When I looked at the scrawl left on the bathtub walls by my nearly four year old, what first came to mind was that awful red scrawl, “REDRUM” from The Shining. My little guy had taken his red bath crayon and blithely scrawled his name across the edge of the clawfoot tub. Perfectly. Backwards. He hadn’t noticed his ‘mistake’, au contraire… he was proud as punch of his acheivement, as well he should be. I marvelled at the ease with which he did such things. No one has yet told him it should be done a certain way, and his joy in discovery is pure and unrestrained. I wish I could protect that, somehow.
I talked to his teacher about the process of learning, and she said it was a perfectly natural step, this wild abandon and disregard for proper form. What’s important, she assured me, was that he’s getting all the letters in there, and he has a set symbol for each of them. that he can write his name in a square, or backwards, or backwards and forwards, or across three sheets of paper, is lovely and right.
I also suspect he can read, but he’s not ready to share that accomplishment, yet. he’s the kind of kid who usually waits til he has a firm grasp on things before he shows his hand. I wonder where he gets it?