Left? Right!

The conversation around our family’s dinner table tonight was very much like a long answer to the joke that starts with,

“What do you get when you cross a linguist with a speech-language pathologist?”

Lyle, kicking things off with a random deep thought: Mommy, of the side-to-side words (gesturing from left to right and holding out his hands), which do you like better, “left” or “right”? I mean, the words, not the directions. Which one of those words do you like the best?  I like “left”.

Me, surprised: Hmm, I never thought about that.  I guess I’d say I like…

Baxter, interjecting quickly: Right.  I like right.

Me, finishing: …”left”.  I think I’d say “left”, off the top of my head, just because it seems more unique and interesting than “right”.  I guess I’m thinking about how common it is for people to be right-handed and fewer people are left-handed, so “left” seems kind of cool to me.  That’s the first thing I think of.

Lyle: I like “left”, too, because “left” only means one or two things, but the word “right” can mean lots and lots of different things.

Baxter: Yeah, like when you get something “right”, or correct… I like “right” because one time in Amelia Bedelia, Mr. Rogers told Amelia to turn left and she said, “Left?” and he said, “Right!” and so she turned right! [This retelling was a lot longer but I couldn’t follow its winding roads well enough at the time to reiterate them for posterity here.]

Matt: I like “left” because it makes me think of leftovers...

Me, laughing: But I think many people have a negative connotation when they think of leftovers!

Matt: Well, I’m thinking of pizza leftovers… (all three of us were suddenly on board)

Baxter: Then there’s also getting “left” in the dust, and that’s bad...

And so it went, on and on.  We also discussed our preferences for “up” v. “down” and a variety of other oddities.  This has just got to be in their genes.

** Edited to add: At breakfast this morning, Baxter taught Lyle what vowels and consonants are.  The boys spent half an hour giving each other words and naming the vowels in them.  (I made Lyle a cheat-sheet.)  They both found this endlessly entertaining.  After this posting of  last night’s dinner conversation, I did, too.


12 responses to “Left? Right!

  1. I love ANY conversation that involves the entire family.


    So cute.

  2. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the Wonder household! You guys crack me up!

  3. I like “left”…for political reasons.

    But that would be another dinner conversation.

  4. Good point, drama mama. I can’t believe we “left” that one out! We were focused on being unique and, uh, food…

  5. One of my boys’ favorite games is Organic or Inorganic. They like to see if they can stump each other. I think we’ve just bred wonderfully nerdy children!

  6. This is very entertaining. I wonder what this conversation would look like in our house. I love the morning game too!

  7. Regarding the vowel/consonant distinction, I highly recommend the Word Factory video (it is leapfrog I think). At any rate, the vowel song will be stuck in your head for eternity. “We’re a-e-i-o-u we’re the vowels, we’re the glue to stick the words together, we’re verrrry sticky letters!” For the record I like left because in spanish it just rocks and up because it is so short and sweet.

  8. What a dream team to a former elementary, secondary and ESL teacher – not to mention, awed Mother and Grandmother!

    My immediate response to the left/right question was to say that I vote for left on the politcal social side and I vote for right for the creative side of the brain – how to choose?

  9. Left. Definitely left. Left-handed; left-wing; left-leaning. Gotta be left.

    And up, because really the alternative, down, is such a downer.

  10. Even your kids are more erudite than I am. So cool.

  11. You know, we just recently had a talk with Apple about vowels vs. consonants. It was a very strange conversation to have with a kid who wasn’t quite 4 yet! She actually seemed to get some of it. What fun it is to be nerds. 🙂

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