Alphabet Soup (!)

Here’s Owen at work in his new kitchen. His favourite dishes? Alphabet soup (made of magnetic letters from the fridge) and grilled cheese soup.

Notice him pressing down on the grilled cheese.

He’s obsessed with letters lately. He can identify about 1/3 of the letters of the alphabet consistently, which I find pretty impressive given his age, and his interest in letters has made me quiz him on words and how they are spelled. I hope I’m not going too crazy. Part of me is amazed at how interested he is in letters, but the other part of me wonders why he’s not reading yet. Seriously, child? C-A-T? You must know that one by now. He sometimes knows how to spell Owen, but other times knows how to spell O-W-E-O or O-E-W. Close enough, no? The other day, we were at Winners, and Owen just listed off “W-I-N-N-E-R-and-S!” – he didn’t put the letters together, but he knew to read them. Then yesterday, we went to Zellers, and he pointed to the sign atop the store and said “That say Zellers?” – obviously, he wasn’t reading it, but he gets that letters spell things, and this is exciting for him. He “reads” the titles of books by trolling his finger over the words and saying the title “The Cat in the Hat,” say – but if you ask him to point out individual words (like “cat”), he’ll point to “the.”

Lately, he’s obsessed with the exclamation mark. He asked me what it was one day – I guess because he didn’t recognize it as a letter. When I told him it made you read LOUDER, this delighted him, so he now searches the pages of books for exclamation marks, and tells me to read LOUDLY (which I do). I had never noticed how exclamation marks there were in, say, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach… ! It’s gotten to the point where a page is not a page if it doesn’t contain an exclamation mark, as in: “Oh, no! Where the exclamation mahk?” I try to tell him that some of us seek peace and quiet, but the child can’t yet be convinced by the power of commas and periods. In time, in time.