Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Kailey continues to be very interested in letters and numbers - wanting to know how to spell all variety of words. She knows her letters (upper and lowercase) and the sounds the letters make -- and has started to understand the concept of sounding words out, which is pretty cool. We were in Starbucks recently and she was pointing at a sign and trying to sound out the word "Frappuccino". She kept pointing at the letters and saying, "F"... "FFffff"... "R"... "RRrrr" ... "A"... "Aaahhhh"... Finally, after several minutes, she scrunched up her face and turned to me, confounded, and demanded, "Mama, what does that SAY?" I told her it said "Frappuccino" and she said, "WHAT?!" (I love when she yells "WHAT?!" -- it cracks me up. The way she says it is totally incredulous). I told her it was a made up word, which seemed to satisfy her (because, that crazy word couldn't be a REAL word).

Given her fascination with all things letters, I decided to check out a bunch of "Bob's books" from the library for her and also downloaded the app so that she could practice some new words. Kai can now read the first book in the series all by herself and identify those words in other contexts (bringing the list of words she can read and spell up to about a dozen: cat, hat, sat, mat, sam, and, the, Kailey, Mama, Dada, stop, sad... I think that's about it. She can also "read" construction signs that say "road work ahead", although, I bet she couldn't do that out of context (I haven't written the words down to find out).

But, as much as she loves letters and numbers, she also likes learning to read pretty much by herself and in her own way and she is frustrated by the fact that she doesn't know ALL the words already (as in all of them. Seriously). She doesn't like to not know a word, and she doesn't like to get help in learning it either. I think she believes she can just pick it all up through osmosis, or something. If I point to a word she knows, she is happy to yell out what the word is at the top of her lungs. But, if I point to a new word she doesn't know, she gets very grumpy about it and mutters, "I don't know". She hates not knowing.

And she hates to be wrong. Sometimes she will mix up a word or concept - and, if we point out her error - she will insist that she intended to say it incorrectly. "I was just KIDDING, Mama. Silly Mama," she will say to me (as though I am the one that misunderstood the joke). She reminds me a bit of her Aunt Katie in this regard (who will never live down the day that we asked her to just say the words "I'm wrong" out loud without any context -- just to say them and demonstrate that she could, in fact, speak the words -- and she wouldn't/couldn't do it... genes are weird.)

The combination of Kailey wanting to know everything without first admitting to not knowing something is a bit of a challenge. The iPad has been somewhat useful in this regard because she doesn't mind if the computer knows something that she doesn't. She just really doesn't like me to tell her something that she didn't previously know. It's like admitting weakness, or something. So stubborn... wherever did she get that from?

But with her stubbornness comes a dogged determination that I so love... and watching her master new skills - like reading - is just incredible.

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