Doting Father: First Words (I got it in writing)
Last night, on a menu at The Old Spaghetti Factory near our house, I saw something that truly amazed me.
Our little 3 and a half year old girl wrote her first word. We've been singing spelling songs for a few weeks (dumb ones that I make up; but she doesn't know that) and she is finally getting the idea that words are made out of combinations of letters.
I wrote "DAD" but she wrote "MOM" below it. The O is a little tough to follow, but I saw her do it, it is an O.
Hearing her first spoken word was not as dramatic for me for a couple of reasons. First, I was travelling for work back then, and may not have heard the original word. Second, she made a lot of sounds that could have been words; I was listening for intentional usage of certain sounds.
Possibly more important, and likely a direct result of the "S A R A H" spelling song; she humbly and without fanfare read her own name before we left for the restaurant. It was done so non-chalantly that Mom missed it at first.
Sarah told Mom, "I have Sarah's paper." Or something like that. I asked her how she knew the paper was hers (it was a coupon that gets her a free kids meal for reading or having someone read to her). She told us that her name was "Right here!" She used that emphatic tone. You know, the "Gee, what don't you understand now?" voice. I was stunned.
She has known the alphabet for quite a while. She knows what words are. She knows how to speak. Last night I saw a twinkling of her realization that these things are all connected.
Now I don't feel so weird singing goofy spelling songs. She is on her way. I am so proud (and grateful).
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