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November 15, 2006


Today I attended a Thanksgiving feast in the classroom of my first-grade daughter, Sophie. I was reading her journal, and came upon this entry, for October 25:

I have an imaginary pet unicorn. I would teach it these rules: come, stop, be nice, listen and chew.

I also learned that the Skill of the Week is: Cause and Effect.


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Cause I am first, I can say that effect is NOT a skill


What's the pet's name?

Ah... Sophie knows that if her unicorn doesn't chew, he might choke.

Cause and effect. Lesson learned.

Teaching an imaginary unicorn to listen is definitely a skill, but what would cause a little girl to dream up an imaginary unicorn???

*cue reverb and echo*

Bad parenting?

What was the skill of the week last week? Happening, perhaps? Maybe existing? Or something a little more intensive like having hair?


Was there turkey at the feast? Pumpkin pie? Popcorn balls?

And more importantly, did you chew?

Dave, I am extremely disappointed. If you were a decent father you would buy that child a real unicorn.

*SNORK* at Baron

Um, you may wanna tell Sophie that teaching it to chew is great, but if she doesn't teach it to poop, she's gonna have a fat, cranky unicorn on her hands.

Your first grader has nicer printing than I do.

Sophie can spell "imaginary" correctly? Well, color me impressed!

I think spelling "imaginary" in the first grade is kind of amazing.

(Seriously, I don't remember there being three-syllable words when I was in first grade.)

On the other hand, I just gave up my imaginary friend last week. Unlike Sophie, I could never get him to chew.

For a partial answer to "why a unicorn," go to babyblues.com and look at the comic for Friday, October 27. (I'd include the link, but it's not date-specific.)

As the mother of an 11-month old daughter, I know this kind of thing is in my future. And Dave - I'm impressed! My son is almost exactly the same age as Sophie, and her printing is much better than his! (Must be another girl thing!)

Suzy-Great minds, I didn't see your post.

OK Suzy. I have my Crayola 64 pack right here. Um...which one is impressed?

Hey folks, OF COURSE her writing is brilliant! I heard she sprang from the loins of a talented WRITER!

*wonders when Sophie's book about her pet unicorn will come out*

Someday we will read the great american novel by Sophie Barry and to boot it will be written legibly which is saying alot these days.

Cheers to Dave and Michelle.

Casey wrote:

Hey folks, OF COURSE her writing is brilliant! I heard she sprang from the loins of a talented WRITER!

Casey, I didn't realize Dave's wife was a talented writer.

Now as for the Thanksgiving feast where is our Turkey Leg????

I just read Baby Blues and I think it's more than a coincidence. Dave is probably penning the comic under one of these names: Rick Kirkman or Jerry

More importantly, Dave, you are raising her right if she added be nice and listen...

Michelle is a awesome writter as for her dad though it is hard to tell maybe we should sample some of his work.

pssst....might want to tell that teacher that Thanksgiving is next week...

Imaginary, legible writing, use of colons and commas?

*thinks maybe Sophia should write a book*

We'll know for sure where Sophie draws her writing inspiration from the day that "oosik" appears in her journal.

Good thing she didn't spell it oonikorn.

My first-grader (the Swiss Army knife toting kid) has an excellent command of verbal language skills. He correctly uses vocabulary well beyond his years, and (more importantly) can 'translate' from Adult English to Kid English with no problems. For example, I say "Go tell your sister to get her a$$ out of bed right now." And he will dutifully go tell his sister "Get your butt our of bed right now."

His writing skills, however, look more like modern art than actual alphabetic runes.

Why an imaginary unicorn? Won't you let her have a real one? :D

Am I the only one worried that "cause" and "effect" are two skills?

and don't get me started on "chew" AND "swollow".

Unless Sophie's unicorn likes gum, of course.

*thinks DPC needs to put a quarter in the potty mouth box for saying a$$ to a first grader*

And "Effect" is a skill like "being" which is what the unicorn needs to work on.

I'll stop now.

DPC's potty moth box wil not accept any more contributions - it is stuffed completely full, d@mn it.

I'm a few years (and then some) past 1st grade, but Sophie's handwriting is approximately 89 bazillion times better than my own.

Maybe I should go through grade school again. I already have my crayons ready.

"...come, stop, be nice, listen and chew."

Yup; I'd say that covers the basic necessities.

Sophie is all kinds of cuteness, Dave. Good work. Or do we thank Michelle for that? ;-)

Geeze, Chris. For some reason, I was afraid that you were going to link to That Font again. In which case, I'd've said that your kid was a bit precocious.

Nope. And he's not allowed to fly to Raleigh with any of his girl friends, either.

Seems like understanding the concept of "cause and effect" might be that week's skill...not the idea that an 'effect' is a skill...

Oh c'mon now, is anyone really surprised that Dave's kid would choose an unicorn as her imaginary pet?

No, if she doesn't teach it to poo, she will have a dead unicorn. A dead imaginary unicorn. (cause and effect)

Also, she should teach it not to Shitake on the carpet. Imaginary poo is the worst to step in cause you can't see it to get it off your shoe.

casey, you only get the Impressed color if you spring for the 96 box.

I've always wanted a unicorn, too. When Sophie finds hers,will you let me know where to get one? thanks.

Addicted to 24, what Ren Faire is that? It looks like Bristol in Wisconsin.

If Sophie doesn't teach her unicorn to chew, then it won't be able to eat all her yucky broccoli when Dad isn't looking.

The sad thing about this. Nancy pelosi's notes incicate she has forever damaged the integrity of her imaginery unicorn. With dirty Italian words.

Actually, I was about to ask Addicted if that's the Maryland RenFest . . . so, Addicted, 'fess up!

Awww, how cute! An imaginary pet unicorn. Sounds like a budding writer.

Man, must be tough to be a parent in the Barry household. Most kids her age are happy with a hamster. ;-)

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I thought I had an imaginary pet gerbil once. Turned out it was just gas.

AW!!! I looove it. My little kindergartener came home yesterday with a picture and a note on it that said, "I hav a tardatyl uder mi bed." And a lovely picture of a Pteradactyl. Sophie would like my kid. (hee hee, the Pteradactyl and Unicorn would enjoy each other too...)

tardatyl = flying dinosaur that has to ride the short bus? Just askin'.

We all know Sophie is a creative genious.

"Have joy"

guizo-If you're still around, you make an intriguing point about Nancy. Are you referring to the Murtha appointment?

I have an (indirect) professional interest in her career and would be interested to hear you expand on your point.

When my daughter was about 4, she had an imaginary horse named "Heh heh" (because a horse says 'HEH-heh-heh'). Don't know if she taught Heh Heh the good values that Sophie is teaching her unicorn, but I know that no one in this family EVER had handwriting that good.

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