My daughter is zooming in her reading and writing. Whatever she was slowly putting together inside her head is now spilling out in joyful accomplishment. She love to decode words, and I can almost see the light bulb turn on when she moves from making letter sounds to recognizing the word she is reading. Her laugh after seeing a bunch of letters turn into a word is priceless.
She is also diving into writing. On Monday, she addressed an envelope. I printed out some letter practice pages, and she is bouncing around in anticipation of doing them. I also looked around for a free font that had dots to trace as well as the arrows for the directions. I didn’t find anything I liked, so I purchased a font that had dotted letters, dotted letters with arrows, and solid letters. I look forward to making many practice handwriting sheets individualized to what my daughter, and eventually my son, are interested in at the moment. This is the icing on the cake of parenting.
After the long drive back from my daughter’s camp, we got out of the car around the corner from the sushi shop where I had called in an order. Thursday was four days of solid kid time with assorted disasters intermixed, and I was not making dinner. My daughter looked up at the store next to us and said, “Verna’s. Does that say Verna’s?”
Indeed, it did. We were next to Verna’s Pasteries, an old-school bakery that reminds me of Laux Bakery back in St. Louis’ past. It was closed, and we were headed for sushi; however, I was tickled pink that my daughter had decoded that word all on her own. Her reading is picking up as is my son’s speaking. It is so fun to see the results of months of internal processing.
As my son’s development continues, words are stringing together into sentences, and more words are joining them. Numbers come out in sequential order, interrupted by the occasional 5 which appears to be his favorite. He will cackle with toddler glee when he inserts an erroneous 5. The evening, after lights out, is processing time, and with language, that means out loud. He sits in the dark room as his sister tries to sleep and practices words and phrases in his clear, high, loud voice. One phrase that comes out is a distillation of one we add to our mantra at the end of the evening. “Please stay in bed; it is time to go to sleep,” becomes, “Stay in bed; go to sleep!”
Among the new words my son learned on Thursday were frog boots and puddle. When these two interacted, his giggling laughter was that pure gold coin that is unmatched by anything in the world.
My son has an emphatic, “No.” It starts high and moves down but maintains a full volume throughout. The effect is clearly, “What a crazy idea that you have just proposed, and thanks for never wasting my time with it or anything like it ever again.” He has worn that word out for everyone but, apparently, himself.
Just a few days ago, he finally figured out the yes word. His yes includes that hard to pronounce s. It is very clear and even a little elongated. Yess. Not a snake hissing or evil villain, but very clear. He will even correct my yeah to a yes. He genuinely seems to take pleasure in saying the word. It comes with a smile. I am not sure he could ever wear out this new-found word.
My son is entering the world of understandable verbal communication. The basics are down with “Mama” and “Dada” and their associated signs. Cheese was the first word and sign combo I remember, and on Monday he learned apple. The sign came out better than the word, but both were there.
As we took our adventure in the summeresque weather, he would repeatedly point at things as say, “See, see?” Sometimes that was accompanied by his version of car, at every car and truck, or “Doggie” which means any animal from ducks to squirrels to actual dogs. This is then followed by, “Bye, bye doggie,” or whatever object he is pointing out for my attention. When he strays from cars or doggies, things get even murkier. I try to follow his pointing finger which at times is just pointed at the clear sky. “See, see,” can also be followed by no descriptor or something that defies translation. Clearly he knows what he is sharing, and he even gets a bit frustrated at my clear slowness in understanding his obvious and fascinating shares.
Of course I have captured this on video. As soon as it is gone, it will probably get forgotten in the hectic race forward, but sometime I will come across a short video clip of him pointing at the sky saying, “See, see?”
“Whoa,” says my son, and I think ofBill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. “Whoa,” says my son, and I think ofThe Matrix. “Whoa,” says my son as he misses his target when sitting down and thumps to the floor.
“Noooooooooo,” yells my son as he tries out the word. He has been trying out the word for several days/weeks now. It is not just a short no, but a long drawn out no. He even says it when he wants what is offered; he just has to process this word that he finally has control over.
“Ok, ok, ok, ok, ok, ok.” He is so cute walking around with his Joe Pesci imitation.
He is getting the words. Avocado, down, all gone, and others are emerging. It is magical and occasionally hilarious.