Re: Learning to read

1

With the last kid we're super-excited when she's delayed moving because it means we can go non-babyproof places without worrying about her eating pennies off the floor or something. But now she can drag herself around with her arms even though she doesn't officially crawl on hands and knees.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:37 AM
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I'm really bad at not commenting.

Emerging from the maelstrom of whirling litigation and management, I'll say that my now wildly academically successful and enthusiastically literate Sally learned to read fluently kind of late -- it didn't click properly for her until middle/end of first grade. I attribute this to me getting overenthusiatic/pushy about it -- she's a nice child, but she's inherited a certain amount of mulishness from I can't imagine where.

Generally, I think hitting developmental milestones early may be a good indication that your child is terribly clever or advanced or something. Hitting them late, so long as it's roughly within normal limits, seems to me to mean much less of anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:38 AM
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I learned how to read absurdly early myself, and just look at me now! *makes stupid cat face*


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:40 AM
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Also, neither of my children crawled or did much at all interesting until about a year old. Eye contact and cooing, sure, but they were mostly adorable little meatloaves until the walking and talking started. No real interest in squeaky toys or things that crinkled, very little putting things inside other things; sleep, food, and looking around was it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:40 AM
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I'm part of a local mothering board, and my favorite moms are the ones who ask: "My child is just 26 months and can read and write her name. Is that NORMAL? Should I be WORRIED that she's so advanced?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:42 AM
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Tell them yes, there's something called hyperlexia that is an autism disorder and can delay understanding of speech so they better stop bragging because everyone will know about their kid's problem.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:48 AM
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My reading progression was fairly weird. Apparently I was going to be either put in some special class or held back after 1st grade. Then during the summer between 1st and 2nd grades I discovered a bunch of my older brother's Wizard of Id and B.C. comic collections and basically taught myself with those. I scored well enough on the start-of-the-year test that Fall to be put in the advanced placement (or whatever it was called) reading group.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:50 AM
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I've started reading Zardoz LGM's This Day In Labor History posts, so hopefully she'll be ahead of the curve a/f/a grasping the power dynamics inherent in industralization.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:51 AM
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One of mine was a late reader, and it has stuck. She's at about the population mean for her age cohort (she's been tested), which puts her in approximately the 5th percentile for children in PDBS. The other was an early reader and is way ahead of her class. In conclusion, your child is probably going to be struggling to fill out one of those McDonalds monthly budget planners as an adult.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:52 AM
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I've started reading Zardoz LGM's This Day In Labor History posts, so hopefully she'll be ahead of the curve a/f/a grasping the power dynamics inherent in industralization.

But does she see the violence inherent in the system?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:54 AM
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Generally, I think hitting developmental milestones early may be a good indication that your child is terribly clever or advanced or something.Hitting them late, so long as it's roughly within normal limits, seems to me to mean much less of anything.

Hitting milestones early doesn't mean anything more than hitting them late, as long as in both cases we're talking about something within roughly normal limits.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 8:56 AM
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We're deliberately making our children learn reading very late (waldorf*), which still makes me weirdly uncomfortable even though most of the older kids seem fine.

(*Reading not introduced *at all* until first grade, and then only in a very cursory way--many kids don't really pick it up much at all until 2nd or 3rd grade.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:02 AM
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Alex is 16 weeks, and has started to sort of crawl. But it's more of a 'drive head into floor and push forward with legs, like a tiny wheelbarrow'. He can do the sort of mini-push-up, and he can do the shoving forward with the legs, but he hasn't coordinated the hands and feet yet. So he either propels himself on his face, or just growls in frustration as his legs work away, and he doesn't move.

People are a bit odd about milestones, as per 5 [and the converse]. A while ago, I told someone with a couple of kids that Alex was smiling and laughing. And he flat up denied it was possible.

'Kids don't smile until X months. It's just wind.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:04 AM
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It's probably just wind.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:05 AM
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There is, for real, a kind of fake smiling that newborns have that's not actually smiling or facial recognition, though.

I was an early reader and I have to confess I'm pissed off at the boy in my kid's class who is a way more advanced reader than she is. So I try to work on reading at home. It may be totally counterproductive or maybe not, I can't tell. Anyhow she's been just on the edge of enough fluency to really enjoy it for a few months but isn't quite there yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:10 AM
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There is, for real, a kind of fake smiling that newborns have that's not actually smiling or facial recognition, though.

Probably so, but you're putting a lot of trust in the experimental design of those developmental psychologists who lock babies away for three weeks in mirrored rooms and probe them with electrical prods when you say that so confidently.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:14 AM
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I think my oldest kid (about to turn 7) would have taught himself to read by now if he would stick to age-appropriate books, but for some reason he insists on trying to learn with things like Peter Pan (the original Barrie version) and Treasure Island (also the original). We've gotten him kid's versions of those same books (with nice pictures! and also much simpler vocabulary), but he just wants to read the originals. So he's still having a lot of trouble.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:16 AM
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re: 15

Yeah. In this case, though, it was prompted by normal smile-inducing behaviours, and was reactive, rather than just some empty quasi-smiling. It wasn't _that_ early, either. Earlier than some of the official 'milestones' but not freakishly so. So the vehemence of the denial was a bit of a surprise.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:18 AM
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Be careful; if he keeps that up, he'll be almost 33 without ever having finished Habermas's Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:25 AM
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(19 to 17.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:25 AM
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18 - Yes, for sure. In general I think that paying attention to the precise date of any developmental milestone is pretty meaningless. But I am still weirdly competitive with this five year old boy super-reader!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:26 AM
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I read the Calabat that philosophical essay about whether one can rationally choose to have children. He wasn't impressed, but he was two weeks old at the time and so very little impressed him that wasn't food.

I'm amused at the "milestones" at this age, especially week-by-week ones on websites because the truth to most of it is -- well, they're probably eating, sleeping, and pooping, and you're eagerly awaiting any sign that their brains have turned on, so, have you noticed that your baby makes noises? That's a milestone!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:26 AM
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Ace's milestone is that she started daycare on Monday! Quit crying, you baby, you're nearly three months old. Get out there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:33 AM
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23: Lean in, Ace!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:34 AM
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Zardoz is evidently changing, but not in ways that are easy to explain to people who ask "oh, how is she?!" She is... fine. She eats, sleeps, poops. Also, she is awake more than she was, and much more attentive to the world around her. And we got her to semi-accidentally grasp something and she got really frustrated. And she seems to understand the "rotate your hips" and "lift your shoulders" parts of turning over, but has not grasped that your shoulders and hips need to go the same direction. Not so amenable to succinct status updates! Smiles you can take pictures of, at least.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:37 AM
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26

I don't remember learning how to read. Did I just write that?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:43 AM
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25: It's really fun to watch them figure it out, isn't it? The Calabat knows how to get everything rolling the same direction, but he doesn't know how to move his arm out of the way reliably, so he sort of rocks in the direction of his shoulder until he gets frustrated. He knows how to put his hands in his mouth, and how to grasp objects that are put in his hands, but when he reaches for objects, he shrugs his shoulders, moves his hands --- straight into his mouth. The hands have only the one movement subroutine at this age, it seems.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:47 AM
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Zardoz can get her hands in her mouth, but the other day she managed to stick a finger right in her nose. I was so proud.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:54 AM
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26: Not remembering learning how to read is normal. Not remembering writing the previous sentence, maybe something to be concerned about.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:54 AM
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30

Man has this place changed from 8 years ago.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:57 AM
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You could take one second of video every day for the first year and stitch them into a 6 minute video to prove she's changing. Oh wait, already been done. Ok, easier- just take a picture each day in roughly the same position and make each one a frame, like a stop motion video. Shit, that too?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 9:58 AM
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32

We're differently insufferable now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:02 AM
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Also, 31 has been done, but was it done from 1971-1995? On filmstrip and videotape? No, it wasn't. Except by my parents. Pwners of all hipsters.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:03 AM
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What if you did 31, except of the baby's butt?!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:09 AM
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From this example of 31, I have to wonder if newborns in movies/TV are more likely to be older, for enhanced cuteness.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:12 AM
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35, there are weird labor laws governing how old babies have to be before they can "work." My understanding is that preemies are often used because they are smaller for their age.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:15 AM
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Of course. Newborns look like blood soaked Dwight Eisenhowers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:15 AM
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Only sexier.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:16 AM
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30: Yeah, Unfogged was very different back when everyone knew how to write, but no one knew how to read.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:18 AM
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I learned to read fluently kind of late, midway through first grade. My parents tell me that I refused to put any effort in because I was afraid I'd be bad at it. I made up for it by teaching my sister to read when she was four.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:19 AM
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That's kind of a funny lookin' newborn. Zardoz didn't look nearly that odd, I don't think. (There's a picture of her in the Flickr thread when she was about a half hour old, for reference.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:20 AM
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I think the milestones are accelerating, or at least there are a bunch in the same vicinity. For my kid, waving goodbye, pulling up on everything, distinct "mama" and "dada" sounds (though not in any particular way connected with the people), and crawling on all fours instead of army-crawling have all happened within the last month.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:25 AM
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For my kid, waving goodbye, pulling up on everything, distinct "mama" and "dada" sounds (though not in any particular way connected with the people), and crawling on all fours instead of army-crawling have all happened within the last month.

Suddenly I don't feel like I've had a busy month anymore.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:27 AM
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44

At what age do kids usually post their first blog comment, these days?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:30 AM
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Oh yeah, and first exploration/falling-down-related injury, or maybe two. Never figured out what caused that mouth bleeding the other day.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:31 AM
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(44 is semi-serious. I know my tweenage cousins have Facebook accounts and whatnot, but are elementary school kids doing that too? Kindergartners tweeting at each other?)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:32 AM
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44: depends if they comprehensively RTFA first.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:32 AM
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||
Yeesh, this article on Fox Books closing made me sad (and also confused - what exactly is the humorous angle here?) until I saw the picture of Tom Hanks and realized it had nothing at all to do with the real Fox bookstore.
|>


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:32 AM
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I guess I should watch more '90s romantic comedies, so as not to be fooled again.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:36 AM
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44: Nia was really annoyed that I don't think 7 is old enough to start posting hair tutorials on youtube.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:36 AM
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My daughter never learned to crawl, but I believe that's because she knew crawling was for chumps who couldn't figure out that scooting around on your butt keeps your hands free and lets you see where you're going.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:36 AM
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What's a normal time for a kid to start reading?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:42 AM
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Noonish.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:42 AM
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52. Any time between 3 and 7 probably counts as normal.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 10:45 AM
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Teapot Zucchini has been having a grand old time on his gender-non-conforming Jenny Jump-Up* recently and is getting very excited about trying to stand up. (This is the source of the huge grin on the recent pic in the flickr pool.)

Other exciting developments: laughter (this is the best); complete tactical control of my head, via my hair. I have in consequence cut all my hair off. Internet, please reassure me that this was not a terrible decision. So far the one distinctly negative consequence is that a short bit of cut-off hair managed to work its way painfully into the sole of my foot. The hell?

* Whyyyyy is it necessary to make girl and boy versions of this? I resent the hell out of the pinkening of all girl products, so was loath to buy the very pink Jenny model, but it was $20 cheaper than the non-pink Johnny model, and I am certainly not going to pay a premium to keep Teapot safely insulated from pink things. In sum, grrrr.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:20 PM
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55.*: Buying mostly black dolls is sort of a wash, because the well-made ones are harder to find and you have to send away and pay a premium, but if they're the token friend in another group of toys, you can usually find them marked down as leftovers. (Depressing, but I think I got my practice at age 10 when I spent weeks fruitlessly searching stores for an April O'Neil figure.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:25 PM
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44: My son is not precocious in any way, but he did a blog comment when he was 8. Something to do with the Disney TV show "Dog With a Blog."


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:28 PM
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if they're the token friend in another group of toys... Depressing

Boy is it ever.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:28 PM
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I'm sure I've told this story, but one of the girls broke down in the doll aisle when they were spending the Toys R Us gift cards my grandmother gave them for Christmas because she was so sad that all of the dolls were white and thus beautiful. I had to report that this was the trigger for her "I don't want to be black anymore!" stuff and one of the team members freaked out about how she had to get into therapy immediately and I was totally shocked because, no, this really is something every black child goes recognizes at some point. And this professional has a biracial grandchild who supposedly has never wanted long straight blonde hair or been overwhelmed by white privilege, which would be nice if true.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:33 PM
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Had a colleague at work who bragged so relentlessly about her son beating all the milestones (over the course of the first two years), folks took to calling the boy ZachtheWonderchild. All the time.

I think my son (same age) asked why someone would have such a long name.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:36 PM
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56 I think I got my practice at age 10 when I spent weeks fruitlessly searching stores for an April O'Neil figure.

Ha, I remember that too! I was really into trying to collect complete sets of action figures when I was a kid, and I don't know if I ever found that one. I remember finally stumbling upon some Princess Leia figures at a flea market somewhere and being happy I finally had all the main Star Wars characters.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:52 PM
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54: Kids shouldn't be reading before sunrise.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 12:56 PM
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My intended parenting technique.


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 1:16 PM
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It's really fun to watch them figure it out, isn't it?

Yes. This. And it keeps being fun for quite a while.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 1:58 PM
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63, if it keeps them quiet, you can't really complain.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 2:20 PM
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It the kid's up reading at 3AM, there is probably some kind of sleep disorder. Either that or they've been using their time turner too often. (Every good parent gets their kid a time turner, so they can have more time to do their homework.)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 2:22 PM
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Also before sunrise it is too dark.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 2:26 PM
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"one of the team members freaked out about how she had to get into therapy immediately and I was totally shocked because, no, this really is something every black child goes recognizes at some point. And this professional has a biracial grandchild who supposedly has never wanted long straight blonde hair or been overwhelmed by white privilege, which would be nice if true."
every black child? that is maybe a failure of imagination on your part, surely, not everybody wants to be white, some people are happy to be whoever they are not blonde beauties, innocent children not knowing what races are even more so i guess, just happy to be who they are, unless of course they are getting instilled such knowledge willingly or not, that would be pitiful and really might require therapy some later time i guess


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 3:39 PM
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I had no idea the jump-up was gendered (or at least, that there was a distinct pink girl version of it). I would have happily sent you ours, had I known - for annoying construction reasons, the one we got as a gift (which is why I didn't know there were versions) it didn't actually fit any of the doors in our house.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 7:40 PM
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Thanks anyway, Nathan. Easier for you to pass it along to Zardoz anyway, I'd guess.

We don't really have a suitable doorway either, but Scomber Mix built what amounts to a small cross-section of a properly sized jamb, and that's now bolted to a stud in a convenient bit of ceiling.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 07-18-13 11:46 PM
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