Friday, June 24, 2005

Reelin' in the Years*

Had a friend from my old school over for dinner the other night. He's in town for work, so we invited him by for pizza, really good banana cream pie, and many beers. He's a dad, too, so he was checking out AB's toys and other assorted toddler-type paraphernalia.

He noticed on our fridge that we have the Fridge Phonics toy. Basically, you put the magnetic letter into the slot, and the toy sings about what sound that letter makes. E.g., "D says duh, D says duh, every letter makes a sound, D says duh!" And it even tells you when letters make two sounds, like, "G says guh, and G says juh, every letter makes a sound, G says guh…and juh!" My friend asked if I liked that toy, 'cause he and his wife were thinking about getting it. I told him I liked it for a few reasons: AB loves it, and I really think that toy was part of the reason he learned his alphabet so early. But, as far as the letter sounds go, I had a couple of issues. The biggest being that when you put the Y in the slot, it sings, "Y says yuh, and Y says eye…" When does Y say "eye"? Rarer than when it says "eeee," I'll tell you that much. I’m not very "happ-eye" about that. Anyway, as soon as I started talking about the Y, my friend started to grin. Apparently, in the stores, they have the toy set up so that parents can test it (like most talking or singing toys). But the letter they have in there is the Y! My friend tried it out in the store, but when it said, "Y says eye," he thought, "I'm not buying this thing--it's going to teach my kid the wrong stuff!" I couldn't help but wonder how many parents have refrained from buying that toy because the stupid Y was in the slot at the store. Heh.

Anyway, you can see why we've been friends for more than 10 years now (great minds think alike, and all that). It was terrific seeing him. I hope we can do it again sometime soon, and I hope that next time his girlfriend-now-wife can come up with their baby boy, too.

*During our sophomore year of college, he and I drove for hours and hours and hours down to Florida. Most of the time, the CD in the car stereo was A Decade of Steely Dan. To this day, whenever I hear Steely Dan, I think of Florida, and whenever I'm in Florida, I need to hear some Steely Dan.


Blogger halloweenlover said...

Our neighbor has a 2 year old son, so for Hanukkah this year we bought him that toy. Just like AB, he LOVES it. He walks around the house pointing at letters and singing the song. When I first heard it, I thought his parents might kill us because the song was slightly annoying ("every letter makes a sound...") but instead, every time we come out of our house they proclaim us as the instigators of their sons reading abilities! He is only about 27 months now, but has apparently been trying to spell and read.

I think its a pretty good toy, Y eye and eeeee notwithstanding.

10:30 AM, June 24, 2005  
Blogger liz said...

Muffin Man has that toy and Looooooves it. We have the same problem with the y. It's true though that y can make the "aye" sound (mylar?) but they should have had it go "y says yuh, and aye, and ie!

10:40 AM, June 24, 2005  
Blogger Angry Pregnant Lawyer said...

Yeah, that's true. Y says "eye" in "by" and "cry" and lots of words. But I still most often think of it as an "ih" sound ("bicycle" and "rhythm") or "eee" sound.

12:55 PM, June 24, 2005  

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