Monthly Archives: August 2008

Good friends on a sad day

Yesterday Lillian attended her grandfather Malcolm’s funeral and burial.   She spent the day in the care of her adored cousin Olivia.  Although they are 4 years different in age, Lillian treats Olivia as her friend – see Lillian’s hand on Olivia’s shoulder.

Click on the image for a larger version.


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Art or decoration?

One of Lillian’s more detailed pieces:

Quite a window into the mind of a four and a half year old girl.

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Life’s lesson #6,914 learned

We were in Canberra, visiting Lillian’s grandfather in the hospice and spending some time with her grandmother. After five days or so, Lillian was understandably restless.

She’d never seen real snow, and it seemed possible that there might be some snow in the nearby mountains, so we decided to go for a drive. We borrowed the grandparent’s Mercedes. Our destination – Honeysuckle Creek, up behind Mt. Tenant, which was pretty close and had a sealed road all the way.

Unfortunately there was no snow. We went to take a look at the remains of the Honeysuckle Creek tracking station, built by NASA for the Apollo missions.

Lillian decided she didn’t want to get out of the car. OK, she could stay there while Teresa and I took a look around. Lillian’s window was down, and the car was locked.

Teresa and I were about fifty yards away, when Lillian appeared behind us.

“Guess how I got out? I climbed out the window!” she told us proudly.

After a good look around, including stalking some kangaroos, we set off. It was quite cool – about 5 degrees. I tried closing Lillian’s window. The electric motor whirred, but nothing happened. The window had been pushed down deep into the door, and was now stuck.

It seemed that when Lillian was climbing out, she must have had her weight on the window, causing it to collapse into the door. But, being so inexperienced in the mechanical ways of the world, she couldn’t really have know that such a thing might happen or that it might be a problem. It was a genuine “oops.”

We had to drive for about an hour back to Canberra with the window down and an icy gale inside the car.

Lillian didn’t fully grasp what had happened, but did sort of appreciate that climbing through the window had done something a bit bad.

Granny Helen was very understanding. She knew of a trusty mechanic who would be able to fix it.

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There are now some frogs in our backyard.

It started with a wasp.

Lillian found a wasp on the window at the farm. She yelled loudly for Daddy to come and take it away. So we found a large jar, placed it over the wasp, slid a piece of paper between the jar and the window, and then pulled jar and paper, with wasp inside, away from the window.

We took it to the back steps to let it go.

For a while, it just clung to the inside of the jar. Lillian tapped the jar firmly. The wasp flew away.

“See, that’s how you do it, you tap it” she instructed.

We watched the wasp fly high into the sky.

Then – Oops! – Daddy dropped the jar onto the step. It smashed into lots of pieces.

Together we started picking up the pieces, being careful not to cut ourselves.

I pulled back some grass next to the step, and there was a little frog.

Lillian was ecstatic. “Look! A frog! A frog!” she cried. “Can we keep it, Daddy?”

We looked for something to put the frog in. We found a plastic container. We put some holes in the lid so the frog could breath, then some rocks and grass and bark and water inside. Then we put the frog in.

It jumped right out.

We caught it again and put it back, and closed the lid.

“Can we catch some more frogs?”

We found another couple of frogs by the back step. So now there were three frogs in the container, and the back step area was frogless.

“Can we go look for some more frogs, Daddy?”

We looked around the house area, but couldn’t find any. But Lillian’s frog-hunting passion was not to be denied. We decided to walk down to the dam in the steep gully below the house.

We walked around the dam, looking in the grass at the water’s edge. No frogs, but we did find lots of slimy-looking frog spawn, with tiny little tadpoles inside.

Luckily it didn’t occur to Lillian to try to pick up and keep some frog spawn.

We went back to the house.

By this time, one of the poor frogs had been crushed by a sliding rock inside their container home. We fished it out.

“I’m going to let the frogs go tomorrow” she announced.

Later – “Daddy, can take the frogs home and let them go there?”

That seemed an OK idea.

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