In which I discover that my four-year-old has a lair

Preschooler, eying my Eeyore mug: “Everybody knows about Eeyore, Mommyo. You know, I’ve even seen Eeyore.”

Mother: “You have? Where?”

Preschooler, nonchalantly: “Oh, in my hunter’s lair.”

Mother: “Really? Where is that? Behind the blanket rack?”

Preschooler, giggling: “No, silly, that’s Doc’s garage.”

Mother, trying to think where else her daughter huddles in the playroom: “Behind the big leather chair?”

Preschooler, making a noise that sounds like a cross between a raspberry and a chortle: “Nah. That’s the sproing cat nesting ground.”

Mother: “I give up. Where is it?”

The Hunter's Lair, complete with T. Rex nest (the frisbee filled with shredded yarn) and today's inspirational message (about making and keeping friends).

Preschooler: “Behind the big box, of course.”

(The big box is the box containing the new storage ottoman that we ordered from Ikea to replace our old one, which is slowly collapsing under the weight of all the unfinished knitting stored inside it. The box, which we immediately pressed into service as an end table for our couch and a communications board for any dinosaurs in residence in the house, has been waiting patiently for months to us to open it and assemble the ottoman inside. Building the ottoman had been on my Honey-do list for Columbus Day weekend, but now that I know the box is a hunter’s lair, it looks like we’ll be going to the Topsfield Fair instead.)

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book will focus on science, and how parents without a science degree can answer their curious child's questions without enrolling in a college level refresher course. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Eleven-Year-Old at, chatting about books and the writing life at, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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4 Responses to In which I discover that my four-year-old has a lair

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