Friday, January 2, 2009


I asked my dad for his opinion on getting a telescope for a constellation-crazy four-year old for Christmas. His advice was to skip the telescope, which, along with being ridiculously pricey, would likely be too abstract for her right now, and go with binoculars which could get her up closer than you'd expect and be useful for many other explorations. Her attached-to-her-hand magnifying glass amuses him no end.

We decided he was right, but that the binoculars could wait for a bit. They didn't have to. He sent her a small pair and a large pair for Christmas. She bounced around the house telling every constellation story she knew until it was dark enough to go outside and look at the stars.

Once it was dark enough, coats and hats and boots were thrown on. Gloves were disdainfully tossed aside because "Then I couldn't hold the binoculars, could I, Mother?" (This was a rhetorical question.) and "No knock, Momma! So no gove! Noooo!" So I threw their gloves in my pocket (along with a warmer hat for the redhead for whom color is more important than warmth right now) and out we went.

They had to discuss which way would lead to the best star-gazing. Ains kept pushing for the direction that had playing kittens.

And off they went. On a mission.

Trying to get out past our yard light takes a few minutes.

And then we were there! They looked, and what did they see?

Cloud cover.

*sigh* How did I miss that? "Well, girls, lets go look at the chickens."

Ains wasn't thrilled with that idea. I don't blame her. It's hard to look at chickens with binoculars when you're three feet tall, they're a foot tall, and they're a foot away.

So we came in and Ainsley studied the freezer. After thirty intense seconds - a long time in a two year old's world - she looked up and announced 'no mone bac'n'. She was right. There is a dearth of bacon in our house at the moment. The bacon always goes the fastest when we get the pig. Then she disappeared into her sister's room...

where I found them studying glow-in-the-dark constellations (Andromeda, Cygnus, and Orion reside on her ceiling)...

and spying on kittens playing outside the window.

Great Christmas present. I can see much Discovering in the months ahead.


SabrinaT said...

What a wonderful idea.. Maybe sky next time.

Stephanie said...

That's so fabulous!
I loved it!
The "you're three feet tall and the chickens are a foot tall and a foot away" part was hilarious.
And rather terrifying - as our house is haunted by a giant chicken monster sometimes. When we're in a squealing mood, you know. (because Giant Chickens are scary!)

Sarah said...

Sabrina, thank you. Yes, maybe sky next time... mother will check that out first next time. lol Though the exploring was fun even without stars.

Stephanie, thanks! lol Giant Chickens *are* scary!

One day a few years ago I suddenly had the epiphany about animal size and children - you'd think I wouldn't need a frickin' epiphany. And I realized all of the sudden how logical - and intelligent - it is for children to be scared of animals that to us are harmless and small but to them are quite large - sometimes larger than themselves, and how very brave and trusting it is for them to not be afraid of animals that are as large or larger than themselves.

Cindy said...

Cloudy skies. That is a bummer. I was just waiting to read that Hannah was going to point out the Big Dipper, and Orion and....

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

As soon as i opened your blog page, Jacob kept saying, "feet, feet!!" He obviously likes the picture at the top of your blog.
Savannah kept asking "why did someone draw on the legs?"
Then she said, "mom, I don't have a gold jacket like that!"

Katey said...

Those binoculars are almost as big as Ainsley! What a great gift. I may have to copy it for L&K. I laughed out loud at "you're three feet tall and the chickens are a foot tall and a foot away."

Sarah said...

Cindy, it was *such* a bummer. How did I miss that, you know?

Serene, yeah that gold coat was a huge hit. She's growing up on me. There were two choices - a gold one and a pink one and she turned down the pink one!

Katey, you totally should. Your girls would find many Discoveries waiting to be made if they got some.

green said...

I just had an epiphany... I had never considered the size relationship b/t kids and animals.

ROFL on the photo essay

Summer Fae said...

Have you seen the book A Zoo in the Sky? I just got it for my dd and it looks great.

Sarah said...

Summer, welcome! My dad just got that book for Hannah. I'd mentioned how much I loved a few of the other books in the series. Our library has them but it doesn't have Zoo in the Sky, so he got that one for Hannah for Christmas. The artwork in those books is amazing!