Bad Words for Good Kids

There are spelling words and then there are words I would consider ‘verbal diarrhea.’ Week after week, we go review Justin’s spelling words with him and he  usually does pretty well during the Friday spelling tests. However, this week, we’re dealing with a rectal explosion of orthographic study.  

Justin (a 3rd grader) was sent home with a new spelling word to learn, in addition to his 20 other spelling words. The word is: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. (Just for the record, I misspelled it twice while typing it….and I was reading it from a piece of paper!) It is a noun. Just from looking at it, I would have assumed someone died from it. Not the disease itself, but rather just from having to learn how to spell it. Whoever discovered it was smart enough not to put his or her name on it. 



I asked GWE if this was a legitimate spelling word or if it was a bonus word. We were confused. The instruction clearly stated that if the word was spelled incorrectly, four points would be deducted from the final grade. However, this word is ridiculous and clearly not in league with Justin’s other spelling words. For clarification, I asked GWE to email Justin’s teacher. 

The following day, the teacher responded that no points would be deducted if the word was spelled incorrectly. 

I’m starting to understand why Justin is confused in class. The written instructions did not match the verbal instructions. And, I still didn’t know if this was considered a bonus word. I decided to leave it alone and not care. However, I did offer GWE $10 to send the following response: 

Dear Teacher,

Thank you for your prompt response. We are sorry to inform you that Justin will not be participating in this week’s spelling test because he suffers from Hippopotomonstrosesquippediliophobia. 

Best Wishes,

Those Parents


Justin Can Read Texts. We’re all Screwed.

TextingJustin was sitting next to me while I was texting with my sister. While I cannot remember what the context of the conversation was, I do remember ending the conversation with “Where else can you bury a dead stripper?”

It’s safe to say that the conversation was innocent. If I really needed advice on where to bury a dead stripper, I’m certainly not asking my sister. She’ll only ask me 1000 Human Resource questions to better understand my conflict with the stripper. (“How did you feel you managed your relationship with the stripper? Could you have found a way to communicate better with her?”)

Back to the story…

What I didn’t know was that Justin was reading my texts while I was typing them. He reads well…but, not fast. I noticed that Justin got quiet after I sent the text. After a few minutes he turned to me and asked, “Dad, why would you need to bury a dead SLIPPER?”

I took a moment to weigh the lesser of two evils. Do I tell him that he miss-read my text and then explain what a stripper is…and then why you might need to bury one? Or, do I explain why I would bury a slipper? I went with option two.

“Well, Justin…sometimes you might need to bury a slipper because it smells bad.” I answered.

And, if you think about it – the answer I gave could work for either “stripper/slipper” scenario.