I’m the kind of person who types out almost everything. Babysitter instructions? Typed. Addresses for a day’s outing? Typed. A note to my next door neighbor’s kids tucked inside a bag of books? Typed (in cute font, I might add). Even my shopping lists are typed!
Before my shopping lists are typed-up (and organized by aisle of the supermarket to minimize the amount of times I run back and forth in the store), they are hand-written. My husband and I jot items we need to buy on a notepad during the week. Often, I jot down the items I need to buy on the same notepad with my recipe binder in front of me.
And that’s what I was doing last night as Isabelle ate blueberries after dinner. I sat down at the table with my recipe binder and notepad and wrote things down with a pen.
“ABC’s!” she said pointing to the notepad.
“Huh?” I asked.
“A-B-C’s!” she exclaimed again.
I looked at her blankly. She pointed and then sang the alphabet song as if trying to get her point across.
When she finished the song, I dutifully cheered and said, “I heard the l, m, n, o, and p!”
She shook her head, not seeming to care I noticed she slowed down the alphabet song. Finally, she got her message across. “Mommy eye-ting.”
What could “Mommy eye-ting” mean? I said it aloud, as I often do when I am unsure what Isabelle says.
“Eye-ting, eye… ting.” I paused. Writing? “Did you say ‘Mommy is writing?'”
“Yes!” she smiled.
“You’re right, Mommy is writing!”
I stopped and looked at her. My eyes welled-up with tears. She had made the connection between the alphabet song and what I was doing on the notepad as writing. She recognized the letters I put on the page meant something. Since she rarely sees me compose a text (I’m stretching it by saying the shopping list is a text!) by hand, it was like a light bulb went off in her head that said, ‘Mommy is writing something with the ABC’s.’
I stared at her with amazement. Finally, I put my hand on top of her blueberry-stained fingertips and said, “You noticed something important. I am writing down a list of things you and Daddy will buy at Wegmans tomorrow. The ABCs are letters I use when I want to make words. These words tell Daddy what to buy at the supermarket.” I thought about saying more, but stopped. I was verklempt.
“ABC’s! Mommy eye-ting ABC’s!”
And with that assertion, she sang the ABC song again.