The Bee's Knees

A long time ago, there was a stringy blonde haired little girl who had big dreams to conquer the world. The spelling world that is. You see, there was a school spelling bee and this little girl, who may or may not have grown up to be a redneck mommy, desperately wanted to win this contest. In her mind, winning this contest was all that stood between her and greatness.

This little girl with stringy hair and knobby knees studied hard to prepare for her future victory. To others it may have seemed she was prancing around singing into her hair brush while listening to Micheal Jackson's Billy Jean when she should have been reading a dictionary, but that was only to the untrained eye. The reality was the soft dulcet tones of the Pop King's songs helped soothe the spelling savage beast raging inside of the little girl, roaring to be released from within.

Finally, the day of competition arrived. Children were gathered from all corners of the school to stand on the stage in the gym and spell their way to victory. The little girl, wearing a striped orange and brown corduroy jumper (thanks Mom. Wouldn't it have been easier to paste a 'kick me' sign on my back?) was confident in her ability to conquer the competition and secretly crowed a little inside everytime a child fell victim to a misspelled word.

Round after round, the number of children grew smaller until there was only five small children standing on that stage, each desperate to win, each pinning their self-worth on correctly speaking a series of letters to spell a word they barely knew the meaning of. Then it was the little girl's turn at the microphone. She walked up confident in her future status as the school's best speller. She heard the word and beamed widely when she realized it was a word she easily knew.


Taking a deep breath she slowly and surely said the letters which would bring her one step closer to victory. Moments stretched for what seemed an eternity as she waited for the signal from the judges to resume her place back on stage. Instead, she heard the buzzer. The dreaded sound of defeat, identifying losers for all the school to mock. What? How could it be, she thought to herself. She knew that word. She knew she spelled it correctly. There had to be a mistake, she thought.

"I'm sorry Tanis, the correct spelling is Capital I-n-d-i-a-n. You forgot to capitalize the first letter. Please get off the stage and join the rest of the losers who can't spell worth beans over in the far corner of the gym we like to call 'loserdom'. And please remember to tie your dunce cap on tightly for the picture we want to take so we can mock you forever in the future."

(Oh, ok, I'm sure the teacher didn't use those exact words but you'll never prove they didn't either.)

With one small mistake the little girl's dream of ruling the world with her spelling prowess died a flaming public death. Never again did she participate in another spelling bee, but never again did she ever misspell the word Indian.

I had pushed this particularly painful episode of childhood failure far from my mind. It was eventually buried under bigger and more spectacular failures that inevitably followed.

Then I had a daughter. One who is strikingly similar to her momma in all aspects, including her blood-thirsty need to spell correctly.  One who has for the past three years, dredged up this painful memory in her own quest to dominate her school and rub her momma's the world's nose in her spelling supremacy. A daughter who has forced me to acknowledge time and time again, that not only can I NOT spell correctly, but I am indeed a raging dumbass.

No longer do words like schottische, muishond, Beetewk or canaille strike terror in my heart. Mostly because I have accepted the fact I am, indeed, a spelling dumbass. Who needs to spell when one mostly communicates in 140 characters via text or twitter?

The little girl who couldn't spell Indian correctly is all grown up and no longer dreaming of winning a spelling bee. Now she dreams of watching her child win the big bee. Because those that can't, procreate, yo.

This year, after years of studying (or rather, having her kids cram words down my throat whether I like it or not) is the year it all comes together. Fric is on her way to making her momma's dreams come true with her triumphant victory at the school's spelling bee last week.

That's right Internet, my daughter, the one who sprung from my loins, crafted from my DNA, took the title as her school's best speller. Cue the harps and stand back because rainbows are about to shoot out from my back end.

It was a dream come true for the little girl with stringy hair and knobby knees, who once stood on a stage in a striped orange and brown corduroy jumper with letters of victory flashing in her eyes.

Suddenly, I understand how Walter Gretzky must feel.

His Stanley Cup is my Scripps Spelling bee. Look out world. I'm, er, Fric is one step closer to total spelling domination. Next up, regionals, then CanWest and then the Big Bee.

Good luck baby girl. No matter how far you go, you already shot past the moon in my eyes.  I promise to help you however I can.

Just don't ask me to spell.