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May 26, 2002 - Sunday
Harry corrected my pronunciation today!

I was reading "Make Way For Ducklings" just before Harry's afternoon nap and got to where Mrs. Mallard is leading her eight little ducklings along Charles St toward the Public Garden. Flattered by comments from onlookers about her well-behaved babies, Mrs. Mallard's pride gives her an extra "swing in her waddle." I pronounced waddle with short "a" sound like in "hat."

As I turned the page and opened my mouth to begin the next line, Harry in a soft voice, said "waddle," with an "a" sound like it "walk."

I was taken aback and, from the fog of routine reading, wasn't quite sure what had just happened. I stopped reading for a moment to process Harry's aside. He said the word I just read and he had said it differently than I did. I flipped back to the previous page and reread the sentence to myself. As I pulled my brain from near-rote mode to active thinking, I realized Harry must be correcting my reading. I smiled and told Harry he was right. I read it aloud as he had directed and then turned ahead to the next page.

Still replaying Harry's comment in my mind, I read the first line of that next page, mostly from memory having just started to read it moments earlier. However, between searching for my actual place on the page and reprocessing Harry's interjection, I delayed too long and Harry filled in the next sentence himself. Interestingly, he actually got it wrong. There are two pages that begin very similarly: Mrs. Mallard and the ducklings "reached the corner bookstore" and "came to the Public Gardens." I paused at "came to..." and Harry filled in with "the corner bookstore." Still, all that certainly shows he was paying attention to the story!

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