Claire’s smart. This fact wasn’t overly apparent this summer. Any casual observer would have to admit that there was a pretty big difference between dear Claire, who was content to paint with watercolors and fill buckets with sand at Bear Lake, and my sister’s daughter (who’s six months younger), who could write all her letters and sound out words. When I’d ask Claire what sound a particular letter made or what letter did such-and-such a word start with, all I got was a blank stare.

But I wasn’t worried.

You see, I understand the fact that first kids are different from fourth ones. My sister’s “first child” knew all the ABC’s before she turned two (well, and actually has super smart parents resulting in super smart genes…that girl’s going to go somewhere!). And our dear Claire is planted as number four in our family…resulting in not as much early academics and a little more loopiness than first children generally have.

So, Claire started pre-school knowing only how to write her name in a barely legible script and knew only the letters therein. But I’ll tell you what, within the first couple weeks of school Claire knew every letter and sound. She can now write all the ABCs. She can sing every song there is about counting and days of the week and she knows a whole bunch of nursery rhymes. Yes, our little girl is smart as a whip.

The reason for Claire’s sudden smart-ness is certainly not a result of her parents prodding and pushing. No, sadly all the credit must go to her new Pre K teacher Mrs. G. I don’t know that there could be a better Pre K teacher out there! (gotta love the impetigo accenting her excited second-day-of-school smile…nice.)

I love having these girls to myself during the morning hours. Three mornings a week we concentrate on Lu. Her therapists come and we hang with them. The other mornings I really try to be all Clarie’s. We’ve been making trips to the library, having our own little reading time, homework time, etc. The only problem is: Lu. She HAS to be in the center of everything. These pictures prove it. She was so mad at Claire since she was sitting on my lap.

If we’re doing a puzzle, she has to sit on it. If we’re reading a book, she somehow maneuvers herself snuggly right between us and the book.
As you can see, Claire doesn’t seem to mind. She’s one heck of a big sister.
And one heck of a sweetie-pie for her Mama.
Love this girl.

Similar Posts


  1. LOVE Mrs. G!! I’m hoping Max has learned more than the M-A-X that he knew when he started. It started with the 3rd child in our house.

    We loved having that sweet Claire at our house today. Hopefully she’ll come back when we make playdough and paint!!

  2. Just seeing that picture makes me sad, Sophie has asked several times if we can go visit Mrs. G! I really loved her for a teacher – it’s almost like she is not for real! BUT SHE IS!!

  3. First, the teacher totally makes a difference. We have a “Mrs. G,” too, and boy we love her.

    Second. so true, so true. I love how you captured the difference between the oldest child and the younger. I notice my expectations for Anna are totally different that Eleanore, even! And they are only one year apart.

    Cute girl, cute mom, cute post.

  4. Yes, my third went to Kindergarten not reading and writing like my others. I too was worried and felt bad that I had totally let it slip by me, but now after just a month of school, he is beginning to read and is starting to get it. Yeah for great teachers. And plus all kids are on their own timetable

  5. Shawni!
    Just wanted to say hi and let you know how much I appreciate you and your thoughts as you write this blog! You have so many great ideas and you’re such a colorful writer. Thank you thank you! What a GORGEOUS family you have! Look at my blog–you’ll get a little surprise of your own (no, I’m not engaged).

  6. Her cute little smile overpowers that impetigo. Poor thing. I love that their brains are little sponges at this age. I love how her shoes match her cute little outfits. Cute little “smarty pants”

  7. That picture with Lu trying to squish is is so cute. I agree later kids are different than first kids but they have lots of strengths in other areas- my third is a tough girl that stands up for herself vs. my first who is almost too nice and polite- you know? Great pictures in this post.

  8. I LOVE Mrs. Gleason!! We had her for Braden when we lived there. Such an amazing lady. Do you have any future photography class dates? I’m a beginner and don’t really know my camera but really want to come to one of your classes and learn from you. Would the Oct 2nd one be too hard??

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *