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?
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?
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.
Categories: The Kids