My oldest and youngest children are doing pretty well at school. So I was looking forward to their parent-teacher interviews, in that smug sort of way mums who have a child who struggles at school (my middle child) do.
My first interview was with my oldest son Philip’s teachers. They job share. They are two of the most awesome, lovely teachers you’ll ever meet.
They both shared the same concern.
“Have you ever considered speech therapy for Philip’s lisp,” one of them said.
“No. I think it’s cute,” me, giggling stupidly.
“But what about when he starts high school,” one of them said. “You might want to do something about it before them.”
The first time I became aware that lisps were a ‘bad’ thing was when I watched Cindy struggle with hers on iconic TV show The Brady Bunch. Post continues after the video.
Then I walked down many stairs to reach my youngest child, Caterina’s classroom. She is one of those awesome women who I get along with really well and if it wasn’t for the fact she was my daughter’s teacher, I’m pretty sure we’d be best friends.
“Caterina has a strong lisp,” she began, “and sometimes it makes her mispronounce words and letters and then she writes down the wrong letters in her book. See?”
She opened Caterina’s book to a page where many s’s and th’s had been replaced with z’s.
“I thought it was cute,” I said, “but I see the problem. I’ll make an appointment.”
I’ve always loved my children’s lisps. They have a tongue thrust. Philip’s lisp used to be so bad that Spiderman was always called Sliderman. He’s gotten a lot better but it’s still there. Caterina’s is as severe as Philip’s used to be.
It’s a sad day in our home. It’s time to say so long, farewell to my children’s adorable lisps.
I rang and made an appointment, expecting to be told we'd require a series of expensive and serious appointments only to be told, "We'll just do the one session with them together and teach you how to practice the exercises at home."
Still, I feel sad.
I love their lisps. Their lisps are so cute and so childlike and so innocent. Sure, they spit a bit when they talk but so what? I know the time has come. I'm just wondering, has anyone else felt sad at 'fixing' their child's lisp or it just me being weird?
I don't know.
Maybe I'm not too happy about yet another sign that my children are growing up, and fast. It really does go by in the blink of an eye. First their lisp will go. Then there'll be puberty, jobs, weddings and next thing I know I'll be walked into a retirement home by them as I tearfully explain that I'd much prefer to stay in my own home and if it weren't for me they'd be lisping fools!
Talk about ungrateful.
Have you felt sad at having to correct your children's speech in any way? Do you have any tips for curing children of lisps?