Saturday, March 10, 2007

Wed Wooster

Arleen Taft Johnson

The grandchildren have been and are a source of joy and happiness to Bob and me. Each and every individual child has a unique personality specific to that person. They hold a special spot of joy in our hearts and lift our spirits. We love to have them come to our home. When the children were younger, we were so pleased when they could come on a vacation to our home and spend some personal one-on-one time with us.
In the summer of l984 just such a special occasion took place. Seth Kenneth Watson, Tafta and Kerry Watson’s fifth child and third son, had the opportunity to spend some vacation time at the home of his Johnson grand parents. His grand parents agreed “grand kids are grand.”
Sethie, as his Grandma Johnson called him, was a cute little talking, happy boy. He smiled often and laughed a lot and sunshine just glowed from his face and countenance. Seth was just three years old and really learning to talk fluently. But, he had one major difficulty in his vocabulary. The ‘r’ sound was difficult for him to pronounce correctly. His ‘r’ sounds came out as a ‘w’ sound. Red was said ‘wed’ and ‘run’ was said ‘wun’.
As Grandpa and Seth sat spending time and love together in the brown leather rocking chair in the kitchen, they took hold of this prime opportunity and practiced Seth’s talking. Grandpa made an rrrrrrrrrrr sound and Seth, tried to make the same sound. He just could not achieve the same effect. Grandpa had Seth look at the way Grandpa placed his tongue in his mouth. Seth followed in like matter with his little tongue placement correct. The cute little boy tried very hard to follow instructions.
Once in a while Grandma would say, “Oh my gosh, we need a break in the phonetic, training lessons. Give us just one hour off.” Her ears got tired, but Seth was always eager to learn.
And so it was, after much practice and laughing and hugging and trial and error and
treats, Seth was able to make the rrrrrrrrr come out just right and he and Grandpa clapped and
cheered. He was capable of saying many ‘r’ sounding words correctly and he was very proud
of his efforts and accomplishments.
We did all of the usual fun things that go on at our house like playing in the sand pile with
the big Tonka trucks, helping Grandma fix the meals, going to the farm with Grandpa and
following Grandpa around and assisting him. He also liked to listen to Grandma Johnson read picture books stories to him.
Seth especially loved the farm and all the animals. But of the all the animals at the farm, the chickens were his favorite and he especially liked the red rooster. The rooster was a Bantam
breed of chicken and hence the rooster was not too terribly big. Seth liked to hold the chicken in his little arms. Grandpa caught the chicken and carefully folded its wings down flat. Seth then wrapped his cute small arms around the fowl and held it up close to him.
The cute chicken seemed to sense the love of a small child and snuggled up against Seth. Seth laid his head down on the rooster and said, “I love the Wed Wooster Grandpa. “
Oh, my gosh, Grandma knew more lessons in phonetics would be coming.
And of course the instruction did come and what a fun experience Seth and Grandpa had. The success Seth and Grandpa achieved in their language improving endeavor was not the matter that really counted. It was the love and closeness between the two and to see their fun in working together.

Rooster picture page 30, Country Magazine, December/January 2007

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