Monthly Archives: April 2007

How to get some Moon

We’re at the farm, sitting on the verandah after dinner on Saturday. A waxing gibbous moon glows high in the misty night air.

“Daddy, would you like some Moon [to eat]?”

“Yes, that sounds good..”

Lillian reaches into the air far out to her left. “Take a piece of string…”

…presses an imaginary button in front of her. “Press the button…”

…reaches up to the Moon “Got it…”

…hands it to me. “Here you go.”

After a moment she says: “I ate the string!”


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Why vs what else

At her child care, a branch had fallen and knocked over the fish bowl.  The fish were “rescued” but later died.

“Lillian, why did the fish bowl break?”

“The water went on the ground.”

“Yes, but why did it break?”

“And the fish died.”


Although she is starting to understand narrative, she doesn’t yet understand “Why?” as a request for causal antecedents. 

She seems to understand it as a kind of general request for whatever pertinent further information she can think of.  And what happened after the bowl broke, in this case, is much more salient than the events leading it up to the event.

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We went swimming today at the Melbourne City Baths – the old (Edwardian?) bathing complex on Swanston St. They renovated it a while ago and it is quite nice inside while still having a lot of old character.

Lillian loves swimming. She’s quite good aT dogpaddling and is starting to do something a bit like breaststroke.

She spent a while pushing Daddy’s head underwater, which she regarded as quite fun.

After a while, she made a profound discovery: “Water can help you swim!” which she kept repeating in various ways. She realised this first, I think, when she had been standing semi-immersed on the ladder (the one you use to get in and out) and then released herself into the water. Instead of dropping fast as she would if she jumped off a bench, the water supported her. So water actually helps you stay up, by providing bouyancy. And when you’re swimming, the resistance of the water helps you move forward. I’m amazed by her insight. I don’t recall ever thinking about it quite that way as a kid.

There weren’t many other people there that day, and with the pool being in a somewhat cavernous shed-like structure, it was quiet but any noise was very audible.

At one point she said “Daddy, I did a pee in the water.”

“That’s OK, we don’t do that here…”

[Louder] “But I did a pee in…”



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Today at child care Lillian had a collision with Alexander.  Apparently they were both running without looking and knocked heads.  Lillian had a red bump and a slightly broken skin near her left eyebrow. 

But as usual if you ask her “what happened at school today?” she can’t recall anything much.  Though if you ask “who did you run into today?” she can remember that she ran into Alexander, and that she cried, and that she’s got a bump.   

Yesterday was her turn to “show and tell”.   She showed a “dinosaur bone” which was in fact a clean, well-preserved, remarkably intact sheep skull we found on the farm.

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Hands in skin pillow

“Daddy, my hands are in the skin pillow!”


Then we figure it out.

Lillian enjoys having her hands photocopied.  Then we cut around the outline of her hand & fingers, to get a hand-shaped, hand-coloured piece of paper.  It looks quite good when you make a colour copy.

Last night, she had a pair of hands with her when she went to bed.  She wanted to put them somwhere safe, so inserted them between the pillow and the pillow case.

She didn’t know the word for pillow case, but it looks like skin, e.g. on a chicken.

Hence… getting the word order a bit wrong… her hands were in the skin pillow.

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Not a good day

Lillian was up a bit late last night.  This afternoon, at child care, she was pushing other children around.  Her friends (Gabby, Lily) wouldn’t play with her anymore.  Lillian was upset.

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Recently Lillian has become aware of her Chinese background.

“I’m a Chinese girl. Mummy is Chinese. Daddy is Austraay..lia.”

The reality of course is that she’s growing up thoroughly Aussie – not much more Chinese than I am, say, Dutch.


She’s got a new pair of shoes – another pair with little red lights which flash every time she takes a step. The shoes have the word GEOX on the side. She reads the word:



Tonight we came into the bathroom to find that she had taken the book (mentioned in a previous post), torn it apart, and soaked about half of it in water, pulled it apart into soggy chunks, then made “art” on the bathroom wall by throwing the soggy chunks against the tiles.


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