The View from our Window

The Six-Year-Old's cubs take in the view from our window. I'm told they are tasked with alerting The Six-Year-Old should playing break out on the meadow below.

The Six-Year-Old’s cubs at their post. The Six-Year-Old has instructed them to alert her immediately if playing breaks out on the meadow below.

We’ve landed–not only in Chicago, but as of 11 a.m. yesterday–in our actual condo (we’re renting a place for a year to give ourselves time to learn about the neighborhood).

Initial reports are favorable. Our new complex is packed with kids. I know this because last night some eight or nine children of approximately The Six-Year-Old’s age streamed out of their respective buildings to converge on a green lawn in front of the complex around 6 o’clock last night. Hide and Seek was well underway when The Six-Year-Old and I arrived.

While the Six-Year-Old played, I chatted with several moms arranged around the perimeter of the yard. Turns out that the game wasn’t the result of an unusually fortuitous alignment of circumstances, but a nightly event. The Six-Year-Old came back from last night’s Evening Fete happy, muddy, and starved.

Unfortunately, I had been so busy unpacking, I’d completely forgotten to do any grocery shopping. Oops. Will have to do something about that today.  The Six-Year-Old and I are down to our last strawberry. A strawberry we only have because Daddyo in his infinite generosity declined to eat it before walking to work this morning.

The last of our provisions.

The last of our provisions.

OK, so I exaggerated about the last strawberry thing. We had five. I may have been able to conjure up a glass of milk for The Six-Year-Old’s breakfast as well.

Still, the situation is clearly grim. Especially since The Six-Year-Old is wiping the last of the strawberries and milk from her chin as I type. The only other food substance I have in the house at the moment is a bag of raw sugar. And while The Six-Year-Old has valiantly offered to eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I suspect this wouldn’t be the merry summer picnic she envisions.

Off to the store we go.

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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2 Responses to The View from our Window

  1. Barbara says:

    The view out that window looks beautiful and it looks like the cubs are keeping watch. The 6pm meeting to play is a great way to meet neighbors.


  2. Pingback: Wordless Wednesday: The Six-Year-Old gets homesick | CATERPICKLES

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