Beezus and Ramona

I loved Beverly Cleary when I was a kid. So I was thrilled when The Boy finally started reading her books. Until a few weeks ago…

Him: At school we’re reading about Ramona and Bee-ZEUS!

Me: Ramona and who?

Him: Bee-ZEUS, her big sister.

Me: Her name is BEE-zus.

Him: No it’s not. It’s Bee-ZEUS.

Me: Buddy, you’re thinking of the wrong god. Her name rhymes with “Jesus.”

Him: Everyone pronounces it Bee-ZEUS.

And so ensued a five-minute argument in which he could not be swayed from his position.

Now, aside from mispronouncing the name of a favorite literary character of my childhood, there’s a bigger issue going on. Namely, my son no longer sees me as the ultimate authority in issues of education or intellect. I knew it would happen. I knew that some day I would be cast aside as someone whose opinion was of little value, but I was kind of hoping I had until middle school for that to happen.

And so I keep butting heads with him, hoping I can bring back my little boy who thought Mommy knew everything. If only for a little while.

I went the phonics route today when he brought up “Bee-ZEUS” again.

Me: How do you pronounce B-U-S?

Him: Bus.

Me: How would you give it a long U sound?

Him: Add an “e”.

Me: Right. So B-U-S-E would be “byoose.” How do you spell the last part of Beezus’ name?

Him: Z-U-S.

Me: So it’s a short U sound that rhymes with “bus.” BEE-zus.

Him: I know fifty people who call her Bee-ZEUS.

I know I should just let it go. But dangit, this is a childhood classic! And I just noticed that there’s a movie version coming out this summer. The trailer includes the correct pronunciation. I’m thinking about playing it for him.

I’m so ready for him to have a come-to-Beezus moment.

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Categories: The Kids

2 replies

  1. Hilarious. I know fifty people that call her BEE-zus. I think we’re at an impasse, or should I say, impass-EH?

  2. You should tape your conversation with the boy about this with his “correct” pronunciation so you can play it back later when he recants his pronunciation and claims he never said it any other way…

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