I'm not sure if summer brain drain is a thing in our house. If anything, the learning has ramped up.
When I walked into the room, my 6-year-old jumped up from her desk chair.
"Oh, you must be wondering what's in that book?" she said. I looked around to figure out what she was talking about. If I really wanted, she said, she would show me what's inside.
I looked down at the book and then back at her. "I must know," I said.
"They are my inventions," she said while opening the book and pointing to a page.
"That green animal is a pool floatie," she said. "And this is a Popsicle, and this is a measuring tape."
"Very cool," I said. "What does it do?"
She explained that her invention was designed to help doctors measure people's tongues in the pool. When I asked if this was an issue for doctors, she confirmed it was.
"It's a big issue," she said. "No one likes to get their tongue measured, especially when they are at the pool."
I surmised this was not the first time she had given her presentation. She was sharp.
"See how it works is you ride the floatie, and when you go to take a lick of the Popsicle, you can measure your tongue," she said. "It's a great invention."
"The medical world will never be the same," I said.
I'm not sure if summer brain drain, the idea that during summer kids forget everything they learned, is a thing in our house, at least not this year. If anything, the learning has ramped up. Any day now I expect her to wheel in a large chalkboard covered in calculations, or a welding torch. Experts give many solutions to curb the summer slide, most of which add up to keeping their gears turning. So, my wife and I try little things here and there. Out of habit, I often ask my girls to count things for me, like how many bananas we have.
"We can't leave until we make sure we have four tires on the car," I told my 3-year-old one day. "Can you give them a count?"
She only counted two, then I told her there were some tires on the other side, too. "Four," she concluded after adding that they would be easier to count if they were all on the same side.
Occasionally, we have done school workbooks with our girls, and we read with them every night. And when they are in the mood to create something, say a series of inventions, we are quick with the crayons, markers and paper.
She showed me another page. It showed a sun, a cat and an arrow indicating the cat was to go to the sun.
"Let me guess," I said. "This invention is about sending the cats to space?"
"No, no," she replied, explaining that you put a cat treat on the sun, and the cat will go to eat it.
"Won't the cat burn her feet on the sun?" I asked. She informed me the cat wasn't going to the real sun.
"It's like a tree they climb, and there's a sun at the top," she explained. "When you put a treat up there, the cat will climb to get it, because they like treats and the sun."
"So great," I said. "How do you come up with these ideas?"
"You know, I just do some thinking and it pops in my brain," she said.
Reach Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DaveManley