heart in the clouds

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homework...grown up dreams

Z truly hasn't had much homework this year and for that we are grateful. We've asked for the extra worksheet here and there to try and learn the writing he's so "fond" of....but really nothing too involved. Last week, they sent home a 3 page assignment and gave us two weeks to do it...cool. It coincides with some kind of community helpers focus they are doing at school. They basically have to describe and illustrate what they want to be when they grow up and explain how that position helps the community.

Since Z could talk, he's probably already changed his mind 10 times about his future vocation and I'm sure that's very normal. First he wanted to be a doctor...told his pediatrician at his 3 year check up that "when I grow up, I will be the doctor." And he meant THE doctor, because the pedi said "sure, you can work with me," and Z replied with "no, I will be the doctor," to which the pedi replied "I am sure you will."

That went on for about a year before the fireman dreams started (shouldn't surprise us because when he was 2, Z told us the firemen took all his paci's, which made it easier on us to explain why he didn't have them anymore...and we didn't give in when he begged us to call them and tell them bring the paci back!).  Once he found out that firemen don't actually start the fires, he was less interested.  I think he still though the fireman was the chef at the Japanese restaurant. So we went from that to a cowboy, to working at Starbucks on his days off from the fire station...but...dreams turned into nightmares (for me anyway) when he decided he wanted to drive an ice cream truck.

Last week when the assignment came out, I asked him again what he wanted to be and he said a "cop." I was intrigued what made him change his mind...why was being a "cop" so appealing...and here's that conversation went (thank goodness for this being in the car and I could just glance in the rearview at him):

Me: So why do you want to be a cop?
Z: Ummm so I can take the dead people's bodies that they don't need anymore to the graves.
Me in my mind (oh crap, we can NOT write that on the homework; the teacher will force him into therapy)
Me, what  really said: "Umm, why do you think cops do that?
Z: because
Me: because why? (don't y'all get sick of saying that?)
Z: because that is what YOU told me Mommy!
Me: I did not..now let's get back to why you want to touch dead bodies...
Z: MOMMY, I will wear gloves; it will be fine.
Me: well, cops don't do that. I think you're thinking of a mortician.
Z: a WHAT?
Me: oh someone who works at the funeral home and gets the bodies ready for burial (can't believe I'm really explaining this to a 5 year old).
Z: Oh, no, I don't wanna be that. I wanna do that like a cop.
Me: Z , cops do NOT take dead bodies to the grave.
Z: (becoming very frustrated with me) That one day you stopped in the road and the cop had his lights on , you said he was taking the dead body to the grave!!!!
Me: Oh for crying out loud, he was leading the procession of CARS to the cemetery not putting a dead body in a grave.
Z: Oh
Me: so do you still wanna be a cop
Z: I don't know
Me: Seriously?
Z: (sees a police car lights on, someone pulled over) yeah, is that a cop?
Me: no, that's a sheriff
Z: is a sheriff like a cop?
Me: yes, but the sheriff works for Jessamine County; the police works for the city of Nicholasville.
Z: Oh, I wanna be a sheriff then
Me: Why?
Z: because they wear boots.

THANK GOD we got off that dead body train...wow...I was about to call a therapist myself :)

So our homework looks a lot "NICER" now that Z just wants to be a sheriff with boots....well, except for the part where he said his favorite part of the job would be shooting bad people and arresting them...but he did add "keeping people safe," so I'll give him some grace here :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Box

There's rarely any real trash in our home...Z can usually find a use for most trash in his "workshop." Now, I obviously don't allow all the trash to go there, but occasionally I will give in and let him reuse clean items. It really makes him happy and he focuses for hours on creating things in his workshop..."battery packs" made from duct tape with "wires" made with colored twine...double stick tape to make it all stick to the refrigerator to power it up! The thought and focus that goes into the creations is priceless and who am I to squash a future engineer or architect's dreams, right?!

So last Friday, the last day of fall break, we were driving around town running a few errands when from out of the backseat comes a squeal when we pass Lowe's "MOMMY, stop at Lowe's!!!" Thankfully I didn't wreck the car with the sudden shriek. I asked why and he simply said "I HAVE to make a box and I can get my stuff there!!"

Since we weren't really on a big schedule that day, I stopped. We went inside and he told me he needed wood, a hammer, nails and pinges (later figured out it was hinges) and paint. I have no idea how to build such things, but Z was convinced we could do it so to the lumber area we went. Z began to explain his design to one of the associates. He was talking wildly with his hands about this awesome box that would now also have a tube coming out one side to get the marbles in the box...ah oh, so we're making a marble box...but not just any ordinary one. The associate told Z he was probably going to be the next Frank Lloyd Wright, linked here for those who aren't sure who that was, basically an extraordinary architect and designer. Z had no idea who that was...but hey, he could be an architect!

The associate took Z to pick out his wood, we figured out how many pieces and what size he needed. Even with recommendations, Z pretty much had in his head what kind of wood he needed and even talked the guys into sawing it all up for him. We found the hinges and came across an "essential" knob to put on the lid...then we picked a custom stain and Z asked the guys to mix it up for him. Then it was off to the plumbing section to find the right curved pipe. He settled on some white PVC pipe because the clear tubing he originally wanted, wasn't strong enough to stand up and the diameter wasn't wide enough for his biggest marble. And oh, we can always add more PVC pipe to add to the design later, he said. (as a side note...if you've never been to the science center in Louisville, you need to go...we spent the majority of our time rearranging PVC pipe and joints to change water directions in the plumbing exhibit there).

So we had everything we needed but I couldn't figure out how we would get a hole in the side of the box. We went back to the lumber section. I told Z if he asked, maybe they would do it since they seemed to do everything else he wanted if HE asked! They said they didn't have the capability to do it there...but didn't offer an alternative to how I could do it myself, so we left and Z was very unhappy about it. I told him I would call some local carpenters and see what they could do or post a question on facebook. W

ell, posting on facebook got a good answer in just minutes of course. Our good friend Nick Rhodes (who I also claim as an adopted little brother) introduced me to the hole saw...WOW, can't believe the guy's at Lowe's didn't direct me to this gem. It was fairly inexpensive and fit right on David's DeWalt drill! But choosing a size was not so easy. Z explained to the associate he wanted the hole to be the diameter of the PVC joint, not the pipe...but there was not a bit for that size. He assured the guy that the marbles would get stuck if he had to use the small pipe to connect the box to the joint...this little argument went on for a good 10 minutes with the associate telling him it would be fine; it would not get stuck...and Z telling him he was wrong...vehemently shaking his head no no no lol.
Well we had to settle on the smaller bit and just vow to make it work. It was the only option at that point. We went back home and Z stained all the
boards, sanded the rough edges, even pushed the drill button for the screws (drill was way to heavy for me to just let him go at it alone haha). It was about two hours of completely focused work on both our parts. Turns out you can't make a perfect box with six equal-sized boards, so Z's box has "feet," but he's fine with that. And you know know what? Those marbles did stick on the hump created inside the joint by the smaller pipe :)