I enjoyed the story about Scrabble that was doing the rounds this week.
Some American researcher has been spouting off about how many points each tile should score.
He reckons that high-scoring letters like ‘Q’ and ‘Z’ should be worth less.
The thinking is that changes to the English language and the way we speak mean such letters are more common and shouldn’t carry battle-winning points.
I could take on these Scrabble gurus no problem, as it seems that, of late, my life is all about the importance of letters.
I stopped round at my daughter’s on Tuesday to watch the wee one as she, now 39 weeks’ pregnant, was going for a midwife appointment.
“Right, mum,” she began, “his favourite C-R-I-S-P-S are in the cupboard, but please no more than one packet mid-morning or I’ll never get him for a N-A-P.”
“Okay,” I nodded, winking at Jack in my usual “she’ll never know” manner.
“And he’s been asking to go to the P-A-R-K, but it’s really too cold, mum, so don’t let him talk you into it, and please don’t let him see that there’s P-I-Z-Z-A in the fridge for dinner tonight.”
“Alright,” I said. “Go or you’ll be late.”
Frankly I was sick of the lectures and endless spelling assessments.
“Okay,” said Emma, “now I can go see about my other B-A-B-Y.”
For God’s sake, I thought, you can’t mention the new baby either?
It’s such an exciting time for kids before a new brother of sister comes along.
The questions they come out with are hilarious, so why ruin it all simply because you’re tired of saying the same thing repeatedly?
That’s the joy of parenthood.
Maybe I should speak to her, I thought, remind her how quickly childhood goes by, and, well, spell it out for her.
Of course, children have a way of getting round things.
In Jack’s case, he will learn to spell, and he’ll be tall enough to see inside the fridge, and he’ll be able to tell his uptight mother that it doesn’t matter if it’s cold outside when you’re running about daft.
But, that day, I did as I was told, and kept him indoors, but drove him round to my mum’s for a change of scene.
Mum had one of her bridge friends round for some tea.
She’s an annoying, nosey wee woman who ask questions that she already knows the answers to.
A C-O-W basically.
After a few awkward and brazen questions about “the man in my life”, my mother found it necessary to lean towards her ear.
“Well, Mary,” said mum, “Kate’s actually getting a D-I-V-O-R-C-E.”
Well, there you have it, doesn’t matter how old you are, you’ll find something you feel should be spelt out.