Mom, I Popped Part of It Off!

Wednesday, December 17th 2014 ~6pm

It’s like my kid can *smell* the spirit of my Adventure Play Parenting thrust. Bless him. After dialing in on the small hammer at our local hardware store (that has screwdrivers nested in its handle, no less!), striking out with me (“Probably but not today Darling, Christmas is coming…”), he successfully worked his Grandmother until she had me take her there yesterday to buy it for him for Christmas.  He returned from his weekly visit with her this afternoon proudly wielding the new prize already opened as a special EARLY Christmas Present.

Mom called to share her success in giving the boys nails and cardboard for hammering (Cousin Miles got one too; “They were over the moon,” she reports). I started to give him a coffee can from the recycling, but a cat food tin was stuck in it. When I started to pry the cans apart, my husband reminded me our son is waiting to use his *hammer,* a-HEM! So he pried it apart without incident, and then rode his roller skates on his scooter off to the neighbors for a while.

Beautifully, my husband and I managed to settle into a little happy hour action on the couch this evening. (Surprisingly unprecedented, but we *must* do this more often, DH.) After a while, we suspected our Dear Boy was off engrossed in video games or shows at the neighbor’s and asked our Dear Daughter to go invite him back home. He was, and she did. But he did not come. So I wrote a note and asked our sweet willing girl to deliver it. (He loves to read so I knew he would.)
“Dear Gavin, Please come home now. Love, Mom.”
No boy materialized.
Thanks to my Montessori Training, and her good nature, a second note was delivered:
“Dear Gavin, This is your third and final request to come home NOW. Love, Mom”
Pause a beat and a very grumpy boy comes stomping in the house. (Classic.)

“What’s with all the notes?!?” he demands.
“I was asking you to come back home.”
“Ya I KNOW. WHY!?!?!!!”
“First of all because we said so, that’s why.  And if you want to know other reasons, you can come over here with respectful body.”
[Reluctant grumbling and vague compliance.]
“Well first of all, this is your home and you live here. Also we are your family and we like to see you.”
And then he says this: “Well I’m going to spell this because my sister shouldn’t hear it. But *I* think that idea is F-U-K…[pause here while our jaws fly open in surprise and amazement]…I-N…[and he searches for the letters of his next word]… D-U-M… [more scandalized awe between us, mental searching for letters in him] …*E*!”

Frankly!? We reel in amazement. And scandal. Consult each other real quick down low about First Time Flukes, then let him know; “Gavin, I think we all know those words are totally inappropriate.” He nods in agreement. “But since is the first time you’ve tried it, and the fact you had the composure to spell it instead of say it… we’re going to let it go this one time.”
“Yeah because of my SISTER!” he points out, optimistically. (What chivalry. Such concern and, lo, *grace.* Ha.)

[Also, that he is willing to spell *without* worrying about accuracy is actually a big recent breakthrough for us, but that is another story.]

“If you want to hear the other reasons we wanted you home, we can tell you, or you can blow it off. Either way.” He wants to know the reasons.
“Well for one, we thought you might be watching videos or playing video games at your friends.” (He’s vaguely rolling around on the couch, being a six year old in constant kinetic motion.) “Also, you have your new tools and there’s the hand-vacuum that’s pretty much broken, and thought you might want to dis… assemble it,” and I’ve lost him.  He’s instantly dialed in on it with 100% of his being before I finish the sentence.

Disassembling Boy

Disassembling Boy

Fast forward several interesting discoveries later, and we have a budding expert on our hands:

“Mamma! There are no more electrical forces going on. You wanna know how? I cut all the wires, and I even broke the chip in half. See? No more electrical forces going on!”

Hey It's Magnetic!

Hey It’s *Magnetic*!

Dear Boy has also been learning about Chanukah and wants to light a Menorah, so we did.  (Starting imperfectly our first time ever, on the 2nd night, during dinner, which is the only time we seem to accomplish anything as a family.  I hope it’s not offensive to not do it correctly.  I wouldn’t resent someone else trying to emulate traditions practiced in my family’s culture.)

ClaraJane Lights the Menorah

ClaraJane Lights the Menorah

I guess there’s nothing like playing with fire.  Glad to know there are opportunities for exposure to nature and physics around us all the time.

I’ve also noticed this exposes us to more mess:

2014-12-17 19.59.54-1

Side-effect of exploration; Mess

Mess with Photobomb though:

Side effect of exploration: Mess

Photobombed Mess

That does look better already, doesn’t it?

About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
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3 Responses to Mom, I Popped Part of It Off!

  1. Baba/Bubble Wow says:

    I’d be careful giving him cat food cans to pry apart unless you’re sure he’s current on tetanus shots.

  2. Baba/Bubble Wow says:

    He wanted to do a science experiment with holly berries he found on the ground, like put them in water with sugar. I suggested he gently mash them open on the sidewalk with his new hammer to see what was inside. Do you have a source of orange crates or other soft wood for practicing with screwdrivers? Need to be careful with the nails and screws that stick out the other side, too.

  3. Baba/Bubble Wow says:

    With the privilege of using tools comes the responsibility to do careful, thorough, safe, thoughtful work, not sloppy careless work, which is worse than doing no work at all. This led to a tale from Baba’s archives. In Wayland in the1970’s, Bop and I engaged a young man we knew who hired himself out as a carpenter to build us a garbage house against the garage wall. In Wayland at the time it was common to have a garbage house.

    We described to the young man what we wanted — a waist-high structure with a slanting, shingled roof, to keep the rain, snow, and raccoons out of the garbage cans between Saturday dump runs. The kid built it while we were at work.

    When Bop went out to load the garbage cans in the station wagon on Saturday he discovered that not only was the roof neither weighted properly nor fitted with a hook and eye to hold it up while one dealt with the garbage cans, but also when the kid had nailed the shingles on, he’d left the nail ends sticking straight out; he had not bothered to flatten them up against the roof. This heavy wood-and-shingle roof studded with nail points fell onto George, broke his glasses, and cruelly cut his face and shoulders.

    Needless to say, the young man got no more work from us nor any recommendations. He did such a terrible job that I — obviously — haven’t gotten over it to this day, and I can’t figure out — what was he THINKING? I guess the answer is the usual — he did not do any thinking.

    So, if you’re going to use tools, be sure that — at the same time — you are USING YOUR BRAIN! It’s our job to teach this to the boys.

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