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Reading Books at Eighteen Months

293. Reading Books at Eighteen Months

This grandchild is now five months away from being twelve years old. I don’t read to her much, for she reads very well by herself, writes a family newsletter, and wins awards in spelling bees. But when she was little, she used few words herself. To say “more,” she used the American Sign Language sign of fingers on each hand bunched together and moving to meet each other over and over. I look back on this day of reading with her and relish the memory.

Reading Books at Eighteen Months – A Pantoum

she picks out her very favorite book

I read the words with energy and drama

she smiles and helps me turn the pages

and signals “more” on the final picture

I read the words once more on every page

she settles down content to hear again

she signals “more” on the final picture

I turn to the beginning with less energy

she settles down content to hear again

I skip the words and notice other things

I turn to the beginning with less energy

and find the drama in my voice disintegrating

I skip the words and notice other things

the birds, the flowers—she points for me to name—

the drama in my voice disintegrates

she loves the repetition and nods her “yes”

as I point to name the birds, the flowers

this small one smiles and helps me turn the pages

she loves the repetition and nods her “yes”

and reaches for her next most favorite book

© Copyright Ann Freeman Price March 2003

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