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the places we will go

January 24, 2012

Listening to Maya read is like pulling teeth.

I realize the above statement should be filed under, “Did Ameena really write that?” And yes, I concur that there should be limits to my honesty.

But for the love of God! I want Maya to earn her free grease-laden, fake cheese-topped personal pan Book It! pizza as much as the next dedicated mother, but I’ve been going crazy with Maya’s ongoing 200-minutes-a-month reading assignments.

Okay, now before you judge know this:

  1. When a word has more than 5 letters Maya often just makes something up because she is too lazy to sound out words.
  2. She chooses books that are super long, just to piss me off.
  3. She purposely holds the book at an odd angle, so that I can’t see the pages properly – thereby ensuring that I can’t correct her made up words.
  4. She starts whispering halfway through the book, presumably (again) just to shorten my life by a few years.

It goes without saying that I LOVE silent reading time.

I know that Maya doesn’t do any of these things when she’s reading at school. Or to my mom. Or to my sister-in-law.

Although, I won’t even begin to address what she puts Ali through.

So is this just her little form of rebellion? Is she “testing her boundaries” to “see how far she can push us?” Because if so, I sort of wish she’d try to sneak out of the house to party with her friends instead.

Now that I can handle.

97 Comments leave one →
  1. January 24, 2012 12:26 am

    That’s funny that Maya purposefully tortures you! Although I am curious what Ali has to contend with!

  2. January 24, 2012 1:20 am

    I’m sorry, but they still use that disgusting personal pan disgusting cheese mess of a pizza as incentive? Seriously? That was my incentive – 24 years ago! Wow – I might hinder her reading just to boycott that.

    On another note – I played the violin when I was 6. Imagine that ear torture. My parent’s ears are still recovering… though honestly, it’s the one thing from childhood I wish I’d kept up… and one day you’ll be glad that Maya can read properly – in silence 🙂

    • January 24, 2012 8:11 pm

      That was my incentive too, about 100 years ago when I was in elementary school!

      PS: I wish I’d kept up the piano lessons my parents forced on me.

  3. January 24, 2012 2:07 am

    LOL!!! I ❤ Maya!!

  4. January 24, 2012 3:20 am

    When I was a kid (not so long ago) I had the habit of starting the book by reading the last chapter first – for some reason I’d do this all the time – my teacher claimed I was trying to be clever and spoil it for the rest of the people who collectively were reading the same book as a group study. She even wrote it down in my report for my parents to read. She also claimed that I deliberately selected books that were for adults and to make things worse she claimed I made up words while I use to read.

    Although I know she was right in what she was saying, I often found myself getting bored of the slow pace in which schools evolved – so I took the decision to excel myself with a touch of mischievous.

    I see similar characteristics in Maya too. And Ameena, rest assure, she will do fine in the future and if I can fast forward her into adulthood (and as things worked out for me) – She will be successful in her career (probably along the medical/doctor route) and a big earner. She at times may challenge the norm of society but believe me, she will be fine.

    • January 24, 2012 8:13 pm

      Maya tells me she’s bored at school all the time. I’m not sure if I believe she’s that advanced in every subject or if she’s just a bit lazy. I think it’s a combination of both.

      Oh, and I used to read books backwards too. I could never wait to find out the ending!

      Thanks for the comment my friend!

  5. January 24, 2012 4:25 am

    You and my mom would bond over annoying reading habits. I used to make up alternative endings and keep “reading” for a good 5 minutes after the end of each book. Pretty sure that’s the year the teachers told my parents I had a problem with showing off 🙂

    That picture of Maya reading the book that’s 3 times the size of her face is way too cute though.

    • January 24, 2012 8:13 pm

      That is exactly right, Maya is a total show off!!

  6. January 24, 2012 5:00 am

    That photograph with Maya in her fluffy slippers is adorable!!

  7. January 24, 2012 5:17 am

    You know, people don’t understand how quickly kids can drive you crazy until they’re smack dab center in the mess. Alex my 5 year old lets out a sound like a cat having it’s tail pulled anytime I try to correct a word he’s mispronounced. It makes reading together that much more fun.

    • January 24, 2012 8:14 pm

      I am so sorry. Loud noises are almost worse than Maya’s irritating whispering!!

  8. January 24, 2012 5:46 am

    Maya sounds a lot like my sister! She would sometimes do things just to get a reaction. So so annoying at the time, but kind of funny now. Give it 15 years, you’ll be laughing!

    • January 24, 2012 8:15 pm

      I can’t wait for 15 years from now. It’ll be all about silent reading!

  9. January 24, 2012 5:50 am

    they still do Book-It?!??? omg that’s so funny. I used to rock book-it and out read my classmates cuz i was (wait, am) a big book nerd. pizza hut must be to blame? although today if i got a pizza hut pizza for every 6 books, i might quit reading.

    • January 24, 2012 8:15 pm

      I wouldn’t touch a Pizza Hut pizza now but back then? It was totally worth reading book after book.

  10. January 24, 2012 6:49 am

    Wait a second- pizza hut still does the “Book It” program??? I used to participate in that thing WAY back when…

    Pizza Hut was a childhood thing for me. It’ll have a special place in my heart always. However, I think I’ve had it once in the last 10 years…

    • January 24, 2012 8:16 pm

      I know I wrote in that last comment that I wouldn’t touch it but the truth is that I had a bite of Maya’s crust. It was as greasy as ever!

  11. January 24, 2012 7:07 am

    They still have Book It!??? That was the best part of my childhood!!!

    • January 24, 2012 8:16 pm

      Agreed!! And what does that say about our childhood? 🙂

  12. January 24, 2012 7:09 am

    That is a kid’s job: To torture us!

    I LOVE the colour of your living area. Creamy Yellow Sun!? WOW. x

    • January 24, 2012 8:34 pm

      Actually, the room is more like a beige-ish color…I just can’t take a decent photo!

  13. January 24, 2012 8:06 am

    haha.. that’s cute. i think she is testing you to see what she can get away with. of course. i’m curious what she puts your husband through. next post??

    • January 24, 2012 8:34 pm

      It would need to be a series of posts I think. That’s how bad it is.

  14. January 24, 2012 8:57 am

    Book It! was my JAM!! I was the opposite of Maya and read all the Calvin & Hobbs books as well as any other book with limited text and/or less than 100 pages. Anything for that little pin that earned me my free personal pan pizza. Maybe you should try making a drinking game out of her reading? That could make it more entertaining AND more interactive!

  15. January 24, 2012 8:57 am

    I find the perceptiveness of children into the different emotional states and “buttons” of different adults so alluring. Adults are too dulled by social expectations and wasting away trying to earn (attention, money, validation) that we miss truly perceiving the presence of the unique other in our presence. I love your insight into your Maya. I love how you learn her and seek to know her better, and in so doing, know and love yourself, better as well.

    • January 24, 2012 8:36 pm

      I’m always try to earn attention, money, and validation. So I suppose I can learn a lot from my 6-year-old?

      I need to focus!!

  16. January 24, 2012 9:25 am

    hahaha well she is your daughter after all!

  17. January 24, 2012 9:50 am

    Sophie totally does the making up words thing when she reads too. I have to admit that she loves to read and is relishing learning so she doesn’t try to push my buttons. In other areas, however….yeah, I feel your pain. Just remember; you’ve much more experience in mind games, no? Next time, hunker down like there’s nothing more you want to do in the world and let her know that you’ve no where else to go and are thrilled to be spending as much time with her doing this as possible. If she sees she’s causing no pain, she’ll move on. 🙂

    • January 24, 2012 8:37 pm

      Reverse psychology? Brilliant. Now this is a strategy I haven’t tried!

  18. January 24, 2012 9:57 am

    you might be eating those words when she turns 15!!! she is such a little rebel.

    PS I like your coffee table

  19. January 24, 2012 11:08 am

    Was Maya and her book in this picture because all I saw was your gorgeous coffee table!! (ps – you probably need to water those flowers…there are two that are looking a bit droopy, ha) Anyway, I don’t have a clue on this subject (kids, Book It, etc) but perhaps ear plugs would help?? 🙂

    • January 24, 2012 8:38 pm

      I know…I wanted to fix the flowers but I wanted to get a candid shot of Maya too. So the droopy flowers won out!

  20. January 24, 2012 11:29 am

    No sympathy from me. I have to do it in two languages.

  21. January 24, 2012 11:48 am

    haha !!!

  22. January 24, 2012 11:59 am

    I laughed so hard at her making up words. 🙂 You should totally have speed reading contests with her. I think my 5th grade teacher made us partake in these, just so she didn’t have to listen to us doing all the the things above. Whatever the reason though, they worked, I could get though a baby sitters club book in like an hour!

    • January 24, 2012 8:39 pm

      I read every single Baby Sitter Club book ever written. Loved that series!

  23. Tamara permalink
    January 24, 2012 1:29 pm

    I’m 23 and I still make up words if they’re too long to sound out. Heck, I make up words if they’re short and I’m just tired. I was reading the Communist Manifesto today (for profit, not for fun), and about two sentences in I was already paraphrasing in my head:

    “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted…F it, rich people are mean to poor people. Let’s get to the property-seizing stuff.”

    I doubt Maya would be reading Karl Marx aloud for her personal pan pizza. It would certainly be interesting, though. I’d like to see a video of that :p

    • January 24, 2012 8:39 pm

      The Communist Manifesto is not a book I’ve picked up. And really, after reading this I have no plans to!

  24. January 24, 2012 2:17 pm

    This post had me laughing out loud, which for your information is hard to do.

    Kids can be so manipulative. I talk really fast. I can read really, really fast. So when my kids are reading to me sometimes I just want to grab the book and finish in 10 seconds what will take them 10 minutes. I am obviously working on my patience.

    How cute that Maya makes up words. You have to video tape her because when she is sneaking out going to parties, at least you can pop in a tape and remember the simpler times.

    • January 24, 2012 8:40 pm

      I want to do the same thing! Mentally I’m thinking, “I could have finished this page 15 minutes ago. Let’s move!!”

  25. January 24, 2012 2:29 pm

    A post on the ways that Maya tortures Ali is SO needed. Next week, please.

    That being said, is there any way that you can vlog her in action? I keep on trying to imagine the scene and it just kills me! When she finishes this Book It! nonsense, I think that you’re going to owe yourself a little reward.

    • January 24, 2012 8:41 pm

      Ali keeps telling me I need to vlog…there is not enough time in the day! But I will get to it one of these days.

      And yes. I need a reward. At least one. And not a pizza!

  26. January 24, 2012 3:12 pm

    Oh no, some patience testing going on… 😛
    I can’t imagine what my parents went through the first years of my violin practicing… (my mom says she thought it was cute, though I highly doubt that that’s the whole truth…)

    • January 24, 2012 8:42 pm

      I can’t imagine listening to a violin practice when I can’t get through a book with Maya! Your mother deserves an award. 🙂

  27. January 24, 2012 3:36 pm

    I have to admit I hated doing the reading when the Glam Teens were little. But they didn’t make up words. Good on Maya at least it makes it more interesting. : ) GG

    • January 24, 2012 8:42 pm

      I can’t wait til Maya is a Glam Teen. Really. You had no idea!

  28. January 24, 2012 4:50 pm

    hahaha your stories about Maya crack me up. I love that she makes words up, that’s a pretty clever trick.
    However, sometimes that’s better than sounding out the words. I’ve always felt like that was the most painful part.

    • January 24, 2012 8:43 pm

      I reason that if she sounds them out once she won’t keep missing them and won’t need to make up words! It’s this vicious circle you see?

  29. January 24, 2012 5:07 pm

    Maybe Maya does not really like that particular book? I usually let my son read from his fave series and I sit next to him so he knows that I will notice if he tries to skip or make up some words. He does that too (makes up words). I guess that’s just how 7 years old roll! 🙂

    • January 24, 2012 8:44 pm

      Maya does this with any book she chooses…and I let her choose any book!

  30. January 24, 2012 5:48 pm

    Oh! I remember Book It! What a great program, though I can see how “taxing” it can get with a child reading aloud.

  31. January 24, 2012 7:17 pm

    OK, seriously curious to know what she does to your husband now!

    • January 24, 2012 8:45 pm

      There isn’t enough space in this little comment box to tell you all of it! If I can convince her to stop reading to me I’m sure I’ll post about it soon enough. 🙂

  32. January 24, 2012 9:01 pm

    Awwww I can just imagine her doing all those things. But I really want to know what Ali has to deal with. Please!

  33. January 24, 2012 9:43 pm

    I think that Ali should take up the reading regiment from now on, and btw don’t scare me I am not on the forced reading list yet but I can’t imagine the pain with twins.

    • January 25, 2012 9:34 pm

      You have to do this twice?? You have my utmost sympathy.

  34. January 24, 2012 10:49 pm

    Wow. They still have Book It? That is impressive, although I don’t recall having to read out loud to earn my pepperoni. Maybe you can hire someobe affordably on Elance who can listen to Maya read. Then you can just park her in front of a webcam on Skype.

    • January 25, 2012 9:34 pm

      Is it terrible that I’ve thought about this already?

  35. January 25, 2012 12:23 am

    Perhaps you could bribe her to be kinder with a trip to Hawaii;)

  36. January 25, 2012 1:18 am

    Ahhhh yes, many a mom can relate to this. Since I homeschool, I have now taught three children to read and I have a good three to go. It’s not one of the things I look forward to the most as a homeshcooler, it’s hard. I too find myself doing breathing exercises half way through what seems hours of reading sometimes. Do our kids know what we go through for them? Doubt it. 🙂 Hilarious Ameena, you’re great.


    • January 25, 2012 9:36 pm

      You home school? My God. How do you do it? Times 6?

      I need a few lessons from you on how to be patient. Seriously.

  37. January 25, 2012 3:59 am

    Haha Maya reminds me of myself as a kid more and more- I was such a little terror! I am one of the few people who really know how to press my mom’s buttons. As for dad, no way I would pull the same shiz with him! I’ll give it to Maya- she’s very clever in terms of planning for the long term…i.e. when she’ll really need to know what her limits are :)! Sorry for the most unsympathetic reply but it is is what it is ha ha!

    • January 25, 2012 9:37 pm

      It is what it is – I tell myself this daily!

      “Shiz.” I love it.

  38. January 25, 2012 4:36 am

    I could be sappy and say soon enough she will not need you to read with her but you may actually like that. Truth be told I have no issue that my kids are more independent at all.

    • January 25, 2012 9:37 pm

      I will totally like that. I’m not going to lie!

  39. January 25, 2012 6:57 am

    I am homeschooling my toddler these days and my patience has been tested to the limits. Not a day goes by that I don’t cry or feel wretched as a mother. But I guess she is my child and I have to deal with it.
    But I agree with you about how children do the same stuff with other people absolutely differently. It amazes me how much my daughter invokes appreciative glances and comments when she deals with outsiders.

    • January 25, 2012 9:38 pm

      How do you homeschool? Really? I am just so impressed by homeschooling mothers…

  40. January 25, 2012 10:09 am

    Maybe you can read aloud to her in a really annoying way?
    Just more evidence that I would make a terrible mother!

    • January 25, 2012 9:38 pm

      Now that’s a fantastic idea!! Give her a taste of her own medicine. 🙂

  41. January 25, 2012 11:11 am

    Heh, it sounds like there is no winning. When I was little, I used to read while eating lunch and I’d spill things everywhere. To this day, the sight of books near a dining table drives my mom nuts 🙂

    PS: More pictures of your house please! LOVE the decor (especially since our place is still mostly empty).

    • January 25, 2012 9:39 pm

      You appreciate my sad little iPhone photo of my messy living room? Thank you my friend!

  42. January 25, 2012 1:30 pm

    Maya is hilarious! You should make her read the same line again and again till she reads it right, regardless of how torturous it is for you 😉 One fine day, she’ll get bored *HOPEFULLY* and start reading properly!

    • January 25, 2012 9:39 pm

      It would definitely be torturous but I see your point! Maybe she’ll knock it off out of sheer frustration…

  43. January 25, 2012 2:50 pm

    Karlie makes up words too, I think she does it just to piss me off. Think they are conspiring against us?

  44. January 25, 2012 5:33 pm

    Yes, I cannot wait for the day when my son can read by himself because I’m fecking tired of reading the same book 10238503424 times…cause that means that when he’s old enough to read, he’ll have that book memorized so we won’t have to deal with annoying words.
    I win.

  45. January 25, 2012 8:28 pm

    When I was little, I remember asking for a VHS Pokemon tape that was on sale at Jean Coutu for 6.99$ or so. My mom told me if I was able to read ”Jean Coutu” she would get it for me.
    It took me nearly 40min.
    Damn I loved Pokemon.

    • January 25, 2012 9:41 pm

      Now that’s dedication to Pokemon.

      PS: Your mom sounds awesome!

  46. Janelle permalink
    January 26, 2012 4:42 am

    As I believe you’ve mentioned before, I think making up words could very well be a sign of genius. Or at least an indication that she is on quite the path to being a politician.

  47. January 26, 2012 4:47 pm

    one word: TUTOR. I think i was like maya. Maybe i can my own language, haha. But i turned out okay, right?

  48. January 26, 2012 8:26 pm

    Too funny.
    Having my kids read to me is TORTURE! I get so excited when they finish a book that I clap, which I think makes them think that I like listening to them say wrong words and sound out each and every letter sound.

  49. January 31, 2012 10:56 am

    I expect that it is indeed purposeful…perhaps she is gathering material to write her own blog? 🙂 How I drove my mother to tear with a single ready lesson 🙂
    Just kidding, don’t panic 🙂

    • January 31, 2012 12:33 pm

      Too late…I am totally panicked imagining years and years of this!

  50. February 2, 2012 10:05 pm

    I’m not looking forward to the sneaky tactics my kids are going to pull on me. Reading your blog is like my heads up. Thanks, Ameena 😉

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