This is my Daddy, Mom, brother, and
me when I was 3 years old. Notice
I am in the process of escaping.
I can't say I was a smart kid. Maybe
stubborn, persistent, always off to a world
of my own discovery. Very curious,
and probably a bit hyper-active.
Daddy nicknamed me "Contrary Mary",
which for the rest of my Mom's
life was used as an insult whenever
I crossed her.
I knew how to read by the time I was four.
I do not think it was so much because
I was a brilliant kid. One of my earliest
memories was getting my big blue book
of Grimm's Fairy Tales and sitting on
my Mom's lap while she read all the
stories over and over and over.
I don't know if I actually knew the words
I was seeing or if I had memorized
I was also very jealous that my older
brother could read. I wanted to read the
comic books like he did. So I would steal
his old reading work books and sneak up
to the attic to study them.
Sunday morning we were all sitting at the
breakfast table. Daddy used to read the
Sunday comics while we were eating.
Daddy's favorites were
"Alley Oop" and "Li'l Abner".
Being Daddy's little girl I got on his lap
and started reading the words in the
balloons for each character. My Mom
remarked that it was cute that I was making
up words to pretend I was reading the
comics. "No", Daddy said, "She's reading
all the right words."
Of course Mom was in disbelief and demanded
to know who taught me to read. I was only
four, how did I know why I knew how to
read? I wanted to know how to read
so I learned.
I never did mention to Mom that I also
knew what she was saying when she
spelled things in front of me so I wouldn't
know what she was saying.
That was my secret!