If you’re a parent you know the lingo. You know, that weird language where we stop mid-sentence to spell choice words we don’t want our children to understand. Over the past few years my husband and I have gotten so proficient at speaking this code that we can even understand the context of a conversation by just spelling the first few letters of a word.
With a four-(almost five)year-old in our home the glorious time when we can still utilize this special language in our daily interactions is quickly drawing to a close (insert spelled expletive here). This year as my daughter soaks up knowledge daily in pre-k, she’s quickly acquiring the skills needed to decode our parent spelling language, and might I mention, just in time for the holiday season. So much for my husband and I discussing what S-A-N-T-A might bring within earshot of our little sponge.
I know, I know, I should be thrilled as this new skill of spelling and sounding out words is a sure sign that reading is just on the horizon, but boy does it complicate daily life in my house. As her little mind is busy soaking up phonemic knowledge and she has the desire to write ALL THE TIME, I’m busily concocting ways to convey messages of an adult nature to my husband. Recently when riding along in the car I realized that now she is able to identify words in environmental print and is very curious about what signs say. Like every good mom, I *may* have not been exactly truthful about signs we’ve seen in the past in public. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the good ole’ message on the seat in the shopping cart that says “children must stay seated.” I’m still working on a way to convince her that I’m not really a liar when she can decode all the words … likely to become a story for another post.
Like all milestones achieved by our children, I’m thankful that our daughter is acquiring reading and writing skills so quickly and eagerly. I know this new challenge we are facing is just another in our journey as parents. Eventually her ability to spell and read will result in her independence and make my life easier, but for now I’ll very cautiously proceed in my daily conversations knowing that I can no longer S-P-E-L-L.