I went to bat for Isabella yesterday.
There she sat, nose in a book, "reading" to herself so adorably. Then along came Cole, ribbing her mercilessly about how she was not really reading, couldn't possibly read, and never will read as well as O Magnificent Cole.
I hushed him and sent him on his way, but like most of our verbal sparring matches, he didn't listen and instead went on to provide a thesis on age-appropriate reading skills, Isabella's lack of all necessary skills, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseum. Very clever, my boy. He can talk his way in such a convoluted circle, that finally the object of his attention will either have: a. bleeding ears from the step-by-step beating-a-dead-horse logic or, b. declared Cole the winner. Match Point!
And really, it isn't healthy for a child to Always Win, right? So I went to bat for Isabella, dear silent Bella, just staring at Cole with giant eyes and the innocent moue of a surprised kewpie doll.
I believed in her, and her steady climb toward literacy, having witnessed dozens of signed coloring pages bearing her patented " IIIII OOO llll."
I felt confident that she could bear me out if I challenged Cole in an attempt to prove him wrong.
I told him forcefully that she did so know her letters, and was therefore well on her way to reading in the next year. Cole insisted that she only knew what the letter "I" was, and I set out to get him.
"Isabella, what are some other letters in your (very long) name?"
She looked up triumphantly and crowed "Ones!"
Oh. Oh my. Cole and I dissolved with laughter. And I hastily amended my confident feelings of her impending literacy. Turns out the "IIIII OOO llll" was really "IIIII OOO 1111" as in, these are the numbers of my name.