Oh *&$@ My Daughter Can S-p-e-l-l

I’m a pretty good speller.

Not like spelling bee obscure word spelling goddess.  I mean rapid fire conversation with multiple spelled words.

Like “Should we go to the  D- a- i – r – y  T- w – i – s – t  for  i- c – e  c – r – e – a – m?”


“I think she’s getting a  s- h – o – t   at the  d- o – c – t – o – r  today”


“Buddy, you d- r – i – v – e   like an i- d – i – o – t!”

My husband Jamie and I have learned how to spell everything out because of three children who are nosey, have good hearing and are constantly looking for dessert.

For 6 years, we’ve been able to have random conversations that our kids don’t understand.  I’m a stickler for clean language around the kids.  My language can get a little salty with close friends and my husband.  A choice word here or there to make a point. Or a few points. But we vowed to spell stuff out to avoid enhancing a three-year old’s vocabulary with four letter words.

We’ve even had a few testy exchanges… okay,  fights where we’ve spelled out some flat-out nasty words in the heat of battle.

At times I’ve spelled so many things in a sentence, Jamie has had to stop and say, “Ok, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” And I admit I’ve spelled out words I didn’t need to, out of habit. Like “Hon, we need some more m- i – l – k.”  But it has happened.  Our oldest, the biggest eavesdropper of them all, can spell.  And she’s a really good speller.

Proof of spelling genius

“So, when should we talk about the p- a – r – t – y?”

“What party?” Caroline pipes up from the other room.

D- R – A – T.

Now what?

You see, once we had kids, we knew life would change.  We didn’t get to enjoy one bite of dinner until the baby was in bed.  So we moved dinner until after 8pm.  As more kids came along, we realized we’d have to scratch tv watching until everyone went to bed. (The Bachelor is not rated G)  Then, as kids got older, we realized we had to wait to have important conversations, like about jobs or in-laws (“Are you talking about Uncle Fred?”), until everyone went to bed.  With the spelling developments, it now seems we must save ALL parental communication until 8pm.  So I’ve made my husband a list of things we can talk about while the kids are awake.

Grocery shopping.

That’s pretty much it. He wanted to add sports, but then realized a few choice words he lets fly when his favorite teams are losing, and that pretty much ended that topic.

So while we’re thrilled Caroline is the best speller in the first grade, we can only look forward to our next two children automatically figuring out everything we’re talking about. And I’m sure Jamie and I will have meaningful, carefree conversations in about 15 years.

# – !- & – % – @.

Next speller: the 5-year-old

12 thoughts on “Oh *&$@ My Daughter Can S-p-e-l-l

  1. Wow, that (like your other great blogs) certainly brings back memories … mostly good – thanks for helping me relive the memories of our kids’ youngest years!

  2. Hi Christy

    I had to reply on this when my eldest Elizabeth (she just turned 20 on Sunday) was about 3 my wife and I would spell out things we did not want her to hear this worked great till one day we were leaving Kroger and going by a great Donut shop, I spelled to my wife want to stop for D-o-n-u-t-s and from the back seat we hear I want a Donut! We laughed so hard. Thanks for the big smile today!

  3. That is hilarious! I am 27 and my mom still spells stuff to me. It’s ridiculous. But be proud your daughter is such a good speller – nothing irks me more than adults that can’t spell!

    I’m a fan of you on TV – great to see the “real” side of you on here as a fellow local parenting blogger 🙂

  4. Oh, Christy thanks for the memories !! I would spell words too ‘cuz – ‘ll never forget the first time I spelled something out to my husband – we were at dinner with the kids and Chelsea (almost 21) said the word I had spelled. I honestly don’t remember what the word was – but we both looked at each other and laughed and decided – like you – we would be waiting until after 8p to have any kind of conversation!! Miss YOU !!

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