Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Nutmeg saw the movie "The Wizard of Oz" this past weekend at her grandparents' house, and today she acted out part of the movie in a pretend game with me. She played the wicked witch first, and carried around a stuffed dog in a scarf sling as Toto. She even did a great "I'm melting!" spin and then she transformed herself into "Glenda" the good witch.

It made me realize some things that have changed about Nutmeg in recent months:

She can play more elaborate dramatic games, with emotional content. She used to pretend that we were all characters, often that we were all Thomas the Tank Engine characters. But the extent of the game was always our names, our colors, and the fact that we were trains.

Yesterday, on the other hand, we pretended that she had gotten lost and ended up living at Hephzibah, the group foster home organization where she donated a present at Christmas. This was all her idea. We enacted a scene where she was reunited with me, and her fake crying was so convincing that I literally felt her eyes to make sure they were dry.

The other thing I've noticed is her joking. She likes to repeat riddles, although she doesn't really get most of them. But she says one liners that she knows are funny. Like yesterday, I told her I'd ordered her a new booster seat that would come soon in the mail.

"How will the booster seat fit through the mail slot?" she asked me. And cackled.

Nutmeg has also become more interested in writing letters recently. She can write her name pretty decently and I find scraps of paper around the house with a random F or J printed on them.

She can read many words, sometimes long ones. She sounded out the words "squirrel fish" in a book. Granted, she knew that the picture was of a squirrel fish, since she'd been read that book before, but still, I watched and heard her sound it out. She reads the months on the calendar, too.

But when I pull out a Dr. Seuss book and encourage her to sound out words, she usually resists. I think she wants to make it clear that reading the stories is still my job.


Sara said...

Wow...she is doing a really great job!! Grace has started writing numbers and letters, too, but she's not reading yet. Is this something that you work on at home with Nutmeg?

Grace loves to play this game where all of us are members of a rock band, and at the end of a song, she takes this dramatic, "I am the greatest!" bow. It's hilarious.

Carrie said...

Sara -- Well, it depends what you mean by "working on it." When we're reading to her at home or when we see signs, etc., we of course answer any question she has about what words say. I do point things out to her when she shows interest, like I often point out the way "ou" in this word sounds like "ow," but in that word sounds like "oo." And I sometimes sound a word out in front of her while pointing out each letter.

But we don't sit her down to "work on" reading. It's always led by her.

Today she picked up a package of baby snacks and, reading the label, said, "What in here is organic?" I'm not one to push the academics, but I must admit I was proud.

Sara said...

It's wonderful that she has such an inquisitive nature! And, to top it off, she's a darn cute kid!