Sunday, January 17, 2010

Liana loves rhymes.

Well, she doesn’t quite get the concept of rhymes. But she knows she loves them. We’ve done the “Jack and Jill went up a hill. Look! Jill and hill rhyme” stuff. Fox and box rhyme. Pat and sat rhyme. She loves it, and is currently searching for examples of rhyming words all around her.

But she also seems to think that any words that contain the same sounds rhyme. For the past couple of weeks, she has pointed out, for example, various words starting with the SH sound, and exclaiming that they rhyme. I nod, and point out that the beginning of the words sounds the same, and that we call that alliteration. “Can you say alliteration?” I go on to explain that rhyming is when the end of the words sounds the same. She rolls her eyes, or sometimes even stamps her foot in frustration, and proclaims “Well I think they rhyme!”

Another day:

“Mommy! Person and purple! They rhyme!”

Wow Liana! Person and purple both start with the “per” sound, and they both start with the letter P. Want to find other words that start with the letter P?

“But they RHYME!”

Earlier this week, rhymes took on a new life of their own.

“Mommy! Mouse and cheese! They rhyme!”

“Liana, mouse and cheese go together, because a mouse likes to eat cheese. But they don’t sound the same, so we don’t call that a rhyme. Mouse rhymes with house. Cheese rhymes with please.”

My explanations have been met with frustration on her part. Which of course, is the last thing I want to do. She is finding connections. Thinking. Reasoning. I want to encourage this thoughtful exploration of the world around her.

But when I say that a pair of words don’t rhyme, she folds her arms, stamps a foot, turns away from me in frustration and says “Well I think they rhyme!”

I think I missed the memo on how to deal with this aspect of parenting….

Sleep and bedtime continue to be high drama at home. So the other night when she got out of bed and came barreling into the living room to announce in a loud, animated voice:

“Mommy! Pato and shoe! They rhyme!”

I responded with a cold and cranky instruction to return to bed.

But she was very excited. She kept repeating it. “Pato” waving her left arm with palm facing up, “shoe!” waving her right arm with palm facing up. “See? They rhyme.”

“Liana. It is time to go to bed. I want to see your head on that pillow.”

“Pato! Shoe! See?”

“Liana. Pato and shoe don’t rhyme. And you need to be in bed so that you get enough sleep so that you don’t get sick and so you have lots of energy at school tomorrow, right?”

As I am escorting her back to the bedroom, she tries one more time. “But if I say saaaa pato they do rhyme! They do!”

And then I realized. Saaaa pato. Zapato. Zapato is shoe in Spanish.

When she was a baby, and spoke more Spanish than English, she called her shoes “patos.” In the past year or so, she has rejected Spanish almost completely. But clearly a lot of it is still there.

What amazing things are going on in this little girl’s brain.