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.