Unambitious Us

Some of you might have got the impression from that last post that we're a competitive family -- but that is simply not the case. We're a very generous, humble, consensus-seeking lot, who wish success for everybody.

Take, for instance, our kayaking trip this summer. Blaisey, at that point, was still having a hard time pronouncing "S" at the beginning of words when that "S" is followed by a consonant. Naomi spent a lot of time encouraging her to say her "S" words.

Naomi would say, "Where do you go every day to learn?"
Blaisey would say, "I go to cool."

"What do you put inside a turkey?"

"I put tuffing."

"What is the second major layer of the earth's atmosphere?"

"I sink it's the tratosphere."

What didn't work, however, was to tell Blaisey what word to say. One could not tell her to "Say 'spicy'." She simply wouldn't do it.

So Blaisey and Naomi were paddling down the mighty Allegheny this summer, working on their "S"s. At a certain point, Naomi tried, "Say 'strawberry'."

Blaisey would not be outwitted. "Why do you want me to say that?"

"So you can work on your words."

"I don't want to work on my words right now."

"Will you just say strawberry for me?"


"Because I think it's cute." The truth comes out.

"I don't care what you think." Painful, painful truth.

"Will you just please say it?"

"Say what?"



Naomi thought through her options for a few paddles. "Because I forgot how to say it."

Blaisey said, "Well, how did you just say it if you forgot how." If you're at all like me, and, again, I imagine most of you are, you can only imagine a young Socrates and Plato strumming down the mighty Elpeus, butting heads with such tautologies.

Meanwhile, Traci got bored. "Oh, for heaven sakes, you two."

Naomi said, "Mom, I can't get her to say 'Strawberry'."

Traci said, "First one to say 'Strawberry' wins."

"Trawberry trawberry trawberry!"

Wait a minute. That's an awful story to illustrate how we're not competitive. Still, it's better than all the other ones I read this morning.

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