Continued from yesterday's post . . .
Tim started kindergarten when he was five. Because Salem didn't yet have public kindergarten, he went to a private one. His teacher was Mrs. Bebe, and she was the perfect teacher for Tim.
Mrs. Bebe had a system for teaching phonetics that involved taking one phonetic sound at a time and concentrating on it, starting with the short vowels.
One day Tim came home from school and announced that he had changed his name to "Tom."
"Why?" I asked.
"Because we learned the 'o' [pronouncing it as in "Tom"] sound today. But we haven't learned the 'i' [pronouncing it as in "Tim"] sound."
I figured this would last for all of about five minutes. But as the day went on I realized he was serious about this name change. Whenever I called him "Tim" he would correct me, "Call me 'Tom.'"
I was relieved that the next vowel in Mrs. Bebe's lesson plans was the short "i," because it wasn't until then that we got our son, Tim, back.
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