Monday, February 08, 2021

A-L-E-X...

I usually have a million samples around of Alexander's artwork, but for some reason I can't find much of anything at the moment (it's recycling day tomorrow...), which means I don't have his signature on hand, which is too bad because the way he's learned to spell his name has been absolutely wonderful. 

He started out signing everything in his binary code: 01101010

I figured that he could at least learn how to write his name, since all my other kids learned how to write their names by the time they entered Sunbeams. Just because he's the last doesn't mean we have to baby him (maybe). So we started working on his name.

Just ALEX.

Only he could not figure out that A. He consistently wrote H instead.

So I told him that we'd make a little anchor point for the top of his A. We'd just put a little dot on the paper and then we'd draw two lines coming down from that dot. Then we'd draw our line across and—tada!—we had the letter A. 

He loved that trick. 

He loved that trick so much that the anchor point became the focal point of his A. He would draw a big, swooping, swirly circle...then drop two lines down and cross them. It was cute and hilarious but eventually (just the other day when we were signing Valentines) that...well...it was an unnecessary part of the letter A and the real goal was to have no circle on the top at all, but just two lines connected like a little triangle. 

So he's been doing better at making his anchor dot smaller (he just can't quite give it up).

He also was rather miffed when he found out that I'd only taught him how to spell the first part of his name. He truly believed he'd learned the whole thing. He's always been very aware of syllables. Everything he's said has always had the correct number of syllables for whatever he's trying to spit out, even if no one can understand a word he's saying. 

He can syllabically repeat the second Article of Faith. "We buh-beef bat ban bi be buni for bere own bin and not bor Abam ban-be-bun!" If we didn't know what he was saying we wouldn't understand a word of it, but since we do know what he's saying...he nailed it...syllabically.

So when he saw the four letters in his name—ALEX—he attached them to the four syllables of his name.

"Al," he'd say, pointing to the A.

"Ex," he'd say, pointing the the L.

"And," he'd say, pointing to the E.

"Der," he'd say, pointing to the X.

"Alexander!"

I think it was my mom who pointed out that he had an N in his name and he was like, "Yeah, no, I don't," because we'd never tried writing out his whole name. But he'd drawn an N for Naanii and she heard him say, "That's in MY name" rather than "That's in YOUR name," which is understandable because 90% of what he says still comes out as "Bubble, bubble, bubble." Anyway, he was like, "What do you mean, that letter is in MY name?"

So I had to explain that we'd only taught him how to spell ALEX and not ALEXANDER and he's been obsessed with spelling his "long name" ever since, so we're working on it. 

For now it usually comes out something like this:

ALEX
101NA0

Because he still loves his binary code. 

Really, he could learn how to spell his name without too much more difficulty. He already knows A and E and N (from his love of writing up-down-up-down letters, like M for Mommy), and he knows D from Daddy. R gives him a little trouble, but he knows it's in Rachel's name. So it will just take a little practice to get those letters down with enough confidence, but I'm sure he'll get there.

Hopefully I'll be able to add some illustrations later because his little signature is just so cute!

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