A first

First birthday wishes [Photo by Tseen]

My daughter woke early today. She was quietly occupied after going to the lounge room, for which we were thankful. We live for the day when the children can get their own breakfasts and we can have some semblance of a sleep-in again.

When I finally dragged myself out of bed this public holiday morning (to make French toast for my hubs’ birthday breakfast), I found a flimsy sheet of paper sitting on the dining table. She had made a birthday card and put it in her dad’s place.

The front said “To Dad”. The photo above is a close-up of what she’d written inside. She is five and a half years old.

Ever since she started forming letters and writing words, we’ve had to encourage, push, make it into a game, or bribe her to have her write more than her name or one friend’s name. She’s reading at steadily improving levels, and her comprehension is usually fairly astute. Writing, though, has always presented itself as a bit of a chore. And she’d always be the first to say, “It’s not very good…” or “I messed up the ‘k’ again” when showing us something she’d done.

The birthday card for her dad is the first spontaneous piece of writing she’s done that’s longer than two or three words in a row. It’s such a precious piece of initiative.

I don’t know how she’s going to top it next year.

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About Tseen Khoo

Dr Tseen Khoo is a lecturer in research education and development in Melbourne. In previous incarnations, Tseen has been a research grant developer, and also a research fellow. She founded a national research network (AASRN), edited an academic journal for 5 years, and has been part of successful major competitive grants. Other than that, she can be quite normal.

2 responses to “A first”

  1. rachael says :

    adorable! i had to think a little to figure out what was the message, but made it in the end.

    • Tseen Khoo says :

      Yes, the spelling’s fairly innovative, and she went phonetically most of the way. Apparently, they haven’t learned ‘spelling’ yet. I thought spelling and reading went hand-in-hand, but I’m obviously an ignoramus. ;)

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