learning how to type

Jake is excited about working on his book and kept badgering me yesterday to take dictation. I said I was too busy but he could write it himself if he wanted to. I don't know how to type, he said. I'll show you, I said. I labeled the keys with the proper finger numbers and left him to it.

I was in the kitchen washing dishes when he came in to ask me for help spelling.

Mom, how do you spell wow?


No, wow.


Mom, that's not what I'm saying. Wow. Wow. Like when something is happening and you're doing something else.

I have no idea what you're talking about.

Finally he used it in context for me and I realized that he wanted to know how to spell while. Oh, I said, you mean why-ul. He looked at me strangely. That's when it dawned on me (with something of a shock) that actually we don't say why-ul unless we see the word standing alone. We say wahl when linking it with other words. (Which my brain misunderstood as "wow" because "wahl" clearly isn't a word.)

Language is such a funny thing.

Anyway, he ended up with 130 words, and today has been badgering me again -- but this time to get off the computer so he can do some more writing.

Necessity. Means. Desire. This is how it happens.