there is, however, a homophone for 'pound'
my son - a stunning and sweetly innocent nine-year-old - has been studying homophones this week in fourth grade. we all know what homophones are, right? words that sound alike and may be spelled alike but have different meanings (sorry for the lesson, but i had to educate my husband, so please play along for the sake of the following).
on monday, he brought home his spelling words. a delightful list of words like 'steel' and 'steal' and the confusing for my son series of 'vain,' ''vein' (ah...'vein'...sigh...), and 'vane'.
in order to help him discern the difference in these 25 words on his list, i've been giving him sentences using the words in their proper context. every afternoon around 4 p.m. central time, you can imagine me in my kitchen (no...not gyrating. that comes after, when the kids leave me alone and worship at the alter of 'drake and josh' on nickelodeon) doing the following:
"they built the skyscraper out of steel."
"the robbers plotted to steal millions of dollars."
"sharpen the lead of your pencil."
"he led me out the door by the hand."
before i continue, let me just say that i spent a bit of time having to explain the difference between 'lead' and 'led' to my husband. then there was the perplexing 'ring' and 'wring'. it's been a taxing week for me.
so yesterday, this boy so innocent that i swear little bluebirds circle his head and string gossamer ribbons of gold through his hair and tiny fairies of goodness float around him, humming songs only other fairies can hear over the boyish laughter illicited by belches and passed gas, is taking his practice test with me when i offer up this sentence:
"we plan to catch frogs in the creek this weekend."
before you beg me to educate the masses, i must say that this is about as good as i get in terms of my teaching skills.
next word? 'creak'.
"the bed creaks when I get in it."
my angel writes the word (correctly! such a good boy! he gets that from me.) and then sets his pencil down.
"what are you doing?" i ask. "we have 15 more words."
"you know, you're right, your bed does creak," this precious gift from the angels says to me. "sometimes it creaks so much at night it wakes me up."
by this point i know i'm wearing the blank, 'good god, no!' expression of stunned denial on my face that i no doubt inherited from my mother. my mind is reeling at what he's truly saying to me, and i'm trying to conjure up spirits that will perhaps open up the universe and send me flailing backwards out of the kitchen.
i hear him making talking noices while in my mind, i'm running down a list of just what he may have heard during this alleged symphony of creaking springs. it went a little something like this:
- well, there was that one time last month...but no, you were at your grandma's.
- no, couldn't have been that time. there was a 'suite life of zach and cody' marathon on disney and we assumed you and your brother were entertained.
- you actually seem to become obi won when we let you play lego star wars on the PS2, so no...
- ok, maybe...no...no wait, i was alone that night...
ok, so maybe i'm not as silent as my little blog profile alludes, but trust me, i'm the only one who isn't and you can't help but be creeped out a bit when your nine-year-old son is potentially calling you out on it.
i came out of my checklist to ask, 'so, sweets....um...is there anything else you hear that keeps you awake at night?"
"yeah, sometimes, with the creaking, i hear banging noises. like 'bang' 'bang.' what's that all about?" he says.
"heh..." again, blank denial face, now scanning list of homophones to ensure there's not one for 'bang'.
"you know, mommy's a pretty hard sleeper, so i'll just have to keep my ear open for that," i say. 'how about we finish these spelling words and take a crack at that social studies homework."
"ok, but sometimes you can be kinda bossy, too," my cherub replies.
and all i can think is, "i so hope you're talking about the homework now..."