I thought I heard the little D say "Wow, it's a belly dome." Half-listening as I usually am when he talks endlessly about his latest imaginative characters and their super-powers, or of the most excruciatingly detailed analysis of Harry Potter and friends, I only nodded and said, "what's a belly dome?"
"Wow," replies he.
"Wow is one."
After a while, I realized that he was saying "Wow is a palindrome," a concept I didn't know he knew. This opens up a whole new world, as I have, in the bathroom, a book of palindromes entitled "I Love Me, Vol. I." Maybe that's where he learned it, but I don't think he's into the fine art of reading-while-on-the-head yet. Palindromes, like other word games (acronyms, anagrams, acrostics,) fascinate me because it seems impossible to create them. I mean, who but a totally obsessive word-smith would come up with:
"Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod?" or create the double-dactyl:
murdered his father, used
mama for sex.
This mad debauch, not so
left poor Jocasta and
Oedipus wrecks. -Joan Munkacsi
Coming back to the D, I am very glad of his interest. On the plane back from Houston, there was a couple with a 2 or 2-1/2 year-old kid across from me. For over an hour-and-a-half, the parents were reading to him (mostly Seuss.) I reflected on the fact that kids like D and the one across the aisle are so lucky to have parents who read to them from the time they were infants. I'm sure that explains D's interest in the written as well as the spoken word, and I'm sure the airline kid will have quite a leg up on reading and writing.
But what about others? All those kids who don't have parents with the time, the inclination and the ability to read to them? Maybe food for the mind should be put on an even footing with food for the body and we should have reading advisers roaming through the day-care centers?