I tuck my bug into bed about 8pm now in an attempt to get her more sleep. More sleep I am hoping equals better behavior to help her be on blue every day. My bug likes routine so we read 2 books a night. She reads and I help.
The 4 page books can take 30 minutes-easily. Mainly because of the words she tries to put into the story because they make more sense to her OR for the commentary she provides.
It’s both frustrating and endearing.
2 sentences. That’s its. A 10 minute discussion ensued. The dot over the I is the same dot at the end of the sentence. “Why is there a period over a letter? You can’t stop a sentence at puh-iiiii.” I tell her one ends the sentence and one shows her it’s a lower case I. They look the same but they do different things. Her response,”Whatever. She’s got pink anyway. See,” and her chubby little finger points out that glob of pink. I urge her to read on.
3 sentences this time. We spend 3 minutes on the word gosh and why the author chose that particular word. Another 4 minutes in the 2 exclamation points used back-to-back. It was so stinking adorable listening to her painfully sound out every word only to get to the end, see the exclamation point and try to give the last word some “oomph”.
“Dis book is dumb,” she declared. I ask why. “Dis girl is making a big deal cause the other girl used all the pink. Look,” she stabbed at the illustration. “She making a big deal and she doesn’t even like pink. Her favorite color is blue!” The girl was wearing a blue dress.
“Your favorite color is pink but you wear other colors,”I remind her.
“But dats not what this book is about,”she complains. “Dis girl wanted pink and she had some. Dis girl is mad because she used the pink and pink isn’t even her favorite!” She was gearing up. I turned the page hoping to squelch the tirade that was building.
Ever seen that commercial about a dog going crazy…”squirrel”…and he’s off to chase something else? I can relate.
I turn the page and help her sound out the word friend. Whoosh. It’s the equivalent of yelling squirrel to that dog. She’s gone. Her friend Braxton wants to be a basketball player when he grows up. Her daddy has a friend whose name she doesn’t know who has a dog named waffles. She belly laughs causing me to chuckle. And her teacher has a dog named butter but she doesn’t know why. She loves her teacher and is really glad that kindergarten is over. And did I know why her other teacher says “kiss your brain” all the time? Lila wears long socks and she wants to as well (her words). She draws good. No-not Lila. Her. In art she has a portfolio…do I know what that is? And her teacher tells her not to draw with all the same color.
I almost need to re-read the book at this point. I am lost. I point to the page. “Oh yeah,” she says and goes back to carefully sounding out words. Or to just adding her own. “This is dumb,” she reminds me in the next page when the story ends with the 2 of them making up over ice cream and sprinkles. “It should be chocolate syrup. That would be better.” I agree with her. “And sprinkles are really just candy. They could have said that,” she scoffed. “Why da say sp-winkles when day coulda said candy?” I have no answer. “Or toppings. Why not say toppings?” Again, I got nothing. “You shoulda weared your glasses, mama, so you could see. Maybe it says toppings not sp-tinkles.” No baby, it says sprinkles. I urge her to tuck up go to sleep. Tucking up means she puts her thumb in her mouth and mumbles “cuddle to my back”. It also signals it’s time for sleep.
By now it’s 8:30. Her brain is buzzing. My head is aching. I kiss her soft check and am reminded that I have to kiss her whole face so no bad dreams come. My girl does love her rituals. I do as ordered and cuddle up to her. Her plump little hand pats my arm in the sweetest little gesture I’ve ever known.
Oh my girl. She doesn’t score well on test and no doubt never will. Her little brain doesn’t work like everyone else’s but it works! She sees and thinks and comprehends things in a way I don’t always understand. She might not be able to regeratate details on the sentence she just read it she’s able to question things and see things from a whole other prespective. I know that won’t help her in first grade…or 2nd or 3rd but I hope someday it serves her well.
“She no even like pink.”