Practicing spelling words on the way to school with the oldest, a routine that always ends with both of us rolling our eyes at the other’s ignorance (or, in middle school language, my daughter’s belief that, “Ugh, you just don’t get it, mom!”)…

“Keaton, you have to understand, it is physically painful for me that you don’t know how to spell. Seriously. Like, it actually hurts my brain that you can’t do this.”
Keat: “Well, dad can’t spell.”
“I know. That’s why he has me proof his emails at night. Because, right or wrong, Keaton, people judge your intelligence on whether or not you can spell.”
Keaton: “Well, that’s ridiculous.”
“Spell ‘ridiculous.'”
Keat, trying not to smile: “I can’t.”
Deep sigh. “Just try to sound stuff out instead of memorizing. You skip VOWELS in entire words when you spell. I mean, come on! Your 7-year-old brother back there knows how to spell because he sounds stuff out.”
Keaton, indignant: “No, he sounds stuff out because he’s still learning how to spell.”
“Well, clearly so are you, my dear.”

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