Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Mother of misfits no more

Dear Laura Sybil,
I am in need of your advice. I am a professor of English at a very elite university. The quandary is that my twins, a boy and a girl, must have inherited their spelling skills from their father's side of the family (my father was a lexicographer and my mother spell-checked all correspondence from a royal family in Europe which I can neither confirm nor deny due to confidentiality issues which just proves that my genes are quite sophisticated when it comes to letters and the English language). I have tried everything to boost their spelling skills but to no avail. I used to be able to conceal this egregious family secret from the public but now that my twins are of Facebook age, their spelling is out there for all the world to see. I am afraid that my students are going to notice and doubt the authenticity of my own prestigious pedigree. I'm even beginning to wonder if I should have DNA testing done to be certain that there wasn't some horrible mix-up in the hospital and I came home with the wrong children! Please help me posthaste!
Signed, Mother of Misfits

Dear Mother of Misfits,

Hallelujah! I am not alone in this world! You have come to the right place if, for no other reason, than the fact that we have each found a kindred spirit. I, too, have two children who mortify me with their spelling. Just this evening, one of them (who shall remain nameless), wrote as her Facebook status, "Deer Puperty, Leaf me aloan. Eye liekt mi fase befour the zeets." And my son sent me a message assuring me that he would take care of the recirtificationifying of certain paperwork which he had to do for school. What is a mother to do? On first glance, I thought that my daughter was asking puppetry to leave her alone; assuming she had just left out half of the double letter. But oy vey! Puperty? Puberty is one thing, but puberty and misspelled words? This is an atrocity!

But after much soul-searching, I have determined that it could be much worse. Our children are clearly not the only ones who cannot spell on Facebook. Have you read any statuses lately? Even if a person can spell, it seems as if auto-spell takes a perfectly spelled sentence and turns it into gobbledy-goop (or at least that's a good excuse for the person caught in the act). And most of the time, no one seems to notice or care.

At least our children are not the ones writing boring Facebook posts; the kind that get no response from Facebook friends. Obviously it is our desire, as we gaze into the eyes of our newborn babes, that our children will grow up with the gift of humor. But if your child can't spell, he or she needs only a small amount of humor to make it in this world. For you see, a misspelled word every now and then can boost your humor quotient by the tens of thousands.

And misspelling is nothing compared to the parents that have to deal with children who take pictures of themselves using a phone in front of a mirror. Can you imagine the shame those parents must face on a daily basis? Every time that mother looks in the mirror she is reminded of the fact that her son or daughter has used the same medium for a poorly thought-out photo of him or herself. And the fact that her child must not have any friends who can take a photo for her! We must remember these parents in our prayers.

More horrific would be having to look at naked pregnant belly photos of my child. Need I say more? Let's take a moment to be thankful that our daughters are not the ones posting such indecent photos for the men and boys of Facebook to face when logging onto their accounts everyday. And we most certainly don't need to see the naked pregnant bellies of our sons, do we? Let's not even go there.

So you see, Mother of Misfits, life could be much, much worse than a child who can't spell. There are many careers in which spelling doesn't matter such as website designer, sign maker, and middle school teacher (the ones who send home a non-edited syllabus telling me that my child will be marked down for grammatical and spelling errors found in homework assignments). Give your twins an extra hug at bedtime tonight and thank the Lord for the many gifts that your children do have.

Thankful for my children, even the ones going through recirtificationifying puperty,
Laura Sybil

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