This post was sponsored by Sagebooks. All opinions are mine and mine alone. 

Of course, after a run of several good weeks of consistently reading Sagebooks with Glow Worm (5), I had to attend a conference for most of Week 7. But I wasn’t worried. I knew that I was on a roll and would get back to it in Week 8.

Well, that was the hope, anyway.

I won’t keep you in suspense. I had an awesome time at the conference.

Oh, wait. You weren’t waiting with baited breath about that? Awkward.

Where Are We?

Since we finished Set 2 and two Set 2’s Treasure Boxes at the end of Week 6, I was hoping to finish the rest of Set 2’s Treasure Boxes by the end of Week 8. I mean, it was just three books, right? That shouldn’t be too hard.

Did We Do It?

Why, in fact, NO. We did not.

Why? Because I forgot that just because it’s three books, doesn’t mean that it will take three readings and we would be done.

But wait, Virginia. Didn’t you say you had two weeks to do this?

Hush, you. HUSH. You’re interrupting.

What Happened?

First of all, I was totally freaking out about the conference because I had to speak twice and was busy preparing for that so I did not go through any of the Treasure Boxes in Week 7. Then, when I got back for Week 8Glow Worm (5) was uninterested in finishing a book in one sitting.

I know, right?


So, it took at least two sittings to finish each reader and as a result, we only finished two of the books in Week 8.

I was annoyed – but mostly at myself. How could I forget that Glow Worm is only 5 and really doesn’t have that long of an attention span? I had hoped the lure of the stories and pictures would be enough to have him want to push through and finish it in one go.


What Else?

Something super weird started happening in Week 8. Perhaps it started earlier, but this is when I finally noticed. Glow Worm all of a sudden stopped being able to do tonal sandhi. (ie: the ability to change tones depending on the tones of the following characters)

I cannot think of a direct example at the moment, but in when two Tone 3 characters are next to each other, you pronounce the first word with Tone 2 and the second word with Tone 3. (This is because it’s easier to say and flows off the tongue with greater ease.) This isn’t something that is taught in native speakers. They just know.

Glow Worm knew this. He speaks like this. He used to read this way automatically!

But not anymore.

Not only did he mess that up, Glow Worm reversed it in some weird way. He swapped tones for when it is supposed to sound Tone 2 then Tone 3. He turned 小魚/xiao3 yu2/little fish/.

Now he says, “Xiao2 Yu3.” WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?

He is STILL doing this!!

It is driving me crazy.

Guavarama says it’s likely because he is no longer thinking or predicting ahead in Chinese and is straight up reading so he is not anticipating the tonal change. She says it’s most likely a phase.


Alright. That’s it. Here’s a video of Glow Worm reading part of Treasure Box 2 小魚的家/xiao3 yu2 de jia/The Little Fish’s Home.