It’s also very interesting to see how Chris and I have influenced him, and his vocabulary. We never really talked to him like he was a baby or a child, which is evidenced by his use and understanding of words and terms well beyond his age. This can be a great thing, but every coin has two sides, and many words have multiple meanings. And it can often be amusing to hear Zachary’s definitions of words he thinks he knows.
A perfect example came from a Goosebumps book he was reading the other day. I randomly have him read out loud a few pages of the various books he reads to check his comprehension, and he came across the sentence “The window was framed by large, black, ominous shutters.” I made him stop there, because I was sure the word “ominous” was going to trip him up. As it turned out, however, I was wrong. He very clearly defined ominous as “scary and evil”, which, while technically defined as “…foreboding or foreshadowing evil…”, Zachary obviously got the point.
No, ominous did not trip him up at all–but he still had an odd look on his face, like he didn’t quite understand the sentence. After a moment of thought I realized the word that was causing him problems was “framed”, so I asked him if he knew what that word meant. He told me he did, but he didn’t understand what it had to do with a window. Now it was my turn to look perplexed, and I asked him to tell me what the word “framed” meant, to which he replied, “That’s when someone tries to get you into trouble by blaming you for something that you didn’t do. So what would someone be blaming a window for, anyway?”
Priceless. My 7-year old doesn’t equate “framed” with enclosing something, like a picture or a window; no, he understands the nefarious act of falsely accusing someone of something. Where did I go wrong? (That’s a rhetorical question. Heh, one of these days I’ll write a post about that word.)