Saturday, July 31, 2010

Handyman in Training

My kids usually start peppering me with questions and requests before I'm even out of bed.  Granted, it would probably be good if I was one of those early rising morning people.  But I'm not.  Nope.  Not me.  I get up when I HAVE TO get up.

And since it's summertime and I'm huge and pregnant, I've been milking my lazy mornings for all they're worth.

But there are many days when grunts and unintelligible mumblings from me just don't cut it.  At least not for my kids.

The other day, J was bursting to tell me all about his morning magnet discoveries.  He wasn't satisfied with the "Mmmm hmmmm" response.  He continued chattering about his creation until I had pried my eyes open enough to actually look at it.  He was holding a rather long chain of magnets with a screwdriver dangling from the end.  Then he proceeded to enlighten me on the subject of "magnet energy."

Apparently, when you stick multiple magnets together, they combine their "energy" which makes them stronger so they can hold up bigger things.  I may not be an expert in magnetism, but that sounded pretty close to me.

So I managed to drag myself out of bed and made sure that everyone had eaten breakfast.  Check.  I started cleaning up the table and rinsing the dishes.  By this time, J was onto his 5th or 6th project of the morning.  I'm grateful for the ones that involve only toys.  Unfortunately, he has been expanding his horizons.

Meanwhile, the older girls were shut away in their room working on a 750 piece puzzle.  They've been at it for days.  I realized I should have been buying them big puzzles like this for years.  A mistake I plan to remedy soon after they finish this one.

R was contentedly building mountains out of various items for her figures to climb on.

So, with everyone relatively content, I got down to the business of making cookies.  We were hosting a little get together to say goodbye to some friends who are moving very far away.  They have been great friends as well as our go-to family whenever we've really needed help.  We are so sad to see them go.  I thought various forms of chocolate were called for.

I found it very refreshing mixing up the cookie dough all by myself.  I usually have quite a few eager little hands wanting to dump this in, or mix that up, or eat those chocolate chips, or lick the beaters.  Things were much faster this way.  At least for a little while.

Then J came into the kitchen with a little train engine that required a new battery.

This is unfortunately, a very common problem around here.  We are FOREVER running down the batteries in some toy or other.  It's a constant battle to keep them charged up.  Too often, the toy just sits for weeks on end in our dead battery jail, waiting for some spare batteries to come their way.

But recently, J has decided to take matters into his own hands.  Thanks to his father.

A couple months ago, Shaggy thought it was a good idea to get J some tools of his own.  J, of course, was absolutely thrilled.  He loves ANY excuse to go to Home Depot with his Dad.  And to be able to go and pick out his very own tool bag along with some basic tools to go in it . . . well, that was just heavenly.

I have to say that he has been downright handy with his tools at times.  He took off and then replaced all the face plates when we were painting.  He always knows right where his screwdriver is if I need one for something.  He is perfectly willing to smash a broken toy to bits with his hammer so it will be sure to "fit" into the garbage can.  Nice, huh?

But it has also allowed him to enter somewhat dangerous territory.  Dangerous as in "I'm not sure I want him doing that."  Like changing batteries.  At first, he didn't pay much attention to the battery size difference.  Which didn't work out so well.

But then he got the hang of it.  And also learned about the proper direction to put them in.  Then he figured out how to use our little homemade battery tester to see which batteries still had juice in them.

So I suppose he is now about as proficient in battery changing as he needs to be.

But sometimes I have to remind myself that I really do WANT him to grow up to be extremely handy like his Dad.  It's just that some days, I sort of dread the learning process he will have to go through to get there.  When I recall some of the stories from Shaggy's childhood, they involve such things as tortured barbies, small fires in the backyard, disassembled toys, digging around in garbage cans for spare parts, etc., etc.

I have nightmares of one day hearing J say things like, "Look Mom, I figured out how the TV works" or "I think I have some extra parts from the thermostat."

These are the things that were flashing through my head as J was waiting for me to give him permission to change the battery in his train car.  I must have taken too long in answering because I got the raised eyebrows and the tilted head and the little smile when he repeated his request.

I sighed, "I just can't keep up with you."

He tilted his head a little farther and said ever-so-sincerely,  "This is the LAST thing I'll ask you for ALL day!"

Ummm . . . right.  I know he means it.  The problem is that he will completely forget about saying it approximately 30 seconds after he gets what he wants.  I suppose I should just be glad that he still seeks permission for these things.  I fully realize that that will end sooner rather than later.

So I told him to go ahead which made him very happy.  And which gave me a chance to get the cookies ready to go into the oven.  I turned around and found that R had spread out her blanket and pillow directly in front of the oven and was "cuddling up" in her bed.

It really is amazing that I get anything done.  EVER.

Even without the helping hands of the kids, it took me hours to make cookies.  But at the end of that time, I had a COMPLETELY full cookie jar.  And that . . . well . . . that made me very happy.

1 comment:

Mom said...

Remember - - - there will be plenty of time later to "get things done." Smile!!! Right now, you're raising some of Heavenly Father's most precious children. And I think you should go right ahead and milk what few lazy mornings you have left. A little sleep surplus can't hurt in the coming sleep-deprived weeks and months.