Slice of Life: Check Your Spelling, Chalkboy

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

I came stomping into the house, overstating my frustration.

“Hey,” I told him, and he looked up from playing Minecraft. “You know you live in a house with two educators?”

Silence. He was trying to figure out what I was getting at.

“Yeah?” he answered, rather reluctantly.

“Soooo,” I said, drawing out my word, “when we write with chalk on the driveway, you better check your spelling.”

Silence. Now he could see where this was going.

“And you have two spelling errors in what you wrote at the end of the driveway. Too and You’re. Common errors, for sure, but fixable.”


“Get out there and fix it!”

He looked up at me.

“You’re kidding me, right?”

My wife, who is much more of a stickler for public spelling errors than I am, joined in.

“Yes, you are going to fix it. That’s our driveway!”


“Because,” she said, “if you don’t, you will lose all screen time for the week.”

“This is ridiculous.”

She started to do the dreaded “countdown to doom.”

“One. Two. If I get to three …”

“OK. OK. Sheesh. I don’t even know if we have more chalk.”

I chimed in. “Let me help you find some, then,” and I did, and he and I walked out to what he wrote. We stared at the sentence for a bit.

If your reading this, it’s to late.

“You’re is a contraction. You and Are. To means also. Double o’s,” I pointed out.

He reached down and fixed the two words, with a big more dramatic chalking than was necessary.

“This is so ridiculous,” he muttered, and then wandered back into the house, tossing the chalk for good measure.


Peace (spelled correctly),

  1. Ha, love the “dreaded countdown” and the title of this piece (not peace). I’m trying to guess the age of your son. Great moment!

  2. This gave me a good chuckle this morning, Kevin! Even though I felt like I was in the heat of the action, I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when all this was going down!

  3. FANTASTIC!!! I applaud you and your wife, Kevin! I see those two particular errors ALL. THE. TIME. on social media and it drives me crazy! I know your son thinks it’s silly now, but he’ll thank you later.

  4. That so could have been me asking one of my sons, but you were kinder than me for identifying and helping to correct the errors. I think sometimes it takes things like this for kids to realize that spelling does matter.

  5. Spelling counts, sometimes. And one of those times is public writing. Among these excellent dialogue lines, I particularly like, “Yes, you are going to fix it. That’s our driveway!”

  6. I could “hear” your frustration. I could “feel” your son’s pain. I could “identify” with your wife’s pain. I could “see” the whole scene as though I were watching a drama unfold right before my eyes. No doubt, this will be a hate/love memory in your son’s memories of life with his parents. Go, educators!!!

  7. Oh this is funny! I love the back and forth dialogue as I could easily imagine the scene taking place. Thanks for sharing!

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