Phonetically Speaking

Mali has a thing for the Jenns in our life. She really loves asking me to txt them for her.

Usually I type in her dictations, such as "Tell Jenn I said 'Hi' and that I am Dr. Alice Bunny!" or "Jenn I want you and Sophie and Willow to come over today and I love you and I miss you."

Yesterday she wanted to text a Jenn while I was sitting at a table in a booth at our local winterfest, realizing that registering for the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry took more than sixty seconds. Since I needed her to sit still while I filled out the three pages of information that would give the registry the best chance of being able to find me for the next twenty-two years, I opened my phone's keyboard and a text window, and told her to have fun.

She asked me where the N and the K buttons were. I showed her how the Back and Space buttons worked. I told her that the "juh" sound she was looking for in one of the names was a J, not a G. And that was it. She typed these four names, with spaces, independently, exactly as appears below:

Gen kate shon jak

(That would be Jenn, Katey, Sean, and Jake.)

The funny thing is, she's just now starting to be able to form written letters, so I didn't consider that she was nevertheless intellectually able to write. Her noggin is churning at a pace not matched by some of her fine motor skills. It's fascinating. And you'd think, after so many years of trying to find the best ways for Leelo to communicate, that I'd have more consideration for such matters.

Guess I'll let her spend more time at the keyboard.


  1. Anonymous8:53 AM

    Yay for smart little Mali!
    Have you decided if you are sending her to K next year or waiting? Just curious... my youngest is just a couple of weeks older than her (early Nov.)... I'm pretty sure I'm going to go ahead and send him next year. -Anita R.

  2. Hey Anita, there's no way in hell I'm paying for another year of preschool when Mali can go to Spanish Immersion day-long kindergarten for free!

  3. That is absolutely fascinating, and inspiring. I know exactly what you mean about her brain not matching her fine-motor skills; Max is so behind in that area, I tend to think he's that far behind cognitively, too, but then he goes and surprises me and then I feel bad for not being more optimistic about him. My husband, Dave, is better with that. Then again, he is in a lot of denial, too! Somehow, we balance each other out.

  4. So proud! I hope someday I will get a text from her! 8-)

  5. Anonymous7:45 PM

    I think it is so awesome when little kids text. M texts her Dad all the time when he travels. Her messages are quite surreal so Joe can tell when they are from her instead of me.

    I am glad Mali is doing so well.


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