Ella is officially five-and-a-half tomorrow. Weird. I actually remember being five and a half. Vividly. Which means that she will remember bits and pieces of what is happening to her now. Am I in for it or what?
She is reading. Did I mention that? I have known for a while that she was close but last week, during the snow days, I was cleaning Amelia’s room. Ella was sitting on the bed yammering away at me. (This child? Never stops talking. Ever.) I plucked almost a dozen books out from behind the bed. One was “The Carrot Seed”. The other was “Mouse Paint.”
We have read “Mouse Paint” several times but “The Carrot Seed” has been tossed aside. The cover is brown and yellow and orange. It was first published in the 40’s. My dad remembers reading it as a kid and it was my brother’s first read.
I handed it to Ella. Can you read the title of this book?
“Sure I can, mama! Duh. Cawat. Seed.”
I turned the pages, one by one, and I was stunned to find out that she could read about 95% of the words. She was focusing and sounding out words. She was reading! I didn’t speak or breathe. I didn’t want to distract her or praise her or get in the way. I didn’t want to ruin the moment.
Later that night, bathed and jammied, I handed her the next book. “Mouse Paint.” Which she read with very little assistance to her sister who chimed along every time the mice stirred and mixed up a new color. It’s a great little book for introducing primary and secondary colors. And the concept of white space. You know, for hiding from the cat.
If you know me well, you know that I almost always have my nose stuck in a book. And when I’m not reading a book, I’m reading the newspaper, the side of a cereal box, those leaflets they stick into the electric bill. I can’t hardly eat (especially alone) without reading something.
So Ella reading? Is the highlight of my week. I think her teacher just figured it out too. She is starting to bring home little 12 page books every night to read and send back. They are boring and repetitive but Ella doesn’t seem to mind. She is so very proud of herself when she finishes one without help.
And I am so very proud of her too.