have a “wiglee adic” (wiggly attic), and if I go into the closet, it will fall on my head.
Well, thank goodness she warned me. I sure hope that attic door doesn’t fall on the Christmas presents that are hidden in there, though.