Saturday, January 26, 2013


I like listening to the girls talk to one another when I’m in the car with them. Sometimes they ask each other questions about the parts of the day they’ve been apart, sounding like small adults; sometimes they discuss what they see out the window; sometimes it’s they play little role playing games--mostly house or scenes from their favorite books; and sometimes (so, so often lately) they squabble over seemingly ridiculous things (and so I don't always like listening to them talk).

Yesterday in the car, Lyra began telling a story about “another world that is underneath our world.” Adriana has always seemed like a storyteller to me, and it’s fun to see that same trait developing in her sister. “The other world is full of magical animals and fairies.”

Adriana jumped in immediately to correct Lyra. “There is only one world and it is this world. There is not another world under it. Under us is just crust and mantle and core.”

I joke that Adriana is such an engineer sometimes--the way she thinks about things, the way she takes problems apart, the way she looks at the world very scientifically. I think it’s actually just the way kids her age are: they’re learning so much and gathering information and figuring out how the world works. She’s still imaginative and prone to flights of fancy--she is only six after all (and I think the imagination is part of what helps her figure things out)--but I can see that Lyra is still very much in a more fairy tale world compared to her sister.

It’s so tempting to jump in then, to instruct Adriana to let her sister be, to let her go ahead and tell her stories. But Lyra didn’t seem to mind, and continued on the story, so I let it go. It wasn’t long before Adriana was interrupting again to point out a scientific inaccuracy, this time to lecture on volcanoes. And I got to marvel at how much she’s learning at school, about how she really seems to understand things and can explain about plates and magma and pressure and eruption to her sister. And then I marveled again as Lyra listened carefully, seeming to take it all in, and then said, without missing a beat, “The world under this one has volcanoes and the volcanoes are full of fire dogs having parties. And the world above this one has an owl as big as an elephant for a king.”

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rose and The Witch

A story by Adriana
(original spelling preserved)

Once upon a time there was a little fariy named Rose. She herd a rore and she didn't no if it was just a dream or if it was real so qietly she creped out of bed got her rocket and took it out side and climbed in. Then she started it and she didn't no how to control it so she crashed in to a monster and it fell asleep. Then a witch put a spell on Rose. The spell made rose fall asleep. The next day she turned in to a snow fariy. The next day she turned back in to Rose the fariy and came home from her exvender. The end.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Boring bliss

I've had a productive few days this week--nothing major has been accomplished, but I've managed to knock a lot of little things off my to-do list. I joked last night that since I'd done so much, I was basically done for the week.  And that's why nothing practical happened this afternoon. I played tag with Adriana and her friends after school and climbed on the ropes on the playground with them. At home we watched an episode of Mr. Rogers, then did the same kind of art he had done on the show--drawing what we heard as we listened to classical music. I took them out for dinner, since I hadn't wanted to stop playing and drawing with them to cook, and we drove home singing songs. We skipped bath in favor of dancing and a few extra bedtime stories.

So when I said nothing practical happened? I think actually meant that I believe I spent the afternoon the most practical way I could: just enjoying these awesome girls and feeling lucky that I have so much time with them.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Today I dropped our car off for some body work. Lyra was with me and wanted to know why we were leaving the car behind. I told her they were going to get rid of the dents.

"And the car will have no more dents?" She thought about this for a few moments, then said with honest concern, "But where will the coyotes live?"

We went round and round on this one (because WTF, kid? Coyotes?) before I realized that she was hearing me say "dens." I promised her that we weren't going to make any coyotes homeless by getting our car fixed.


Adriana is currently lying in bed trying to fall asleep (at least in theory), but her reading has taken off lately, and while she hasn't yet discovered the time honored tradition of reading under the covers with a flashlight, her brain can't seem to shut off the words running through it. So I keep getting called in to answer "urgent" questions on matters of spelling:

  • "What is the I before E rule again?"
  • "Did you know some words can rhyme even when they're not spelled the same?"
  • "Crossing doesn't start with X, but signs always say 'X-ing.' Why is that?"

I suppose at some point I should  stop going in to answer the questions. But I can't stop my curiosity about what she's going to ask next.

She just called me in to tell me that she would remember the difference between "here" and "hear" by remembering that "you hear with your ear. Get it, Mom? Because the last three letters in that kind of hear actually spell ear?"

At least she's cute.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

I had to try hard not to laugh when she said the bit about living on the same planet

Last night Adriana was singing a song from school that lists the months of the year. She did it first in English, then in Spanish. Then I heard her singing "Shanuarysh, Febshuarysh, Shmarsh, and Shaprilsh." At that point I looked up from my book and asked her why she was singing it so silly. "Mama! It's not polite to call other languages silly!" And then she informed me that those were the words for the months in Hebrew. I guess that's what Hebrew sounds like to her, but I pointed out that what she was doing was akin to throwing an O on the end of every English word and pretending it was Spanish--so also not very polite. 

She considered that for a moment and then said, "But the Jewish calendar has different months completely! Even though we live on the same planet! Are they south of the equator? Is that why?" I told her no, and then she began to wonder if there were even words in Hebrew for the "English" months of the year since the Jewish calendar was so different. I assured her that there will still be words for the Western calendar even in cultures that use lunar calendars for religious observances. At which point she began wondering about what to spend her red envelope money on next month, and we moved on. 

There is so much awesome in how this kid's mind connects different things she learns about.