A Whole New World

Well, I’ve tried everything. My child is finding reading to be about as enjoyable as having fingernails ripped out with pliers, or being strapped to a chair and made to watch Lifetime movies all day…with your eyes taped open…and no commercials.

Since she was a baby, she would spend all her time “reading” books. I’d pick her up from school and she would be in the reading area paging through books, big and small. Her teacher said, “Every time we come in from outdoor play, she goes straight to the reading area and looks at books for an hour.” I wondered if the other babies thought, “Who’s…the…nerd?”

When I was 4 years old, I could read. My mother thought maybe I just had books memorized. Then, one day, I read something she said I couldn’t have possibly known unless I could actually read. I told my daughter I could read before I went to kindergarten. At her kindergarten screening last year, the teachers all had her trying to read things in different stations. The week before school started, my child came into the room and burst into tears. “I can’t go to kindergarten! I don’t know how to read!!” Parenting FAIL #411.

It was exciting to think about my child, growing up, laying around the house reading books. I pictured us going to the book store, buying a new book, heading to a coffee shop where we would lounge around and escape to far off places. I would make it a point to read the books she read so that we could talk about them.

Now, when I try to get my child to read, it looks something like this: Image

The other day, we were on our way to Target. Instead, I went to Half Price Books. The conversation went something like this:

“This isn’t Target.”

I know.

“Where are we?”

You tell me.

“House Party.”

No, sound it out.

“Uggggghhhhhhhh. Haaaave Priiii–.”

Half Price. Those are tricky words. Good try.

As we got to the door, I ever-so-smartly continued the torture:

What does this say?

“Can’t we just go inside?”

You just read this.

“Have Pride.”

Half Price. How about this?

“Moooooommmmm. I’m so hot.”

Come on, it’s only three letters; three sounds.


No. Geh-eh-teh.

“Moooooommmmm. I’m so cold.”

Are you hot or cold?


Right. Get Cash.

“Can we please go inside now.”

After that ordeal, I launched into the whole “…a new world will open up to you when you learn to read,” and “…you’ve loved books since you were a baby,” and “…all you have to do is practice.” Who wouldn’t want to keep trying after all that?

My child never held a book the right way. She would hold it with the cover against her belly, looking over the top of the book, pointing to the words the way a teacher would do for the class. Books were an extension of her hands.

I want to do whatever it takes to make sure she loves reading as much as she loves books. Dammit. I want to have a library full of books! We just happen to keep it at the local Starbucks.

One thought on “A Whole New World

  1. My five-year-old twins are starting Kindergarten in the fall, and one of them has been very concerned about the fact that she is not quite an independent reader. They other one couldn’t care less! I’ve made it clear to both of them that most kids don’t know how to read before Kindergarten, but that doesn’t seem to help my stressed out daughter. Oh well.

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