Any romantic notions I held about becoming a teacher quickly faded once I started helping my own kids with homework.
“You ready for school?” I asked Miss4. “We’re going to leave soon.”
“Yes, dude,” Miss4 replied.
Which struck me as an odd thing for her to call me, since I’m fairly universally known as Daddy around this house.
“Dude?” I said. I was mentally trying to bring my eyebrows back down my forehead but they seemed to have snagged on something up at the hair line. “I’ve never heard you say that before.”
“Dude,” she said again. “I said dude.”
“I know you did,” I told her. Then did my best Bill & Ted impersonation, not so much to educate her in the correct usage of the word so much as just because it occurred to me at that moment that it might be a fun thing to say. “Duuuude,” I said, stretching the word out.
Then I realised that was more Crush from Finding Nemo and got lost in my own thoughts for a bit as I tried to work out how to be more like Bill & Ted. I was pretty sure it involved someone having a party, which is always fun.
Miss4 quickly brought me back to the here and now with another short, odd sentence.
“Not dude,” she said, shaking her head. “Dude.”
“She’s saying good!” Tracey yelled out from an adjoining room.
“She’s really not!” I called back. Then I asked Miss4 for confirmation. “Are you saying good?”
“Yes. Dude,” she nodded.
School could wait a minute, I decided. There was teaching to be done right here.
“Good,” I said to Miss4. “Good. With a guh. Not a duh.” Then I made those sounds several times because I seem to recall adults doing that sort of thing at me when I was little. “Guh-guh-guh. Not, duh-duh-duh.”
I made her repeat these sounds several times. Eventually she got it.
“Now say guh guh good,” I pressed.
“Gah gah dude,” she said. I had her try again. “Gah gah good,” she said. “Good! GOOD!”
“That’s it!” I exclaimed. There were high fives and hugs. The accolades continued for many, many seconds. “Now go show Mummy how clever you are.”
She raced off beaming, and I heard Tracey, who’d clearly been listening to our efforts through the walls, prompt Miss4 to show off her little achievement.
“Go on then,” Tracey said to her. “Show me what you can do.”
There was a pause at this point which I can only imagine Miss4 was using to silently position her tongue for the correct connection to the top of her mouth before taking a lungful of air.
“GOOG!” she shouted.
I’ve got the ball rolling, teachers. I think you can probably take it from here.
Raising a family on little more than laughs”
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