Category Archives: Language

Santa: is he still coming?

When my older daughter was 10 (I’m guessing), she said, “Mommy, I have something to ask you. I want you to tell me the truth.” Okay. “Is there any such thing as Santa Claus?” I answered her truthfully. Her response, “You’re lying.” Once again I am faced with a child and the reality of Santa. But the difference is that this child, Isabella, still believes in Santa. She’s 13. She needs to be told. Many children with learning challenges are exceptionally gullible. Often adults need to step in to set things right. No parent wants to see her child being taken advantage of. It really stings. So one day in the car recently Isabella mentioned something about Santa. I just came out and told her. She took it well. She didn’t say that I was lying. A few days later she mentioned Santa again. I reminded her about the truth. Yes, she remembered our conversation, but she was worried. Would she still receive presents under the tree if there was no Santa. Ah, perhaps the reason why some children believe for so long. Now that’s thinking!

Using language

Another milestone of sorts, not the kind that most parents mark, however. While dining at Fork in Philadelphia (highly recommended), Isabella provided a possible glimpse into her future. While eating — she duck, me risotto, her dad branzino, our companion hangar steak — Isabella proclaimed that she had developed a rating scale for restaurants. One was for terrible, two was for okay, three was for good, and four was for excellent. The rating encompassed service, as well as food. Our evening at the highly-acclaimed Fork was nearly demoted to a three when I had to ask for a red wine refill twice. All was restored when Fork’s owner delivered my vino. This is a sophisticated use of language in a conceptual way. It’s all good.

Today we made our way to the Reading Terminal Market. (I did not care for it when I visited a few years ago, but I thought I’d give it another try.) We were starved because it was eleven am and we hadn’t eaten. I spotted a diner that I heard mentioned on NPR because a celebrity couple dined there. Okay, if it’s good enough for the rich and famous, Isabella and I should be satisfied. My oatmeal was room temperature, clumpy, overcooked and enough for four. We’re not certain what Isabella was served. So my daughter came up with another rating — zero for it sucks.