Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grammar, Stories and Parenting

My daughter K objects to the name "Goldilocks" and the Three Bears because, as she says, "It's only one Goldilock. Not three." She finds my explanation of the "locks" having to do with hair to be somewhat lacking. Possibly because "hair" in English is uncountable, though I'm relatively sure she isn't up to countable and uncountable nouns yet.

Along the same lines, she doesn't like the "Don't talk to wolves" rule in Little Red Riding Hood, because, again, there is only one Big Bad Wolf in the story. I told her there are other wolves in the world, but she considers that irrelevant.

I think she may have inherited her mother's attention to detail, known by certain adults in my childhood as "playing word games" (not in a good sense) and "twisting words". I never saw it that way, though; for me, it was just a question of what the words ACTUALLY SAY without regard to what you may have intended to say. I was genuinely bewildered that it might annoy someone.

I'll have to keep this in mind in parenting her as she grows up.


K also really wants the title of the story (i.e., what I read out on the title page) to be "Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf". Ditto for "The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf". She's started re-telling stories to her babies, usually taking elements from several different stories or even genres and combining them.

I start most stories with, "Once upon a time, there (were three little pigs, was a little girl named Red Riding Hood, etc.) whose mama loved him/her/them very much." We have one book that starts out that way and I noticed that K likes that beginning, so I adapt almost all our stories to start the same way.

Yesterday, K told a story that started, "Once upon a time, there was a Big Bad Wolf whose mama loved him very much."

I think I like that perspective, in fact.


  1. Aww, I love the way you start off the story books and I especially love that K has adapted to it so well. That big bad wolf probably did have a mommy who loved him very much! :)

  2. Too cute!

    I'm glad to hear that you've figured out a better preschool situation for her--sounds like she (and you) will be happier at the new school.



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