My seven-year old son is unwillingly acquiring literacy. He loves the spoken word. He hoards unusual nouns and adjectives that strike his fancy as he hoards chocolate coins and cotton wool buds and he emits them randomly at startled visitors.
Written words, however, are enemies to be wrestled into submission or mangled into a new, less intimidating form. 'Children' looms menacingly at him off the page of his school reading book. He stares at the word in fright for a moment, then 'Trees' he pronounces, and hurries on to the more biddable conjunctions.
I am thrilled, therefore, when he announces that he is going to take up novel- reading in bed. His sister and his cousin are digesting Enid Blyton's Secret Seven adventures on their pillows and so my son decides he is going to read the Secret Seven too. He begs a copy from my high-brow book shelves and disappears upstairs.
Five minutes later he is back, moist-eyed and aggrieved. 'The others are saying I'm not really reading it,' he laments. I am annoyed. 'Don't listen to them!' I say. 'How far have you got?' 'Six pages,' he says. This is unexpected. It takes him five minutes to plough through five lines of large print in the Oxford Reading Tree.
But we do not wish to dampen a budding literary appetite. 'What's happened in the story so far?' asks his uncle kindly. My son pauses for a while, his brow wrinkled as though rehearsing a tricky synopsis. 'Well,' he concludes eventually. 'There are a lot of 'e's' in it.'
Very many thanks to anyone who voted for me in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards. Thanks to you, I have made it as far as the Lit category shortlist. Any further prods to win me cyber-stardom would be hugely appreciated. Just click on the badge thingy above and then, I assume, the process becomes obvious. Oh, and if you have the energy to add to my nominations for the MADS awards by clicking the other icon I'll let you try on my leopard-print leggings!