Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ocean Art

At the bottom is the ocean, and in the ocean is seaweed. Looking closely, waves can be seen on surface of the water.

To the left, there is a sand beach, beyond the sand are some trees. The little pink angel like figure next to the trees is Summy.

To the right is a cliff. On the edge of the cliff is a car, enjoying the scenic view. The cliff is quite tall, so there is a cloud passing right past the car.

The sun is setting, and colorful birds are flying home in the sky. To add a touch of fantasy, the purple splotch above the sun is Chitti Chitti Bang Bang (the flying car from the movie of that name).

The art was done at school when the kids were given paints and paper, and a free hand to make what they wanted.

Here she is in one of the places that give her inspiration.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Solemn Pledge

This morning, Summy put her right hand on her heart, and started to recite:

"I plejjalleeshance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republics of Justin Stan, One nation, Underdog, The Invisibles, for all."

She told me she learned it at school.

For reference, here is the more conventional version of the pledge of allegiance:

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Monday, May 19, 2008


We have a wild little yard, considering that all the yard we got is a little concrete patio attached to our apartment.

It's much easier to maintain and enjoy a small yard, I think. When we had a (relatively) huge backyard, every plant that I touched dried and withered away. Except the mint, which grew into a mint jungle and started to take over the lawn.

Anyway, I'm wandering.

We have a few pots of plants that Summy and I maintain painstakingly. I had no idea how many pests want a piece of the plants. We dealt with aphids, ants, mildew, unwanted mushrooms, and caterpillars, all as humanely as possible (except the mushrooms, which make my skin crawl).

So we now have a few flowers blooming, and a couple of strawberry plants producing fruit at the rate of about one a week (which is great, but we supplement our one homegrown strawberry with four quarts of strawberries from the market every week). A few tomato plants starting to flower, some herbs, hot pepper plants in various stages, and a few snow pea vines that some mystery creature is eating up.

Most of these things were planted by Summy. She does not read the instructions on seed packets, she does not do research online, but somehow she gets it right if left to herself with some dirt and water.

That's it for the Flora. As for the Fauna:

We had a small wasp's nest on the fence that we took out. The wasps started working on a new one right away, and it was fascinating to see. We haven't yet had the heart to take down their new nest. They are peaceful and hardworking creatures.

We found a caterpillar having lunch on a strawberry leaf, and he got put into a bowl with dirt and leaves in it. Summy watched the caterpillar very carefully, but after looking down at all the leaves, the caterpillar decided this place wasn't for him and escaped while she wasn't looking. Ofcourse he got named before he left - Fuzzy.

We have a couple of spiders that spin the most beautiful webs. I take the webs down every now and then, just because they make the patio look unkempt. But they don't care, they always spin them again.

And ofcourse there are the ants, ladybugs, and plenty of other funny looking insects. Summy will get them into a bowl and observe before reluctantly letting them off to "go find their mommies and daddies and kids".

So much life in a few square feet, and these are only the things we can see.

Extreme Measures

When we lived in Shrewsbury, we measured Summy's increasing height against a wall with pencil markings. We didn't disassemble that piece of wall to bring with us when we moved, though we would have liked to. So now there is no wall to measure against.

But Summy's found her own way - she stands against me or Kiran to see how much taller she's grown.

The other day, I was walking behind her on a path. In front of Summy was another little girl, carrying a skateboard under her arm. Summy quietly walked closer behind the girl, while measuring herself against the girl with her hand on top of her head. After deciding that the girl was probably about "the same tall as me", and hence, the same age, she caught up with her and made small talk.

Not that she would have not talked with an older kid. She loves older kids. And little toddlers. And babies. But especially kids who are the same size as her.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Miss Calculator

Every once in a while, Summy does something that seems amazing to me. What things our kids do aren't amazing, no matter how trivial?

She adds small numbers, but that's not what's amazing. She does it inside her head, no fingers or dots on paper. She does not remember that six and five make eleven. So that's not what I mean when I say she does it in her head.

She closes her eyes and as far as I can understand, she visualizes six things and five more things. And then counts them to get the total. It might sound simple enough, but I've tried it and it's hard for me.

Miss Calculator does miscalculate now and then, but still, it's impressive to me.