39-month old Sam insists that I read the book. After an exchange of using the pronouns “I” and “you” accurately to say he wants me to read the book to him (Accurate use of pronouns is age-appropriate for a 39-month old.), he ends up taking over the activity after all. This is a clear example of the way toddlers build confidence as they learn to do for themselves.
It’s hard to know exactly why Sam didn’t want to read the book initially. Perhaps he lacked the confidence in himself to read it. Maybe he simply needed a jump-start, or model from me, for “how” to read the book, and once he saw how it was done, he was able to take over confidently. Or, it’s entirely possible that he wanted to feel in charge by “demanding” that I read the book because that’s just what toddlers do: insist on having it done their way. In the end, his natural toddler instincts, to learn to do things on his own and to build skills that he sees others possess, served him well as he fine-tuned the school readiness skills for understanding opposites, naming objects, and understanding that words on a page in a book tell something about the pictures he sees.
There was no argument from me when he decided to change his mind regarding who would read since, in the end, I got exactly what I wanted too: to have him “read” the book to build confidence and skills.