"Mommy, what's a reen?"
This question, posed by my 4-year-old, didn't make sense to me at first. Then I remembered that about an hour before, he had eaten an entire nectarine as part of his lunch.
"Like in the word nectarine?"
I asked him.
Yes, that's what he was talking about. I tried to explain that 'rine' was part of the word but wasn't anything much by itself. I think the conversation wandered from there to other important matters like race cars and uncomfortable socks.
It wasn't a major early literacy moment for him, I'm sure, but I could tell his little brain was taking words apart and thinking about those parts. That's a fantastic skill to have and use as you learn to read and write. I could have even made this interaction into a game by helping him clap the parts of the word 'nec-ta-rine' so he could hear that there are three parts and the middle part starts with the letter 't'.
This learning to read stuff is so much fun, in the least expected ways!