Slice of Life Day 3: 

I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

One thing I have learned as a writing teacher and a writing mother is the importance of young writer’s choosing what they want to write about. When I asked Marlowe what she wanted to write about today, she said “It’s a surprise!” and ran full speed upstairs.

Everything needs to be a surprise these days.

“What do you want for breakfast?” SURPRISE

“What are you doing?” It’s a SURPRISE

“What do you want to read tonight?” SURPRISE

When she told me she was ready for me to come upstairs, I found her shirtless, as always,  drawing endless hearts on her paper! “This is for you, I picked good quality paper for you!”


I love all of her little expressions of love for me but this is day 3 of endless hearts. Although they are getting better each day, I thought this might be a good nudging opportunity.


“It’s Nicole’s birthday tomorrow! I wonder if we could make a birthday surprise for her?”

“Let’s make her a birthday card!”

Nicole is a student teacher, who is living with us for a month and Marlowe adores her.

Marlowe ran to the stairs and yelled down, “NICOLE WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COLOUR?” She grabbed the green paper and her stamps. She reached for a letter stamp and froze. She quickly ran back to the stairs. “NICOLE, HOW DO YOU SPELL YOUR NAME?”

She stamped out Nicole’s name and made the fanciest heart you have ever seen.


When I asked her what she wanted to write inside, she started to sound out “H-A-P-E B-R-TH….. what makes TH?” I found it fascinating that she realised that none of the letters made the “th” sound! After a little teachable moment, on she went “Hape brthda!”


As she added a few more details to her card, I told her that I was going to write a list of the things that I liked about Nicole. Marlowe helped me with my ideas and we wrote a list together. Of course she needed to add a joke at the end of our list. I love that her sense of humour is coming through in her writing.

Marlowe stayed engaged in our writing session for almost an hour today and she is VERY excited to give her card and list to Nicole in the morning. I think Nicole will like her birthday surprise too!

5 thoughts on “Surprise

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