Brutal and Murderous

When we got into bed last night, I looked over to find Todd reading Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.

I smiled and said, “What are you doing?”

It seems that the other night, Rollie decided to read Fantastic Mr. Fox. We are very proud of him, as he still likes to be read to by us before bed, but then he goes into his room and reads chapter books until he falls asleep. He read Fantastic Mr. Fox twice, and then told Todd that “he could read it after he was done.”

“Oh,” I said, “so you are actually reading it so you can discuss it? That’s nice!”

Todd: “Um, no, just skimming.”

Me: “For what?”

Todd explained that last night, Todd went into Rollie’s room and he was reading the Children’s Dictionary that he received for Christmas from Uncle Lyle and Aunt Denise. (One of Rollie’s coolest gifts, in the opinion of a word nerd like me.)

Todd asked what Rollie was doing. Rollie replied, “I’m looking up “brutal” and “murderous.”

Needless to say, they were not to be found in the Children’s Dictionary.

Todd explained what they mean to Rollie, and was looking through the Dahl book, wondering if they were mentioned in that book. No mention. I wondered if he read it on the cover of Todd’s “Left For Dead 2” xBox game. Nope. Nothing.

Where on earth did my sweet boy learn these words? I am baffled. And at the same time, oddly impressed with his vocabulary. And maybe a little worried that I am raising a serial killer.


  5 comments for “Brutal and Murderous

  1. January 5, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Anne- So glad Rolie is a reader, and it only gets cooler. I love that now I can pass down books to Sophie that I read as a girl. It’s nice to know that even with all the technology, some things can be as enjoyable to them as they were to us. And I agree with you about the dictionary, my parents gave one to Sophie last year, along with an encyclopedia. Both are children’s versions, and sometimes before bed she likes to play a game where she chooses a page blindly, then reads me whatever subject it opens too. We also play a game where I tell her a word and she has to find it in the dictionary and read the definition, then use it in a sentence. Another word nerd in the making….

  2. January 5, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    It’s from Mr. Fox. “Soon two enormous caterpillar tractors with mechanical shovels on their front ends came clanking into the woods. Bean was driving one. Bunce the other. The machines were both black. They were murderous, brutal-looking monsters.”

    Courtesy of’s “Search Inside the Book” (not sure what page number this appears on in Rollie’s copy, though).

    So I don’t think you’re raising a serial killer. 😉 I am glad that he figured out what to do with the dictionary and is using it. I knew it was the kind of thing I would have liked but I wasn’t sure if I was doing too much projecting there.

  3. todd
    January 5, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    ah, guess I was skimming too quickly when I read through the book….thanks for the heads up. Rollie loves the book, btw.

  4. January 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I absolutely love his intellectual curiosity. I’m trying to figure out, with SEC parents, how Rollie couldn’t have heard the words “brutal” and “murderous” during football season.

  5. January 5, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    Dorothy, that’s great! Love the encyclopedia idea. I used to love those time life books.

    Lyle, we definitely project stuff onto the kids. “Tiller, you don’t want Bratz, you want madame Alexander,” etc. It is a great gift and i am pretty proud of him for knowing what to do with it!

    Courtney, you know those haven’t come up yet, even with Auburn and GA’s seasons, but there is always next year. And he DID learn some other colorful language. 🙂

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