MSU 4-H Children’s Garden

MSU Children's Garden in the Spring of 2008
MSU Children's Garden in the Spring of 2008

On Sunday morning, Lila, Eva and I visited the 4-H Children’s Garden at MSU. It was a beautiful day, and there were a few other small groups of people strolling around.

In the back corner of the garden, obscured by the large tree in this photo, there is a play train. On the other side of the wooden wall, to the right in the photo, there are train tracks. When trains came by, the girls clambered up to the roof of the play train and watched the real trains roar by.

The second train only had a dozen or so cars, and it was going very fast. Eva crouched defensively and covered her ears, mouth and eyes open in awe when it finally sped by, horn blaring.

Ye Olde Man

On the same night as the Eastman Party Store commentary, Lila, Eva and I were at a restaurant. I have Lila bring her homework in to work on after dinner.

She had some books to read, so she read to us. The story was a fairy tale and there was an inn and an innkeeper in it, so we discussed what an inn is and what an innkeeper is. In the picture in the book, the innkeeper was standing in the doorway to the inn. Above the door was a sign that read, “Ye Olde Inn.”

Lila pointed to the sign and said, “Oh, Spanish.”

I corrected her, “No, that’s actually Old English. It was spoken many years ago, so you see it in old-time stories.”

“How do you know it’s Old English?” she asked. “Oh right! You’re an old man.”

What do you look for at a party store?

My daughter Lila has learned to read, and so when we’re driving, she comments on signs she reads.

Yesterday evening I was driving Lila and Eva by the Eastman Party Store, and Lila asks, “Daddy, you see the Eastman Party Store?”

“Yes,” I replied.

“So, what do you think you’d see in there?” she asked. “Like, balloons and stuff? No, just wine! Lots of wine and some old cheese.”

Very disappointing.

Child-like logic

My friend Adam has been delving into philosophy of science lately, and re-honing his formal logic skills. So, to bring some contrast, here is a conversation with my daughters this evening.

Scene: It’s a hot day, and we’re pulling away from the drive through at Wendy’s, having just picked up a lemonade for Lila, 6, and a chocolate milk for Eva, 3.

Eva: Daddy, did you know that brown cows make chocolate milk for people?

Me: Are you sure?

Lila: Yeah, they do.

Me: No, brown cows make white milk, and people add the chocolate.

Lila: Then why are they brown?

Where does chicken come from?

We were just eating our dinner of mac and cheese and baked beans, and Lila saw the piece of pork in the beans.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Pork,” I said. “Do you know where pork comes from?”

So ensued a conversation of how ham and pork are meat from a pig and how hamburger is meat from a cow.

Lila, for the record, was not impressed. She quickly claimed, “I will not eat any more of those sandwhiches!” But then I reminded her about her favorite sandwhich, a hamburger with extra pickles. “Extra pickles….” She bemoaned her decision and I thought she was reconsidering.

I turned to Eva and asked, “What about chicken nuggets, where do they come from?”

She turned her head slowly to me, her eyebrows furrowed and nose wrinkled, making a face at me.

“McDonald’s,” she slowly answered.

Lila painted this in Photoshop CS 2

Lila colored this image of Washington on the Potomac using Photoshop.
Lila colored this image of Washington on the Potomac using Photoshop.

Lila (my five year old daughter) painted this line art using Photoshop CS 2 on the Mac laptop I have from work. Yes, I I’m bragging a little.

She used the color-picker, paint bucket, eraser, swapped the foreground and background colors a few times, used the Undo command and generally used the basics of the program. Oh, and I helped her use the zoom tool so she could fill in the stars with yellow. I think that’s pretty good for a five year old.

Swimming in Superior

Lila and Eva testing out the waters of Lake Superior at Bete Gris in Keewenaw County, MI.
Lila and Eva testing out the waters of Lake Superior at Bete Gris in Keewenaw County, MI.
Eva kicking up a little sand as she runs toward her grandpa, grandma, aunt Lisa, and sister Lila.
Eva kicking up a little sand as she runs toward her grandpa, grandma, aunt Lisa, and sister Lila.
Grandpa and Lila found a turtle in the small stream that runs into Lake Superior. Eva later accidentally stepped on it. It was okay, though probably flustered.
Grandpa and Lila found a turtle in the small stream that runs into Lake Superior. Eva later accidentally stepped on it. It was okay, though probably flustered.

I miss my girls

I was walking through campus back to my apartment yesterday afternoon. Children and parents were playing near the ducks by the Administration Building. I found myself scanning the crowd for my girls, hoping they would be there so I could see them.

Of course they were not there. They would not be.

After work today, I heard the sounds of children from the playground nearby. I did not hear the voices of my children.