The yin-yang positive/negative development today comes from the realm of spelling. On the plus side, Siena understands, at a rough level, the concept of spelling. Which is to say, if you ask her to spell her name, she knows that “spell” means a particular kind of response is required that is different from other responses she might give to other inquiries. In this case, she will answer the aforementioned question with:
Wow! We were so thrilled to hear this, we immediately asked her to repeat it, which she did.
Then, in good if incomplete methodical scientific style, instead of declaring victory and moving on, we asked her to spell Nalia’s name.
Dad: “Siena, can you spell Nalia?”
Siena: “S-I-E-N-A, Nalia!”
Hmm. Ok, we’ll cut her some slack that she doesn’t know how to spell Nalia.
Dad: “Siena, can you spell daddy?”
Siena: “S-I-E-N-A, Daddy!”
Ah well. She might not get the spelling part, but at least she has recognized that spelling involves saying a string of letters. And furthermore, at least the one sequence she does know in fact is her name, so like a trained pony, she can do tricks that make it look like she’s a genius!
December 29 – As a follow-up, right around Christmas, Siena started understanding that different words have different letters involved. She can pretty much nail “M-A-M-A, Mama!” now, but she still struggles with daddy. Nonetheless, in just two weeks, that’s a huge improvement!