Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Man of Letters

I’ve been working hard to figure out things that we can do this winter to keep Michael occupied and active while trapped in the house. We had such a nice summer that most days he was able to get outside at least once, if not more. He’s so used to playing outside that being forced to stay inside is going to be a difficult change for him.

Tuesday was rainy, so I decided to try out one of the activities I had picked up for Michael. However, I need to give a little background for it to make sense.

Michael has a thing for letters. By “thing” I don’t mean he likes to teethe on them, or leave them on the floor so I step on them in the dark and squeal loudly. I mean he really likes them. Okay, even that is an understatement. My kid has a serious letter problem. You know how some kids become obsessed with princesses, or cars? They spend hours playing with them, point them out whenever they see one, and treat them like friends? Well, that’s what letters are to Michael.

It’s not something I talk about much because people react very strongly to discovering that a toddler knows all his letters, both upper and lower case, all of their sounds, and several versions of the alphabet song. I had a very awkward encounter with the hairdresser that cut Michael’s hair when he was about 20 months old. He was reading off letters from the signs and she kept asking me, “How does he do that?” Lady, I have no clue. I’m dyslexic and I still mix up my lower case ps and bs. Your guess is as good as mine.

But, I’ve decided that I really do need to blog about it because it’s such a big part of who Michael is. He’s spent the past year playing with letters, and it’s the one thing above all others that he loves.

So, when I was at the bookstore the other day, I saw a kid's baking book that comes with letter cookie cutters and just had to buy it. Michael went nuts when he saw the package, and insisted that I open it for him RIGHT NOW. He had been playing with them since Friday, but I couldn’t find the time I needed to make the dough. I ended up taking the day off on Tuesday to get our A/C fixed, and since it was raining, I decided to give the cookies a try.

It was a huge success. I rolled out the dough and pulled the step stool over for Michael. I used one cutter to make a cookie, and that was all Michael needed to see before he went to town. He made quite a mess, and I needed to roll the dough out about 5 times just so we could get about 25 cookies made, but it was well worth getting flour all over my kitchen. Believe it or not, the cookies turned out pretty good too. Michael was in heaven, not only did he get to eat cookies, but they were LETTER cookies.

It worked great, but I think I’m going to let him use Playdoh the next time I get the cookie cutters out. It’s not the mess I’m worried about, it’s all the reject cookie dough that I ended up eating. Oh my.

6 comments:

Mama Mia said...

THAT IS AWESOME..B would love that too..I don't know if you have seen them, but Newman's Own makes organic letter cookies...they are super cute and YUMMY TOO...

London said...

That is great! What a smart little boy you have.

LauraC said...

I was like that as a child also. Apparently I could read by 2 1/2. That seems insane to me as N&A are far away from being able to read. We have a Step 2 easel and alphabet magnets... maybe he'd like that?

Joanna said...

Laura - Michael has an easel and magnets at my mom's. He also has bath tub letters, several sets of fridge magnets, tater tot letters, leap frog letters, and the list goes on. We have letters in every room of our house, in my car, in my purse, they have enev shown up in my bed.

Maria said...

That sounds like a ton of fun! Lilly was just like that, too and people would look at me like I had 3 heads when she would read the signs at the market. Playdoh is great too but not as tasty as cookies, at least to me, LOL

-Bridget said...

That's a really cool story. It's great that you are looking for new ways to encourage him and his creativity with them. Michael always seemed like a bright little boy but that really seals the deal.