10 July 2011

The Life Cycle of the Red Footed Sparrow

Tessie's latest drawings have taken on a scientific aspect. Here, she shows the entirely fictional (as far as we know) Red Footed Sparrow.

The largest image shows the adult of the species, and its life cycle proceeds clockwise. Folow the arrows to the four eggs, which then hatch into "baby birdies," who then become "teenagers."

The range map, at lower left, covers "Mexico and a little bit of Alabama." The color-coding refers to population density as follows:

  • M: Many
  • N: None
  • L: Lots
  • NSM: Not so much
  • S: Some

Lastly, there's a depiction of the birds' dietary staples at top. Grapes for the adults, and because "their beaks are teeny-tiny," breadcrumbs for the young.

Tessie tells us that this species lived concurrently with the dinosaurs, and "just a little longer." Sadly, there are none left in the wild.

17 February 2011

Great moments in parenting

It's 9:30 pm and Tessie is not asleep. Not only is she not asleep, she's not in bed, nor even in her room. No, she is in the kitchen doing her homework*. She is doing her homework because, in search of something to keep her occupied while "not at all tired" (her all-too-frequent words) and therefore not at all interested in going to sleep, she found herself in the kitchen and started filling out her job chart** for the afternoon/evening. When she got to the bottom, she discovered a blank space in the "Finish homework by Thursday night" row.

I had just banished her from our bedroom (another place she often finds herself when avoiding her own bed) and so she called to me tentatively from the end of the hallway, "Mommy, I have to tell you something."

"What's that, sweetheart?"

"We forgot to do my homework!"

Since sleep is clearly not going to happen before the homework is completed, I find the packet, Tessie retrieves her pencil case, and off she goes. Trace the upper- and lower-case U's, circle the larger number in each pair, cut out the pictures and glue them in matched sets; all the while singing, "You are my sweet tart sweet tart sweet tart."

We'll see who falls into bed, exhausted, first.

(Any guesses? Hint: She just hopped across the living room on one foot, proudly bearing the homework for inspection. She then grabbed the user guide to the "Learn To Play Chess" DVD she recently received*** and skipped back to her room to peruse it further.)

* Homework, you ask? Yes, every Monday she and her pre-school classmates get a packet of 4 worksheets to be completed at home and turned in on Friday.

** The job chart is an ever-evolving tracking sheet for encouraging Tessie to complete her daily/weekly duties, ranging from "get out of bed" to "set the table before dinner" to "go to bed on time." When we forget to complete it, she does it herself, and to her credit does so quite honestly (with frowny faces for items she failed to do).

*** Thank you to my chess-playing attorney friends -- you know who you are! :-)

29 December 2010

False Modesty?

So Tessie and I were looking at photos together when we came across a few of her.

Tessie: Aww, cute!
Me: Don't say that about pictures of yourself, it's immodest.
Tessie: What does 'immodest' mean?
Me: To be immodest is to be too proud of yourself. It's like showing off.
Tessie: But I am proud of myself.
Me: You should be, but don't be too proud of yourself.
Tessie: I'm proud of myself but not too proud of myself. I'm perfect!

That backfired...

22 December 2010

Theology by Tessie

It started with Tessie and me in the car talking about the weather...

Me: We're going to Legoland Friday. Hopefully the weather will be nice. [as compared to the deluge of almost Biblical proportions that was in progress]

T: Why hopefully?

Me: Well, all we can do is hope. We can't control the weather.

T: Why not?

Me: We just can't.


T: God controls the weather.


Me: Really, now? Tell me about God. Where does God live?

T: God lives in the sky, near the sun. God has a house near the sun made of dried raindrops. She has a spaceship attached to the house. God is a girl.

(further pause while I absorb this)

T: God made life. The first Mommy and Daddy. God created them.


As anyone who knows Tessie's Parents can guess, she's not learning this at home. And, I doubt she's learning it at the school that just hosted "Holiday Shows" rather than Christmas concerts. Fascinating.