Oliver took it upon himself to teach Hazel how to read today.  He asked me how he had learned, and I told him that we had started with simple letter combinations, like AT, and then built on them, by adding “B” for bat, and “C” for cat, etc.

So, Oliver walked over to his chalkboard and wrote “AT” on it.  His conversation with Hazel proceeded like this:

Oliver:  Hazel, A-T says at.

Hazel:  At.

Oliver:  Good!  Now you can read at!!

(Oliver writes a B in front of at.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what sound does B make?

Hazel:  Buh.

Oliver:  That is correct.  [Note:  He really said that!]  Now, if you put ‘buh’ with ‘at’, what does it say?

Hazel:  Buh-at.

Oliver:  That is incorrect.  It says bat.

Hazel: Bat.

Oliver:  Good!  You can read bat now.

(Oliver writes an S after bat.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what sound does S say?

Hazel:  Ssss.

Oliver:  Right.  Now, if you add S to bat, it says bats.

Hazel:  Bats.

Oliver:  Correct!  You can read bats now.

(Oliver writes a QU after BATS.)

Oliver:  Hazel, what does QU say?

Hazel:  I don’t know.  (walks away.  Oliver grabs her arm and drags her back.)

Oliver:  QU says “kwuh”.

Hazel:  Kwuh.

Oliver:  Good!  Now, what does it say at the end of bats?

Hazel:  Kwuh.

Oliver:  Batsqu.

Oliver then writes a – and underneath it writes the word LINE.  The chalkboard now looks like this:


Oliver:  Hazel, L-I-N-E says line.

Hazel:  Line.

Oliver:  Now it says batsquline.

Hazel:  Batsquline.

Oliver (looking at me):  Mommy, Hazel can read now.  I just taught her.

The Kids

Many thanks to an old friend, Kimber (aka One) for letting me know she wanted to see pictures of my kids!

First, there is Oliver.  He’s four and a half now, brilliant (of course), funny (obviously), talented (clearly), and has an unbiased mother (indubitably).  He also totally gets Christmas.  He was telling me today all about all of the presents that he wants for Christmas, and I said, “Now, you know that Christmas is about more than just getting presents right?”

He responded, “Yeah, I know that.  It’s also about snow.  And candy.”

Then there’s Hazel.  Her world is made of magic and you can’t help but fall in love with all of the epic cuteness.  She says such wonderful things that I can’t help but wonder if she’s plotting world destruction through adorability.  She memorizes the lyrics to songs after hearing them twice, and sings along with the radio she insists on leaving on in her room all the time, tuned to the local country station.

So, these are my kids.  I love them.  They drive me crazy, they bring out the best and the very worst in me, and I wouldn’t change them for anything in the world because they are the absolute perfect versions of themselves.