Ouisie has three more summers before school starts, but she can hardly wait. This became all the more apparent when the big announcement came after dinner,

Mommy. Daddy. I’m going to elf school.

After some negotiation, Chef and I convinced our 2-year old that all parents escort their child on the first day of elf school.

With a canvas bagged draped around her neck, pink ballet slippers over her piggies, and shopping trolley with baskets in hand (must have accessory), she bid farewell to the cottage.

With no map in hand, elf school proved quite difficult to find.

According to Ouisie, it was over there in that tree. 

But when we arrived to over there in that tree, 
it moved to over there in that tree. 

The ongoing search for elf school led to an unexpected family adventure.


But before the adventure could start, Ouisie had to stop and serenade an itsy bitsy spider climbing up a water spout.

Chef  and Ouisie looked for fairies and gnomes hiding under big rocks.

Sadly, no fairies nor gnomes. Just ants and worms.

Flowers and other findings were picked and placed in her tote for show-and-tell.

Though the sun was setting, the bees and butterflies were still hard at work.

A deserted bird’s nest was found and admired. We tried to guess which bird called it home. After a full assessment, Ouisie concluded it belonged to a woodpecker.

She skipped. We skipped.

She discovered. We delighted.
She learned. We memorized.
In looking for elf school, we were more aware to little wonders along the route. Before we found the make-believe school, our tired student decided the day’s lessons were finished. And so, we turned and walked back home.

The next morning over breakfast, Ouisie and I recounted our elf school adventure. As the jam from Ouisie’s toast spread across her hands and face, I felt lucky to have three more years of playing school with our daughter before the real first day.

And since there were no school bells telling us we were tardy, I snapped some photos of my little student over toast.

Spur of the moment fun.
Lasting memories.