Lost and Found


Piglet is lost.

Now you might assume that this is not a big deal, as you admire Sophie’s stuffed animals — here’s a line up from this morning — including all the pigs and variations of Piglet. You would be wrong.

In fact, Sophie owns three wind-up musical Piglets — designed by Gund, all grasping purple butterflies — but to Sophie, not all Piglets are created equal.

One is at school. One has a green sticker with her name on it. The missing one has a purple sticker. Sophie can tell the difference blindfolded, just by letting the tip of her finger graze the tip of Piglet’s ear. I know. I’ve tested her.

We were shocked she fell asleep at all last night, without Piglet With The Purple Sticker. I know it’s just a matter of time before there’s a major meltdown.

So if you see Piglet, let us know.

In much better news, here’s what Sophie found: Reading!

Sophie loves homework. (Probably because Annabelle always has it. Annabelle does not love it. I wouldn’t, either, if I got all those math worksheets.) So when Sophie comes home with a book to read to us, she’s thrilled.

But she doesn’t always do so well with it, even though it’s a book she’s already read in reading group with Ms. X. Particularly if we wait til bedtime, she’ll get a few words, but for the most part really struggles. We’ll make it through the title on the cover, then turn the page and she’ll stare blankly at the title page — even though the words are the same.

I remember when Annabelle learned to read. It just happened. I spent a lot of time thinking about that switch that goes off in your head when you “get” that the word on the page refers to SOMETHING — that heady feeling that suddenly, literally, you hold the world in your hands. (Depending on the book, of course. Some books, not so much.)

With Annabelle it happened quickly. With Sophie it didn’t, and I was beginning to wonder if it ever really would, particularly when just a couple weeks ago, Ms. X said Sophie would learn to read by memorizing sight words, rather than phonetically.

Last night, in the flurry to find Piglet and comb tangled hair (I swear, my kids are starting to look like sister wives — time for haircuts!) I forgot about the book. Uh oh. I grabbed it and grabbed Sophie and hit the couch.

And she got it. I think I’ll always remember this book, the way I remember my first French dialogue — and the only French I remember — from high school (Bon jour, Alice! Bon jour, Phillipe! Ca va? Oui, ca va. Et toi? Pal mal.).

For posterity, the title is “Is it for me?” by Jodi Lee, illustrated by Laura Freeman — “Decodable Book 10” by Harcourt. And you knew this was coming, so here:

It is a red box. Is it for me? No, it is not.

It is a big box. Is it for me? No, it is not.

It is a tan box. Is it for me? Yes, it is.

It is for me. It is a cap!

Yes, she had trouble with a couple of words, like red and cap, but with help she sounded them out. She read entire lines at a time, then insisted on reading the book to Ray when he arrived home from a bike ride.

The best part was that Sophie grabbed my arm and dissolved in happy giggles — the kind that take her breath away, and mine, too — every time she finished a line.

Now, it’s true that she also dissolved in giggles this morning when, at her behest, she and I pretended to light candles and sang “Happy Birthday to Sophie” a half dozen times. Each time she solemnly put her hand on her chest, savoring the moment like we were in front of a big chocolate cake and all her friends, rather than in our PJs on the bed. Then the giggles.

But I think she knew how special the moment was last night. I think she “got” reading.

I ran to text Ms. X. The phone rang immediately. She was beside herself.

“I had to call and tell you that Sophie never read that book today! She missed reading group!”

I remembered that Sophie had been late; we were getting her feet cast.

“She read that all on her own!” Ms. X practically yelled.

I told her about the giggles and she said that’s what all the kids do when they figure it out. We had some giggles of our own and Ms. X made me promise to apologize to Robert Polk since Sophie was clearly reading phonetically.

That time, at least. We’ll see how reading homework goes tonight. But first, we’ve got a horse to make for the Kindergarten Rodeo. And a Piglet to find.



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5 responses to “Lost and Found

  1. Wow. Amazing story. It is for her!!! Hope you find Piglet the purple soon.

  2. Leah

    Sophie has had the most remarkable year. Do you ever go back to the beginning blog posts just to marvel at how far she has come?

  3. Kathy

    You go Sophie! (ya know, maybe she will surprise all of us even more by not melting down re: that purple tagged Piglet and just moving forward–actually that wouldn’t surprise me).

  4. That is wonderful news! Very very exciting and inspiring. Isn’t it wonderful when they surprise us in a good way? It is so wonderful that you have such a close and supportive relationship with Ms. X. It’s funny because there have been times I have wished I could text Leo’s teacher/therapist but we are no where near that close.
    I still remember the moment/book that I learned to read. Glad you recorded Sophie’s for posterity.
    And I will send good vibes to you that Piglet is found soon. Nothing worse than a lost friend.
    Hey, “Happy Birthday” is one of Leo’s favorite songs too! Clearly they are a match made in heaven. : )

    Thanks for the sympathy regarding the back and the temper. I am not familiar with Sombra but will definitely check it out. I didn’t include the story in my blog about how I made the mistake of taking an old muscle relaxant and ended up sleeping for 12 hours and was hung over for TWO DAYS. Yea!And please, bring on the Jewish motherness! I love it.

  5. Carolyn

    Hi Amy,

    First off, I love your blog! I can’t remember how I found it. Your stories about Sophie and Annabelle have brought me to tears many times!

    I had to laugh over the French lesson! I took French in high school too and I remember that ridiculous dialog. The only other thing I remember from high school French is my teacher saying, “One egg is an oeuf!” Ha ha.

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