The Great Definition Mix-Up

I admit it. I had my doubts.  My father-in-law was certain that my son was going to love receiving a children’s dictionary as a Christmas gift. I was not so certain about that.

Sure, this is the kid who loves to read books with titles like “How Things Work” and “What Makes Things Go.” But wouldn’t opening a dictionary as a present on Christmas Eve for a child be the equivalent of opening a package of new white undershirts for us adults? Is the gift handy and useful? Yes. Is it exciting? Maybe not. Thus, I was very concerned that my father-in-law’s feelings would be hurt if my son didn’t respond to the gift with great enthusiasm.

I am proud to report that my child responded with an appropriate amount of interest before moving on to more thrilling gifts of toys, and all ended well. In fact, one might say that it ended wonderfully.

I am so grateful to my father-in-law for buying my child a dictionary. Without that thoughtful gift, this wonderful little moment would not have happened.

Within the week, my son (who was six and in the first grade at that time) started reading his new dictionary in bed every night. Being a special edition designed specifically for children, the Merriam-Webster’s First Dictionary is actually pretty interesting to read.  The sidebar of each page is filled with fun facts, jokes, and interesting anecdotes.

Each morning, my son would share some of his newfound knowledge with me, and one of those mornings led to the following fun exchange (which is one of my most favorite memories).

6yo: Mom, I know what an ambush is.

Me: Oh yeah? What is an ambush?

6yo: It’s when a bunch of sticks and rocks and stuff fall down a mountain.

Me: Hmmm. An ambush is like a surprise attack. (Knowing that he had been reading the A section of his dictionary the night before, I did some quick brainstorming of other A words.) I think you might be thinking of an avalanche.

6yo: No, an avalanche is like being sick. It makes you breathe weird.

Me: (More quick thinking) Umm, I think that might be asthma.

Oh my gosh! Is that not one of the cutest little conversations ever?!?

I love this child with his constant desire to learn – this child who reads dictionaries and memorizes definitions! And, I am so grateful to my father-in-law for getting my child a dictionary. Without that thoughtful gift, this wonderful little moment would not have happened.


As always, any opinions stated in this post are completely my own. Additionally, this post contains an affiliate link. If you make a purchase through the provided link, I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you). So thanks for supporting my blogging habit!

Please Share Your Thoughts