After begging and bribing J for several months to read me a book, she obliged last evening. The book is called Who Is Who by Patricia C. McKissack and it is A Rookie Reader. She had shown some interest in a couple of Dr. Seuss books before but it had not proved enough to overcome what I think was the "fear of reading".
She has been able to read four and five letter words for a while now but the progression from discrete words to whole sentences seemed to scare her. The more I tried to make her take the leap the more she resisted until I gave up. With J I have learnt to push only so far and no further. But maybe I had not quite given up yet.
Yesterday morning I spoke in her language. I said to J "All my friends have their babies read to them. I am the only Mommy whose baby does not read to her. That makes me really really sad. I never get a turn to tell them what J read to me". J said in all seriousness "I'll read to you today so you can tell your friends, J reads to you too"
There were a couple of mothering lessons for me in this thing. First, I should have introduced reading with something that would be effortless for her - maybe a book for 6-12 month olds that have just one or two words a page. Second, use J-speak when other channels of communication fail.I don't know about her, but it was quite a momentous evening for me.