Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Today I was working with D again and we were looking at an abbreviated, board book version of the book, The Carrot Seed.  While D showed his mastery of simple WH questions (yay!) by pointing as I asked, "Where is the carrot?" and "Where is the older brother?", I reflected, as I so often do, that three of the four characters in the book were unbelievably dumb. I understand the charm of the book, really I do. I love the illustrations. I love the indomitable spirit of the little boy, watering his carrot seed every day and pulling up the weeds, despite the naysayers. I used to have a vinyl record of the story that I played to my little students of long ago, back when we still had a record player, and I can still sing the tunes that went with some of the words. Heck, I bought the book when the record was no more.

But when I drop my willing suspension of disbelief, I find I can't understand the attitude of the parents at all. Okay, older brothers are born to say, "Nah, nah, it won't come up", but why should parents be so convinced that a seed won't grow? Grow is what seeds do. It's not as if the boy wrote to his favorite baseball player inviting him to dinner and lo and behold, there he is at the door.  It seems to me that people as stupid as the parents should not, unlike the carrot, be allowed to breed.

And I shared these thoughts with little D, a bad habit of mine when I know that my jaundiced comments are flying over a child's head and not likely to do any harm. Then I announced it was playtime.

I have been working for a long time to get D to say "I want truck" rather than just name the item he wants to play with. Despite the fact that he is now talking in sentences, short and ungrammatical as they may be, and despite a few successes, D just did not seem to get it.  So when I asked, "What do you want?" it was with the expectation of a long go-round to get those three words out of him, in order, in any kind of temporal proximity to each other.

And D said, as naturally as any other child, as if it had never been a problem, without any hesitation, "I want bus."

I think I get it now.

Oh, carrots grow from carrot seeds.
I planted one and grew it.
I watered it, I pulled the weeds.
Carrots grow from carrot seeds.

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