Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Joy of Kids Reading

None of my kids were early readers, and this really stressed me out.

With my son, we wondered if he would ever read at all.  When he was in 2nd grade his teacher said he was obviously bright, always worked hard, always was on task, but still could barely read. 

At his IEP hearing, the special ed coordinator looked at us like we were crazy, pointing out that he scored average, high average and even high high on his tests.  On the decoding test, the teacher assumed he’d be done in 5 minutes since the test stops at first mistake.  25 minutes later, he was still going.

But the kid couldn’t read!  The only suggestion anyone gave us was to bring him to vision therapy.  Given that these same special ed folks missed a test result on his 4 year old test that should have given him services, I wasn't happy that their only hope was something I was going to have to pay a lot of money for.

I thought our first appointment with the developmental optometrist would take the standard 10 or 15 minutes.  Two and a half hours later, after Catherine had made Ren do every single thing one could imagine with his eyes, she scored his visual dexterity at 10% for his age group, exactly his reading level!

After 6 months of therapy, Ren could sort of read.  He also could sort of hit a ball with a bat without any practice during those months.  Vision therapy worked where nothing else did.

Now all 3 kids can finally read and I can breathe a tiny sigh of relief.  

So here's the joy part.  On Sunday, Kai wanted to make another batch of deviled eggs with the last of the Easter Eggs, but wanted it to look pretty.  I suggested she pipe the yolks using the cake decorating kit I bought for Barbie birthday cakes (which you can read about here). 

Lo and behold!  As a 13 year old, Kai actually READ the directions and figured out how to pipe egg yolks ALL BY HERSELF!  I did nothing!

And they came out gorgeous, as you can see here:
My mother-in-law's deviled eggs recipe--super amazing!
(Recipe's included below)

And then yesterday she made chocolate cupcakes solely because she wanted to practice piping frosting.  

These also came out pretty terrific as you can see here:
Joanne Chang's Flour Chocolate Cupcakes with
Crispy White Frosting--pretty good

Two things you’ll notice from all this:
1.     It's very hard to keep one’s weight down when one’s daughter is constantly making delicious deviled eggs and chocolate cupcakes.
2.     I actually figured out how to take pictures and upload them to this site.  My own cooking creations don’t merit that work, but my daughter’s sure do.

And all because she learned how to read. . .

Mom MacLean's Deviled Eggs

(My mother-in-law's deviled eggs are to die for--even if you don't love deviled eggs.  Unfortunately, we don't have proportions for anything, just the ingredients, so if you have leftover Easter eggs--go for it!)

Hard Boil eggs (Put them in water, bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover, let sit for 10 minutes--should come out without the green ring around the yolks)

Slice in half, take out yolks

Mash yolks with:
Mayonnaise (good quality, we use Hellman's light)
Worcestershire Sauce, a dash or two
Dried Minced Onion (this is the secret ingredient)
Dried mustard
Dried (or fresh) chives

Spoon into egg white halves, or if you're adventurous like Kai, take out that cake decorating kit and pipe away!


Ling said...

actually, your food does merit pictures, it's just that you are too lazy/busy (depending on the day)to take pictures of them, as opposed to kai, who doesn't cook as much and takes the time to take pictures of her food.

Lily Hui said...

Kai's eggs were pretty delicious. 'Kai Can Cook' has a good ring to it doesn't it? If she becomes famous, I want to claim that I supported her from the beginning.