:This past Spring, Gracie (then 3, now 4) decided she wanted to learn to read and write. She was eager to learn and quick to pick up new letters and after only a month and a half, had pretty much learned the entire alphabet.
There were a few letters that she didn't know yet (like 'x' which she refused to believe is a real letter - it just made her laugh), and even now, she is still confused about the sounds of some letters. But when it comes to recognizing and writing her letters, she has completely amazed me.
My husband Will has learning disabilities and never really showed an interest in learning as a kid. He was more the rugby playing, class prankster type, who spent more time in the headmaster's office than he did in the classroom.
I don't really remember being eager to learn as a kid, either. I do remember that reading was hard and I was in the slow group back when I was 6. I also remember being excited about the art cart that went from classroom to classroom each week... and that was about it. At least until college, which was when I really discovered I loved to learn - my favorite classes being art, music, English Lit and theatre history (I was a Creative Arts major, can you tell?).
But Gracie... well, I'm not entirely sure if she isn't just a changeling. Bedtime stories have been replaced with reading her Winnie the Pooh encyclopedia, or laying back with her eyes closed while I read her poetry (okay, its Shel Silverstein, so its pretty wacky and cute... but still).
I wanted to give her a sweet treat as a way to celebrate her hard work and learning strides, so after she had the alphabet figured out, I made her some alphabet cookies.
One bag of sugar cookie mix would have been enough to make the entire alphabet, measuring at about 2-3 inches per cookie. Annelie ate quite a lot of the dough, and then I burnt J, P, O, and N, but I was able to make about 16 letters and Gracie cheerfully decorated them all.
Kids are just amazing little things aren't they? The older my girls get, the more I realize they they are not quite the tiny little babies I imagined them to be when they were small. They are smart, independent, strong-willed and creative little ladies... and though they drive me completely bonkers about 90% of the time, I'm pretty darned proud of my girls!