Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hyrum can read

I'm only exaggerating slightly. Hyrum can read. Hyrum can read one word. That word is Bob.

We show Hyrum a DVD case that has pictures of Bob and his friends. The first thing he points to is not the rounded-headed, hard-hatted picture of his friend Bob. Ir's not any of the trucks behind him. The first thing he points to is three golden letters B-o-b and he says, "Bob." When he sees those three letters all by themselves, he points to them and says, "Bob." I wrote them in my own handwriting, showed them to him and asked him "What does this say?" He said, "Bob." He knows that B-o-b and b-o-b mean a little man on the TV who says, "Can we build it?" and that combined with the word "song" it means that Mom or Daddy will turn on the theme song on Daddy's computer of that little man on the TV.

I went to wake Hyrum up one morning and he looked at my sweatshirt. It says CORNELL UNIVERSITY. As with my BYU shirt, he likes pointing at the letters and saying their names. One morning this week, he pointed to the T in UNIVERSITY and said, "T. Dance." I said, "no, Hyrum." I pointed to the letter D in FOUNDED BY and said, "D. Dance." Now every morning when I wake him up, if I've worn that shirt the first thing he says to me, before "Daddy" or "Hello" or "Up" or "Milk" is "D. Dance" and he points at that letter D.

We spend the first few minutes of the morning going around my sweatshirt picking out letters and finding words for them. T - Truck. B - Bob. O - Orange. Y - Yes. N - Nose. C - Cat. or Cookie. and in between most of them, D - Dance.

He came up with it all by himself. I wasn't trying to teach him that letters connect to words and words connect to reality. He made that leap all by himself. He turns 2 next month.

Hyrum knows another letter D. In a very specific font, D means desire, it means fun and entertainment, it means Disney and DVD and Donald Duck; it means Buzz Lightyear and Winnie the Pooh and Kitty (though not so much Kitty); above all, it means MUSIC: Duck song and Whale song and Yoyo song and Firebird song all from Fantasia 2000, and Make Mine Music and Supercalafragilisticexpialidocious that he and I listened to ten times this morning. That beautiful script D is a very important letter. He knows what it means and that it means something different from every other letter D in existence. It is beautiful and dear to his heart, my little prince.

How thrilling it is for me to see this! and to be part of opening this wonderful world of symbols to him! He just got up from his nap and I showed him this blog. He said "Bob" and then he said "D." I told him "Disney." and he says, "Dis-ney." I move the screen up and he says, "Bob." I move the screen down and now he says, "Disney."

This week for Family Home Evening, Joy had us cut out pictures and paste them to a large white piece of cardstock so we can point to the pictures as we sing "Teach Me To Walk in the Light." To remind us that "Gladly, gladly" we'll walk in the light, I drew the smiley face I sometimes use when signing my name. I haven't done it very often lately, but often enough apparently. Hyrum points to it and says, "Daddy! Daddy happy!"

No, he can't read a story. He can't read a song. He can't read a recipe or instructions or warnings. But he can read Bob and he can extrapolate from individual letters and symbols into the world he loves.

And I'm proud fit to bust!

1 comment:

Grandma Jule said...

OHHHHH! What an *incredible,* fantastic, fabulous time in Hyrum's life! Thank you for sharing this marvelous little gem!!

Pop says "WOOOOOOAH!"