Hadley asked me the other day what "investigate" means. I told her it means to look into something, or to check something out. I told her when you investigate something, you are figuring something out, kind of like a detective. I don't know if this explanation was satisfying to her or not. When we are talking to Hadley about anything she generally has a blank stare on her face and I don't know whether she's really listening. Then three days later, she'll bring up what we were talking about almost word per word. In the case of her query into what "investigate" means, she looked at me while I told her and then went back to playing.
I brought home Jerry Pinkney's The Lion and the Mouse from the library a few days ago, and I thought that before we took a look at it, I'd remind Hadley that she asked me what "investigate" means. I told her that she could figure out the story in this book by just looking at the pictures, since there are few words. The pictures in the book are startling. I feel like I'm caught in the net with the lion, or scurrying around trying to break its strings with the mouse. I thought that since the pictures do such a good job of telling the story, Hadley would think it was fun to "read" the story by herself.
Yesterday, the girls had to put their rainboots on before we read the story. I'm not sure if that's because Hadley was imagining she was in the jungle with the lion and the mouse, or if rainboots were simply what you needed to wear at that moment. Nevertheless, the rainboots were put on.
I sat next to Hadley as she read the story, and I thought that she and I are a lot like the lion and the mouse. We don't always know how to communicate with one another, and we have different roles in the world we share. A lot of times, these roles clash and we have to figure out what to do about that. But I also think that, when one of us gets tangled up, we have a way of setting each other free.