Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Ruined Life

Big tears ran down her cheeks.
"You've ruined my life!"

I suppose the first time hurts the most.
I've never heard that statement before.
I thought they were a little young to blame me for everything they hate about themselves.
I thought I had a little more time to save for their therapy.

We were in the middle of a reading lesson. The same lesson we've been working on for two weeks. I thought I was being patient.

I did not see it coming.
She's four. Four. I thought she still adored me.
Who could have guessed?

We were reading the extent of ten words on the page. We'd been sounding them out for twenty minutes. She knew not one. Not one. I might have gone into that squeaky voice just for a second. THE WORD IS "THAT." It was "THAT" five seconds ago when we sounded it out the first time. The letters haven't changed. It's still "that"!

And then the dreaded crocodile tears...followed by a little whimpering...the chin quiver...
"I actually knew that word, Mom. YOU'VE RUINED MY LIFE. I could have sounded that out on my own."

How was I to know that all-of-the-sudden---in the midst of the phonetic struggle---that she had figured out that word.

I'm thinking about NOT teaching her to read.
That ought to ruin her life, don't you think?

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