We were finishing up at the library. The girls had selected a new batch of Magic Tree House books and a couple of videos, and I was kneeling down, putting it all in a plastic bag in my backpack to keep them dry since Zoe had talked me into walking to the library despite the pouring rain outside (it was warm that day and I was having a moment where I didn’t want to be the kind of Mom who categorically refuses to walk somewhere in the rain just because we might get wet). I was kneeling next to the BOOK RETURN box, as shown in the exemplary photo above. Lucy asks me what it says (we’ve been practicing reading these days chez UpsideUp). I tell her that the scratched off letter is actually a “B” and they started sounding it out from there. I wasn’t really paying attention, since I was so busy packing up the books, but from somewhere far away I heard them talking, and when I finally returned and tuned in to what they were saying it sounded like this:
“Booooook (like spook). Weee. Tuwan (they can’t say R’s).
“What? What did you just say?” I demanded, as if shocked to find them spewing four-letter words in my cerebral absence.
“Booook. We-tuwan,” they syncopated together. “What, are you deaf?”
“Did you just say Book Return?” (Those of you who think you can compete for the Brilliant Mom of the Year award may as well kiss that one goodbye right here, right now.)
“Yes! Book We-tuwan.”
Thud. (That’s me hitting the floor.)
“Mama? Why did you fall down?”
It has taken me a few days to write about this because I was afraid of jinxing it, like it would go away, like when Zoe took her first steps and then didn’t do it again for 2 weeks. But this one seems to be for real. Not that they’re reading the Wall Street Journal or anything (heck, I don’t even read the Wall Street Journal), but they’ve pretty much got this business of sounding out words. Except, y’know, when they don’t feel like it. When they don’t feel like it, they look at the first letter of the word I’m pointing at and start throwing guesses at me, hoping, I suppose, that they’ll either guess right (I mean, how many words can there be that start with M?) or that I’ll just go away.
But c’mon y’all. Reading! And here I thought they were all grown-up when they stopped with that whole diaper business.