Sunday I took Charlotte with me to the grocery store. I had scribbled down a short shopping list, and she insisted on acting as the keeper of the list. That meant I had to translate my chicken scrawl for her. Halfway through the grocery store, she told me, “Mommy, I can’t read what you wrote,” for the millionth time in twenty minutes.
I fought the initial urge to just take the list back and finish the job myself. After all, the kid can read some words, but not a lot yet (“milk” was no problem for her, but “liquid dish soap” would have been hard even if I had spelled it all out). Instead, I decided to be a mother. A (slightly) humbled one at that.
I explained that I had written the note too fast, and hadn’t expected anyone else to try and read it. And that if I had taken the time to write my words out nicely, then she would have a lot less trouble. I then reminded her how we are always requesting that she take time in her writing, and that this was exactly the reason why. (Handwriting is not her strong suit because, like me, she prefers to scrawl the words down with little care for how nicely they’re formed). She understood, at least a little.
“Mommy,” she told me, “I need to schedule some writing lessons for you.”