Hannah can't wait to read like Naomi. Maybe because she sees how much Naomi enjoys it. Maybe just because she wants to be older and more mature. She wants it so badly, but those tedious little details like learning which letters are what, and what sound each letter makes are so boring. She is making progress, though she frequently laments how slow it is. She has seen Naomi jump from the airplane of phonics with the parachute of hard work and sail delightfully to the ground of reading-land, and Hannah's eager to jump too. She just doesn't want to strap on that pesky parachute. Today she picked up an "Early Reader" book with a few short, repetitive sentences and begged to read it, so I helped her work her way through it.
"What's this letter again, Mama?" she asked.
"That's the letter 'e'," I answered for the fifteenth time.
"What sound does it make, Mama?" She questioned, wrinkling up her nose and eyes at me. "I just forget."
"In this word it is a long 'e' and says 'ee.' 'H' 'e' says 'He'," I replied, mustering patience from the depths of my being.
"He!" Hannah laughed, "I'm reading!"
After about an hour, we reached the end of the tenth simple sentence. Hannah had grown in her letter and sound recognition some, but her conclusion, "I read that whole book!" was a bit optimistic. I congratulated her and told her I needed to take my shower now. As I headed into the bathroom I heard Hannah leaping about the living room, singing from the depths of her cheerful soul. I wish I could record the tune for you, but here are the words:
Yay, yay, yay!
Today I can read
I can re-ee-eed!
Today I can read
Yay, today, today!
Yay, today I kick my foot up
I don't care about playing with toys
I just care about I can read
'Cause I'm so haaaa-ppyy!
'Cause I love to read books!
I chuckled and turned on the shower. To my amazement, when I turned the shower off fifteen minutes later she was still singing the same song at the top of her lungs.
I can read, jump!
I can read, jump!
Jump, jump, jump, dance
When I dance this fast my head shakes
And when I shake, my head breaks
I might get a cut on my head
or my hand, or my belly, or my kidney
When I spin this fast I can't see myself in the mirror
I shake my head, fast, fast, fast
But when I shake my head I can't read
'Cause I think I broke my head
So I'm gonna stop
I can read, yay, yay, yay!
I can read all the way
I can read everyday
I can read everything!
This is the end
I didn't get to see the bow, I think it was made to the full-length mirror in the hallway, but it made me wish I had heard the middle fifteen minutes of the song. That may be the longest her mind has focused on one idea, with a slight dancing digression in the middle, of course.
A bit later Hannah was sentenced to a time-out in the recliner for blatantly disregarding a rule. She went happily there and began chatting, "I love my Mommy 'cause I'm so funny--hey that rhymes. Don't forget that I can read, Mommy. Don't forget my reading!" How could I forget? When I gave her a narrow-eyed glare she said, "Whatever, I'm making myself some fun, 'cause I can read! Whenever I walk across a bridge I just take a book from the other side of the bridge and read! I can read the best when my Mama comes with me. Can you come with me, Mama, next time we go? Don't forget about the bridge, Mama. I'll remind you. Do you want to tape my mouth shut? I should talk, 'cause I want to talk about my reading skills. Guess what? When I grow up I'm not gonna have a baby in my tummy, I'm going to have a book, 'cause I can READ!..."
There'll be no punishing her now.