I've been sharing occasional milestones on my three-year-old daughter's path to literacy. Today I have a few tidbits - not quite full-fledged milestones, but recent moments that have brought me joy. I thought that some of you might appreciate them.
- Pretending to play in the attic, when we have no attic, because that's what the Berenstain Bears do in the The Berenstain Bears and the Nutcracker.
- Suggesting that we read the "really funny" new book that we got from Scholastic Book Club (I'm Not Ready by Jonathan Allen), because a friend of ours had read it to her, and she knew that I hadn't read it yet.
- Initiating a spontaneous acting out of I'm Bored by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi. I was the bored potato, while Baby Bookworm acted out many of the neat things kids can do. What was surprising to me was that we returned this book to the library at least a month ago.
- Interrupting my work day with a book in hand and asking, softly, "Would you please read this book to me?" (Who can resist that, I ask you?)
- Making me recite "Peter Piper" over and over and over again, thanks to Hey, Diddle, Diddle, a nursery rhyme book from Tiger Tales, and planning to teach it to her friends.
- Requesting "a longer book" when we were reading picture books together the other night. (Fortunately I just ordered The Big Alfie and Annie Rose Storybook, at the recommendation of The Read-Aloud Handbook.)
- Recognizing Trixie on the cover of Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems, and insisting that I refer to her as Trixie instead of Goldilocks throughout reading the book aloud. She is loyal to characters she loves.
- And in general, seizing new books as soon as they arrive, if they appear to be remotely in her age range, and demanding "Read it now!". This is particularly true of her best-loved series titles. Currently these are The Berenstain Bears, the Little Critter books, Fancy Nancy, and Curious George. Today she also had to sit down immediately, before eating lunch, to read the new books that we picked up at her school's Scholastic Book Fair (and which I had let her choose, with only a tiny bit of guidance).
Less joyful for me was when she interrupted my watching of the Red Sox in a pivotal playoff game the other night and said "Baseball is just boring. Read this book to me." Just kidding - in the big picture, that one is ok, too. For the record, I set the game to record, and turned off the TV. (But it was difficult.)
These moments make me happy because they make me feel like I'm having success in my quest to raise her as a child who loves books. I know that there's a long path ahead of us, with the demands of electronic devices, the pressure of assigned school reading, and other obstacles along the way. And I am aware that sometimes she's using my own love of books as a way to get my attention (clever little manipulator that she is). Still, right now, at 3 1/2, it's safe to say that she loves books. And that's something to celebrate. Do you have moments like these that you'd like to share, too?