When I first learned to write, I wrote everything right to left, mirror image. Mom and Dad had piles of notes I wrote them that were completely and perfectly backwards.

In fact,

(Okay, maybe not neatly, but easily.)

Mom always thought that I was mildly dyslexic as a kid, and even current day, every now and then when I’m writing, I’ll be thinking of the letters in the right order, but I’ll write them in the wrong order.

I always attributed my “uniqueness” to being left-handed, since we’re a pretty quirky bunch anyway. Until I had a right-handed child…

Enter Ali:

She hasn’t shown any interest in attempting to write letters until recently, but she’s always loved forming them (out of putty, necklaces, whatever is bendable). She also likes fridge magnets for spelling.

However, every time she puts her name on the fridge, she does this:


When I ask her what it says, she says “A-L-I Ali!”, and looks at me like I’m ridiculously underqualified to be an M-O-M Mom.

Now that she’s finally interested in writing, I’m getting to see how backwards her brain really is:

That’s right – she took my backwardness to a whole new level – writing backwards AND upside down?! I didn’t know that was even possible. She’s done this several times now, and it stuns me.

And no, I wasn’t sitting across the table (hence causing me to write upside-down and her trying to imitate me) – I was sitting right next to her.

Maybe we have some Arabic Genes in us – they write right to left.

Or maybe the Angel on that part of the baby assembly line accidentally picked up our brains out of the Arab bin instead of the American bin. They’re probably right next to each other if the bins are in alphabetical order, after all.

That angel was probably just slightly dyslexic, poor guy.

I understand.

20 thoughts on “Somebody Read the Instructions Backwards When They Installed Our Brains.

  1. I thought it was a left handed thing too. I can write backwards and I sometimes will think the right order of the letters but mix them up when I write them too. I can also read upside down which drives some of my co-workers nutty.

    I am sure she will quickly learn the correct way to write but always have the uniqueness she can wow her friends with.

  2. I'm a lefty. I cannot write backwards or upside down. No fair! Now I fell like I got shorted some quirks! Oh, wait….

  3. My hubs does the backwards mirror deal too – in cursive. It's pretty impressive. But Ali has everyone beat! Backwards and upside down – genius!

  4. Wow! That is uncanny she is writing in a similar fashion to you as a child. I love that she took it to a whole new level though. I wonder if she sees other things from different perspectives too. Very interesting!

  5. Jeremy and I are two righties who gave birth to a lefty. We're stumped as it is on helping him learn to write, and heaven help us if he starts writing upside down and backwards.

    Good luck with that!

  6. Just found your blog today and am enjoying it already. My 6yo, who is ambidextrous, did the upside-down and backwards thing, too. If I was sitting across a table from her, I could read what she wrote perfectly.

  7. Well if you think about it, you write from the left to the right – from the dominant hand towards the other hand. Which is exactly what she's doing! (Apart from the upside-down, but that's just a sometimes thing?) So maybe she is copying, just not the right thing.
    Maybe she has a freckle on one arm that could help her identify which side to write from/toward?

  8. Wow, I am seriously impressed that you can write mirror-image like that. I'm a lefty too and do not have that talent.

    My Grandma had a job in the Air Force where she had to learn to write on mirror-image on a pane of glasses for the pilots to read on the other side…you'd be a natural! Haha:)

    How did you get Ali interested in writing/forming letters? K knows all her letters, both upper and lower case but has NO desire to try to create them herself.

  9. I am also a lefty, and can write backwards, mirror-image in cursive and read upside-down. I always chalked it up to being a lefty.

    So far, my boys are not displaying any such quirks, and they are both right-handed.

    That's pretty cool that Ali can write upside-down, though!

  10. Awesome! It's a sign of ambidexterity as well as possible dyslexia. One fun thing she'll be able to learn is to read easily what someone across from her is writing. It sure makes 'passing notes' easier in the library when you don't have to actually pass anything if both you and your friend can do that. :) You might want to stock up on books that'll help you teach this wonder so she has a cool trick she can do rather then a difficulty making herself understood through writing.

  11. I am a lefty as well. When I was four and on into kindergarten, I would write with both hands. I would write it backwards with my left hand and normal with my right hand. I think they finally made me choose a hand. I'm glad I picked left. I think there is something special about us.

    Maybe Ali is a secret lefty at heart.

  12. My left handed daughter writes everything mirror-imaged unless I tell her to write it correctly. She knows the difference, but prefers to write it backwards. I consider it a sign of genius since Da Vinci wrote mirror-imaged also.

  13. The first 3 times I read what you wrote backwards I thought what is Morris-Image? I can write backwards, I just can't READ backwards.

    I'm left handed and I've always been mildly dyslexic. I used to write my name backwards when I was little. To this day I will think numbers or letters in the correct order but write or type them backwards. lol

    Scary that I'm in accounting, no? ;)

  14. Reading this post and the comments makes me feel a little lame. I can't do any of this stuff.

    I read that lefties are way over-represented in creative jobs (actors, artists, etc.). Maybe it's just a march to your own tune/artistic tune. Or maybe I just talking out my a$$.

  15. That's pretty amazing that you can write backwards like that and even more amazing and Ali can write upside down and backwards…she has some special talents :)
    It makes my brain hurt to try to write backwards!

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