Nature Through the Eyes of My Preschooler
The big ones didn’t want to go outside today. I don’t always relent and let them stay home, but I just didn’t feel like having that battle with them today. Instead, I just took my littlest man outside to enjoy a beautiful afternoon outdoors after a morning rain.
The first thing we had to stop and marvel at was a line of ants running across a crack in the driveway. Their purposeful little march was completely fascinating to him. I hate ants, so I was much less enthralled, but I tried to remain patient. We talked about what we thought the ants might be doing and where they could be going (it was pretty obvious—they’d made a mount in the driveway crack, but I was ignored when I pointed it out).
Once his curiosity was satisfied, we could move on. Next we had to pick some dandelions from the patch of grass on the other side of the sidewalk from our yard. We also got to meet a very lovely sweat bee, which my son immediately decided was really a very small robot bug. I have to say, they are so cool and unusual with their metallic coloring that I could totally see where he was coming from.
Then we heard a mockingbird doing a very impressive mimic of a car alarm. It flew off a tree at the end of our property, and my son decided he was going to chase after it. Thank goodness he stayed on the sidewalk! He’s getting faster and faster. When I got to the bend in the sidewalk, my little sprinter was waiting for me. He knows he can’t go farther than I can see him. Plus, he had lost sight of the bird.
Next, we found a worm on the sidewalk and my compassionate little guy decided that he wanted to relocate him to a puddle. So we had to find a ‘large enough’ puddle. Do you know how my son tests how large a puddle is? He stomps in them. The bigger the splash, the bigger the puddle. I thought it was a pretty interesting way to take measurements, and told him so.
We had been gone for over an hour at that point, and my son’s hands and pant legs were wet and grimy, so I decided we should head home—mind you, we were only two houses away from where we started from.Plus, I already knew we would have to stop another three or four times on our way back to our front door. There’s always an interesting bug to see, a fun-shaped cloud to point out, a leaf to turn over, or a puddle to stomp.
When we got home, I made him wash his hands and change his pants before he could tell his siblings about what we saw on our little afternoon jaunt. And I think I saw some flashes of jealousy from the big ones. Maybe next time, they’ll actually come!