I have to begin this by saying that I’m extremely proud that my son is learning to read. He is now a card-carrying member of The New York Public Library System. But his newly-acquired powers are really starting to cramp my style.
When my son was younger, it was easy to hide things from him. When my wife and I were having a conversation and wanted to camouflage certain words or phrases we could just spell it out. For example, if we wanted to plan something while he was in the room, like taking him to a movie, we could say, “let’s go and see S-H-R-E-K…” and he’d be none the wiser. But now that he’s stacking just as many books as Pokemon cards, that tactic is played out.
If we were out and about, the biggest fear used to be him being able to recognize certain logos as we drove by: “Oooh, Toys R Us!!” or “Daddy, McDonald’s!!” But it’s beyond mere recognition now. The other day my man said “Daddy, chicken nuggets are only 99 cents! Can we get some? Pleaase!! They have Madagascar 2 Toys!! And they’re hiring!” I can’t even plead broke anymore cause my son can read the Dollar Menu AND probably fill out a job application!
Justin reads everything now: street signs, scribblings in the bathroom at our local diner (a real problem there) and my random hip-hop promo T-shirts with questionable song titles. There is nothing more embarrassing than your six-year-old looking at your shirt and moving his lips to sound out “Bust…It…Ba-by.”
The worst of it all is his fascination with DVR. The kid can scroll through a week’s worth of TV and find all of his favorite shows. I turn on my set sometimes and there are 25 episodes of “Spongebob Square Pants” already recorded and five more being scheduled.
If we’re sitting and watching TV, I can’t flip through the channel guide the way I used to because he can read the titles of dang near every movie and show out there. “No wait, Daddy, The Iron Giant is on…no, Flushed Away, waaait… Bee Movie!” Sometimes I just want to turn to him and yell, “who taught you Octagon??”
But it all felt better when I went to get his report card yesterday and saw all of those As, Gs and whatever else they write on there to say your kid is damn smart. Now, if I can only figure out how to disable the DVR when I’m not home.