Smootch is taking her first steps towards reading. To give her some letter practice I often ask her to write out lists, helping her spell the words letter by letter. Lists are good practice, and they can be stopped at any time, avoiding frustration of finishing a project when we are tired or bored. Smootch has written lists of fun activities to do, names of family members, animals. And grocery lists. Like this one:

Written on her precious Hannah Montana note paper, Smootch complied our grocery list yesterday, dictated by myself as I did the dishes. Much appreciated on my part. Or was until I got to the grocery store and, with the grabby handed baby and hyper endorphine crazed jogging crowd who stop by for juice post-workout, I lacked the focus to make out what the heck kind of crazy secret code the grocery list was written in.

After I picked up the obvious items I wheeled my giant space ship cart over to the quiet corner of the store and sat down to figure out the rest. And to acknowledge that the momentarily frustration I feel trying to read what Smootch writes is what Smootch feels everytime she picks up a book or looks at a sign. That she has gumption, taking on the monumentous task of learning to read while all this distracting life is going on. And sometimes she needs a quiet corner to help her focus too. My job is provide books, encouragment, as well as space and time. Oh, and Hannah Montana notepaper.


  1. So super cute ! I think I made out Coffee, Milk, tofu, coconut...maybe OJ and what could be Jello? Jwmllo?

  2. that is the cutest thing ever and such a lovely idea!

  3. Not bad! And she can spell "COFFEE!" SMART girl! ;)

  4. She made sure all the important ones are totally clear--once you have milk, coffee and coconut what more could a person want? ;-)

  5. That's adorable! I was going to ask how your coco-mint was working out for you, but I'm glad the other readers cleared that one up for me! :)

  6. Ah, I love reading your guesses! Could be fun to make Smootch's alphabet codes a game, yes?

    The list, for the record, reads:

    dishsoap (missing h and s)
    coffee (mamas can always read that one)
    milk (soy and almond, btw)
    sunflower seeds (the 's' look like an anchor and 'sunflower' is split between two lines)
    tofu (with a 'w')
    and coconut (see the 'w' again)

    I have no desire to correct her writing. It will come with time, and these small errors are really precious to me right now. I still haven't forgiven the person who corrected her phrase 'jack jump ups' into 'jumping jacks'.

  7. This is my first comment on your blog although I have been following for a little while. I think it's very important to get into writing. It's the best way to express yourself in many situations.

    Stop by my blog for an award I have bestowed upon you.

  8. I just love your blog! I am now a follower!

  9. As a teacher, I am inspired by your take on your daughter's learning. She is a lucky girl.