Our budding cartographer

While we were still lounging in bed, Maia surprised us by dropping into the bedroom after having spontaneously drawn this picture of the world.

Not exactly accurate, with Antarctica at the north pole, but, she wasn’t copying anything as a reference. In any case, I find it fascinating that with 3 weeks in kindergarten, this is the first thing she’s picked up that has not been any part of a lesson at home.

Maia’s take on the first day

Picked Maia up from school–after a little procedure (you need to let Mrs. Robinson know your mom is there from the benches outside the room) the first thing Maia said was: “Mom, I didn’t get to eat my lunch because I couldn’t open it.”

And the second thing was a stream of how much fun she had: “I played with kids on the playground, my teacher read stories and we read the stories back to her, we drew pictures and I have a picture for you in my backpack but you can’t see it yet because it’s a SURPRISE and I know you like surprises and can I eat my lunch when we get home…” in the rapid fire way only a very verbal 5-year-old-girl can manage.

I think we’re going to be OK.


And the lunch thing will be resolved. I do admit, her box is super cute, but a bit tricky to pop open. And lunch was unusually rushed at school today as well.

First Drop off to Kindergarten

It’s official. Maia is a full-fledged Kindergartener. Yesterday was parent orientation and a teacher meet and greet for the kids. Today was no-nonsense pack a lunch and drop her off for the first day of classes.

In the car, I reminded her where her lunch was, “I remember Mom”. I reminded her where her snack was, “I remember Mom”. I told her where her first homework assignment was (a picture and a little “about me” page), “Oh. I didn’t hear you say that at the house”. Well then.

Yesterday as we walked in to the school yard for the first time, Maia sighed, “It’s so beautiful”. Today as we got out of the car for the 1/2 block walk she skipped and sang a little song, “I’m going to school today, I’m going to school today, I’m going to have so much fun!” She remembered the way to the Kinder classroom area and walked through the gate with confidence. We found her classmates already lined up as the first bell rang. She got in line, got out her homework to hand to her teacher and began waving good-bye. As I was adjusting Stella’s shoes I heard a sweet little voice “Bye Mom!” and looked at my little Miss filing into her classroom. Of course, right at the end she hesitated and stopped a few feet short of her teacher. I swooped in and gently nudged her forward with a smile and a wave. She made it to the threshold and disappeared into the classroom. The door shut and I heard another mom comment, “They look too little to be in kinder! Time goes by so fast.” I had to agree.

I had no time for tears, as Elise and Stella immediately began bawling their eyes out for Maia. I hustled them out of the yard, hoping that those inside the classroom wouldn’t hear the commotion. Quick hugs and the promise that we would come get Maia after lunch calmed them down as we walked back to the car.

I can not wait to go and get my little big girl and hear how the day went on the other side of the classroom.

On Tooth Fairy Etiquette

Maia has been through a flurry of 5-year checkups the past week. At her dental appointment, she received some welcome news. One of her bottom teeth is just a teensy bit loose. Of course, that makes the prospect of a visit from the tooth fairy that much closer to being a reality. Oh joy!

Almost every night after stories and songs, as I am leaving the darkened sleeping room, Maia tells me her plan for when she loses her first tooth. She plans to stay awake to meet her very own tooth fairy. Tonight, I got some specifics:

Maia: When I loose a tooth and the tooth fairy comes, I’m going to stay awake all night.

Me: I know you will, you’ll catch that fairy.

Maia: MOM! She has to go visit other kids too!

Me: Oh! Sorry! You’re going to stay awake to see the tooth fairy.

Maia: Yes. It would be rude for me to catch people.


Maia is getting registered for kindergarten this week. We’re duly filling out the forms and making sure we have the right paperwork. I reminded John over breakfast of our upcoming appointment and mentioned that my friend Kathleen would stay with the girls.

Maia’s ears perked up. “Why is Kathleen coming over?”

V: “So we can get you registered for kindergarten.”

M: (very quietly) “Will it hurt?”

Oh miss Maia–it’s only going to hurt mommy’s heart to let you go.

On Being Green

At the farmer’s market this morning one of the farmers was wearing a shirt with a forest being chased by a bulldozer. Maia was fascinated by the picture and asked me to tell her all about it. I duly gave her the child-sized version and what she glommed onto was a new and elaborate game of chase: Bulldozer vs. Tree.

She is currently orchestrating this game amongst her and the sisters. She came running up to John and I explaining that her sister Elise was a tree. John, being the rabble rouser that he is asked her what she would be if she hugged her sister, who was a tree. (You know, she’d be a tree-hugger.)

Maia carefully considered the question, and then, her face lighting up as she hit on the answer stated: “I’d be HAPPY”.

Oh sweet big sister, we’re so glad you’d be happy to hug your sister-tree.

Gonna be bored in kindergarten

Maia just counted to 100 for the first time. We started by counting by tens, helping her through 40 until she took over completely on here own. After that, we started from 1 and she made it on her own to 100. There were only a couple of corrections needed for silly things like calling 31, “thirteen”.

The box truck

Valerie: Maia, go ask you sisters which Angry Bird they want

Maia: OK. [Goes running off to visit the sisters, and then running back]

M: Mom, when will the box truck come with our Angry Birds?

John: Maia, why do you think the box truck will deliver the Angry Birds?

M: [walking over and staring me straight in the eye in a way that can only mean life or death consequences are being discussed] Because, the box truck brings everything that I like.

M: The box truck brings everything that the whole family likes.

M: [now jumping up and down] Mom, when will the box truck be heeeeeeeere

Because 4 1/2 is so over the hill

We had a lovely Brunch at our favorite breakfast spot, Southern Kitchen, today. One draw is the family booth we get to sit in, backed by a mirrored wall. Maia was content to stare at herself while we waited for our order to come up.

“Mommy–look, I have all these lines on my head. Right here” she commented while pointing to her forehead. “It must be because I’m getting so old.”

Princess Doctor Maia

The imagination of a 4 year-old goes far beyond just playing; it offers a window into the thought processes of how they go about internalizing their world.

Last September, Maia was traumatized by a debilitating stomach flu and the accompanying spit-up bowl that didn’t leave her side for over 24 hours. Ever since, the subject has come up in random passing from an occasional casual reference to more pointed reenactments.

A few days ago, “Princess Doctor Maia” diagnosed her dolly as having a bad tummy ache and she needed to make the dolly get better.

First we have to prep the patient.

Nikon D200, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/60sec, 24mm focal L.

Then, cut open her belly.

Nikon D200, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/60sec, 24mm focal L.

Paraphrasing, Maia says, “In order to get the tummy ache out, we have to cut into your belly first.”

It takes a sawing motion — maybe we need to sharpen her scalpel…

Nikon D200, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/60sec, 29mm focal L.

A quick check under the dressing.

Nikon D200, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/80sec, 32mm focal L.

“And, once the belly is open, we reach in and pull out the tummy ache.”

The idea of cutting into the belly comes from the story of Madeline getting her appendix removed.

Now we pull out the tummy ache.

Nikon D200, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/40sec, 34mm focal L.

“And then we scoop out the tummy ache and take it into the bathroom and flush it down the toilet”.

[Yup, just like we did with her spit-up bowl]

All better now!

Nikon D200, ISO 1000, ƒ/2.8, 1/30sec, 34mm focal L.

And, Princess Doctor Maia cures all ailments!