This May Mean I'll Have To Stop Writing

Did I mention that the water department threatened to turn off our water today? I didn't? Well, I can't imagine why not - that is some excellent blog fodder.

And when I went to pay the two month old bill yesterday I said something to the Water District rep about "selling our house" and "realt*rs coming through all the time at a moment's notice" and "shoving piles of crap in places and then leaving it there because the house looks so clean after, even though there are bills on top of the refrigerator and dishes under the couch".

She admitted that that was a new one (was that an eye roll I saw in the other rep's direction?) and was gracious enough to tell the water-turner-offers to abort their mission. Then she handed Savannah a sheet of Water District Stickers. And therein lies this story.

Some backstory: Savannah is 5 AND A HALF years old. (Death stare to the person who dares to leave off THE HALF.) And she is not reading.

Despite the fact that Chris and I were both early readers (Lena's Mom: Lena was four years old when she read! She was a child prodigy!) and that we both always have our nose buried in books, Savannah seems to have very little patience for learning to read. She likes the idea of reading, but when it comes to the actuality of understanding why "ph" makes an "f" sound or why the "silent e" is "shy when he's at the end of a word", she announces "I'm done" and that is the end of it.

I've just sort of assumed that she would learn in Kindergarten this year and didn't worry about it. But, secretly I was sad because, for an only child, reading is YOUR BEST FRIEND. And I cannot wait for Savannah to discover her escape into books like I did.

And then yesterday she's in the backseat of the car with her Water District stickers - which featured a cartoon turtle in different settings doing his best to conserve water - and she starts reading them out loud!

"Don't waaaaste waaaaterrr"

"Th-th-throooow away t-rraash in the garrbage"

"Taake shorrrter sh-ow-ers"

I started squealing from the front seat "You're reading! That's reading! You're sounding it all out! Yay!".

She was so pleased with herself and excitedly re-read the stickers over and over.

I asked "Why did you decide to read those now?" (What I didn't say: "And NOT your loads of Reader books we buy you?")

And she says "Because they looked important."

Because what's more important than a turtle taking a shower? Nothing.


Kateastrophe said...

That is just awesome. I love that she decided to read only when she deemed it important. Your daughter sounds hilarious and awesome!

Allison said...

I must add as an only child for most of my life (I have a step-sister who was around some weekends.) that reading IS so your best friend. I guess that never dawned on me until I just read it. I'm almost 23 and people still harass me about the amount I read magazine, blogs, books, etc. I definitely think that is a carryover from a lonely childhood.

I'm so glad for you that Savannah has discovered this wonderful pal.

Brillig said...

Oh! Oh! I gotta get some of those stickers! I, too, have a five year old daughter who is... not reading. Her four year old little brother is way ahead of her in this department (which really is odd because she comes across as the "bright" one) and one of these days that's going to devastate her because, well, he's a boy and he's only four. Sigh. Well, this gives me hope that something will trigger her into that magical world. Who knew it would be "important" stickers?

Butrfly4404 said...


I wouldn't worry about the reading. I know I could read in Kindergarten, but they are just now teaching Sunshine the sounds to the letters.

She LOVES reading. She doesn't want to be read to and she can't read, so she grabs her brother's chapter books and makes up stories. She'll go in another room and yell the story to me. It was SO cute for awhile. But now I can't have a conversation without her saying "Are you LISTENING to me?" I'm too afraid not to because I don't want to kill her love for it!!

Melissa said...

As stoked as I am that my own, FIVE AND A HALF (yeah, know what you mean) year old only child has learned to read, part of me is worried - because she reads EVERYTHING, out loud.

Note to self - censor reading material around house.

Little pitchers have big ears and big eyes, y'all.

Mrs. Davis said...

Yay! That's so cool. Our older son (now 7) took longer getting started with reading than we expected, although he's doing great now. He was less interested in books and more interested in reading signs, TV show credits, labels at the grocery store, etc, so your daughter reading the stickers reminds me a lot of him.

Stacey said...

Congrats Savannah!

My son did not read until 2nd grade so seriously she rocks.

Serenity Now! said...

Ha! Admit it, you want her to read and escape into a book so you can go traipsing around and drinking martinis and noon and not really have to take care of your kid.



I may be projecting a bit there.

Sara Maria said...

You are a great writer! I like your humor. :) Im in love with blogging. For some reason, mommy blogs interest me the most but probably because I am going into teaching and like to read about how funny kids are!

Kris H. said...


Daughter was stubborn about learning to read...she loved to be read to, but didn't want to do the work. But boy, once she started(also in Kindergarten), she never looked back. She is in 2nd grade now and gobbling up the chapter books faster than I can buy them!!!

Ash said...

Leila is not reading yet, and she is 5 and half too. Lei will give you the hairy eyeball if you leave off the half as well. I was an early reader, but my husband hates to read, and so does Lei. Much prefers to be out in the sun doing "stuff" While I am curled on the couch or bed or some such nook reading.

Marcia said...

a) you can blog without water, but not without power. Keep your eye on that one.

b) Savannah is so cute!!!

Karen said...

Congratulations, Savannah! You rock!

To you, Lena, I will say this: watching your child learn to read is so fascinating. You think it's going to be a gradual process, but for my son, it was more like WHAM! One day he couldn't read, and the next day he could -- even big words that can't be sounded out. Once he started, he just made monumental leaps and surprised me constantly. It was so fun!

The only problem? I was totally busted on a million mommy lies.

Me: "Oh, we won't be able to go to the toy store today. They're closed."

Him: "But the sign says OPEN."

You get the idea. Time to roll out a whole new bag of mommy tricks!Good luck!

Enjoy your new adventures in reading!

wordgirl said...

*sigh* Can I tell you how great this post was? One of the biggest lessons in education that rarely gets taught is the concept of READINESS. Being ready to receive the information that others are giving you. The door is open and the light is on! Congratulations. Might I suggest the "Bob" books? She will zip through those and they will increase word recognition and confidence all at the same time. Yay for Savannah!

Eleanor said...

I second the "Bob" books. I am a teacher and they are really great.

Go Savannah go!

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