My two-year old, Clara, handed my wife the letter E from her plastic alphabet set and said, "This is an E. It says eee." Elysha and I were cautiously optimistic. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut from time to time.
But seconds later she returned with an F and said, "This is an F. It says fff."
We were legitimately impressed.
One letter could be a coincidence. Two represents genuine knowledge.
And a huge leap from calling every letter a C.
And since my wife and I have made no attempt to teach Clara the alphabet yet, we assume that this newfound knowledge is the result of the massive injection of Sesame Street that she has been receiving during a three week period of illness in our family.
Perhaps this is how I learned as well. Having very few books in our childhood home, no preschool education whatsoever and no recollection of anyone ever reading to me before kindergarten, maybe it was my unrestricted access to our tiny black-and-white television that allowed me to succeed early on.
Being a Sesame Street and Electric Company junkie, maybe my success in Mrs. Dubois’s kindergarten classroom was thanks to Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird.
And while I have no intention of leaving Clara’s preparation up to these television puppets, it’s certainly nice to know that they are there to help us when we are wracked by fever and sore throats and can barely bring ourselves to climb off the couch.