“Not tonight!!”

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember that my daughter Audrey is 3 years old.  She’s nearly 3½.  Still, she’s very young.  But, tell that to her.

For the record, I didn’t school any of my three boys until they were five.  Yes, we did lots of picture books, and I made sure they learned things like colors and shapes during preschool years, but nothing “official.”  I don’t feel like it’s right to make kids do school too early;  they get their best learning from play at that age, in my opinion, and in the opinion of pretty much every educational expert, except the ones selling preschool curriculum.  😉

However.  I’ve had to modify my stance on early schooling somewhat.  Audrey WANTS to do school.  No, she doesn’t want to sit down for 3-4 hours with everyone else;  she doesn’t have that attention span nor the maturity.  But, she wants to be involved.  This is a challenge, and frankly, I don’t often let her sit with the boys when we’re reading/doing school stuff, because 90% of her motivation is just to socialize, and while that isn’t bad, certainly, it does become a major distraction to both them and me.  So, instead, I make sure her morning is interspersed with interaction from me that pretty much comprises “school.”  Sometimes we read, sometimes she does Play-Doh or the like.  But, the cry of her heart is to do the “sounds book,” a.k.a. Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

A few months ago, she asked me to teach her to read.  I didn’t really take her seriously;  I thought she was just asking for it because she wanted to be involved in “school.”  So, I whipped out my trusty, well-used copy of “EZ Lessons” and decided I would walk her very slowly through a few lessons this year.

She has now completed lesson #23.  She’d probably be half-done with the book, if I would let her.  Whenever we complete a lesson, she always asks for another.  She’s already figured out that the book introduces a new sound every other lesson, and if she’s to learn a new sound, she needs to either wait until tomorrow, or do two lessons.  I make her wait.  She’s not pleased.  She’s learning very eagerly, very willingly.

She doesn’t do it perfectly;  oddly enough, she will occasionally read words backwards.  I remarked to Ethan (my 12yo) that it was ironic that a little 3yo girl who has trouble discerning the difference between “beginning, middle, and end” can read words like “that, mat, seed,” and so on.  But other than that, she really grasps the idea that sounds make words, and she delights in finding “her” sounds everywhere we go.


I started this post to relate something she did a couple of nights ago.

I made breakfast for dinner, which is pretty much everyone’s favorite, maybe because it doesn’t usually involve vegetables.  Eggs, bacon, and cornbread.  Everyone loves cornbread around here.  I don’t know what I was thinking, though;  I put my double batch into the single-batch pan, so the resulting cornbread squares were TOWERING, just really puffy and tall.  So, maybe my husband shouldn’t have been so surprised that my 8yo, Wesley, didn’t want a second piece.  Still, full or not, I don’t think Wesley has ever turned down a second slice of cornbread.

Martin remarked, expressing his disbelief, “The world has come to an end!”

All of us laughed, except Audrey.  She stood up on her chair, and with 1/3 drama, 1/3 serious concern, and 1/3 silliness, and very wide eyes, shook her head and hollered LOUDLY, “NNNNOOOOOOO!!!!  NOT TONIGHT!!”  Then, just a tad more quietly, she explained, “I haven’t finished my breakfast for lunch yet.”  (It was dinner, but who’s quibbling?  We were all laughing too hard.)  And, then, with a little bit of tender seriousness, she also explained to Daddy, “And I need to give you a hug and a kiss before the world ends.”  She hopped out of her chair, in order to give my husband his last hug and kiss in the world.

Martin gently told her, “The world isn’t really going to end.”  Audrey perked up at the apparent magical power of her hug and kiss, “You mean my hug and kiss made it stop??”

We were DYING with laughter.  Audrey had made it back to her chair, and asked me, “Did I say something funny?  What did I say?  What did I say?”

I thought the whole thing was both touching and hilarious, and it gave me a lot of food for thought.  Her priorities:

  1. Finish my scrumptious dinner
  2. Kiss my Dad

Other than that, not only did she seem relatively worry-free about the world ending, she seemed to really grasp what that might mean.

I don’t quite know how to end this post…  I know every mom blogger out there thinks her children are amazing, and really, that’s how it should be.  But mine really are.  😉


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on October 1, 2009, in Books for children, Family, Funny Stuff, Homeschooling, Motherhood, Parenting, The Dear Hubby, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Nothing like moments with the FAM! 🙂

  2. Aw, what a sweet post!! She sounds absolutely precious.

  3. That is hilarious and so precious! I bet your husband felt so loved. Sometimes in the midst of the chaos of life I forget how wonderful my kids are until they do something like that.

    Lion Cub ran up to me yesterday and told me he was SO happy that I was his soccer coach and no one else. Then gave me a hug and ran off. It made me feel like I haven’t ruined them quite yet (hehe) and oh so special.

  4. Wow! I LOVE your blogs Karen!!! They’re so funny and engaging!!! Your three year old sounds perfectly delightful =]

  5. She sounds amazing! I think she is going to keep you on your toes.

  6. The bad news??? Sweet potato is HIGH on the type 3 (delayed response) allergy list. It has never been tolerated here. 😦 Are you looking for something carby? Try yucca root. Boil, then fry. Just like french fries. Time consuming, I know. Or mashed rutabagas. A lot of babies from the MSPI forum have had problems with sweet potatoes, peaches, and orange squashes. Don’t know why…

    • Yeah… yams didn’t work. I know yams are genetically different from sweet potatoes, and I made sure to get YAMS, not sweet potatoes… but, still. I already know she has a problem w/ peaches, so that’s out. Thanks for the tip on the orange squash. I have some butternut in my pantry, and I was considering that. I think my next vege will be cabbage. I’m making some sauerkraut, actually — not using whey/milk, just sea salt. We’ll see how that turns out. I don’t know if I can get Fiala to eat it, but I’m looking forward to a different veggie, plus giving a boost to my good flora.

  7. Your daughter is A-MA-ZING!!! She’s so clever!!!

    I think if she’s ready to learn, go for it! I don’t believe in schooling little ones either. But, if you got a child that excited and yearning for it, I’d say let her have at it!

  8. That’s a pretty awesome story.

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