I don’t write much about parenting on my blog. Mostly because my blog is my escape from parenting. Also, I only have one 20-month old son, so what the hell do I know about parenting? I was an only child. I never babysat as a kid. There was never anyone younger than me in my family to take care of. So, my husband and I spend a lot of time winging it.
Today I wanted to talk about how my son is going to take right after his Daddy. My husband loves to disassemble things. He always has. (Ask any of his family members. They will tell you about the television he took apart and didn’t put back together again.) When our TV started smoking a few months ago, my husband had that thing unscrewed before it had even cooled off.
Mostly, I find this be an endearing quality. It is incredibly handy too. When our pipes to our shower burst several winters ago, he moved the tub surround (all one piece, mind you), replaced the pipes and the faucet, insulated them so that they would stop freezing every winter, put the tub surround back, and built a faux wall where before there had been an ill-fitting shelf unit. My passenger-side window in my car got stuck in the down position a week ago. While I didn’t want to put the money into getting the new part to fix it, he took the car door apart and put the window in the up position for me (especially nice since that is our only vehicle with working air conditioning).
There are a million examples like that. He is very handy. For all the things he actually fixes, there are only a handful of things, such as a toy remote control helicopter, mantel clock, or gun, that sit around endlessly, waiting to be reassembled. And usually there is a good reason they are not yet back together. Usually a piece has gone missing. Usually, that piece is a spring.
I can already see these traits of extreme curiosity in my 20 month old son, M. He has a Thomas & Friends book that plays sounds and songs, complete with a steering wheel that turns. Yet, often, I find him with it flipped over, trying to figure out how to get into the battery compartment. Lucky for both of us, it requires a screwdriver. So curious to find out what makes it work.
The other day, M was laying flat on the living room floor, with both hands in the VCR door, checking it out. Just so you know, it was upstairs and we only recently brought it down. So it is new to M. And apparently, there is great mystery with what goes on inside of it.
The most obvious example of M being like his Daddy happens every time I vacuum the house. I have a Shark Navigator. I believe it is a pretty early incarnation. The one featured in infomercials about two years ago. I hope the company has fixed the design issues that my vacuum has. (One of these is that the sweeper exhaust, that goes through the hepa filter, blows directly in front of it. This caused me endless frustration chasing dog hair around the house I could not catch. So I had to rig it so that it vented to the side instead.) The dust cup is deceptively small. I have two dogs. Sweeping only the downstairs once a week, I have to empty the dust cup five times. And that is when M swoops in.
When you remove the dust cup on my Shark Navigator, two foam filters are exposed. As soon as I walk to the wastebasket with the dust cup, a certain adorable toddler runs over and takes out the foam filters. Then he has dirty little hands and he leaves dirty little hand prints all over the house I am attempting to bring some semblance of clean to. Oy.
I have many more years of disassembling ahead of me. After all, my husband already has a mini bike and a box of random old engines in the garage for M to discover someday. It is a good thing we had a boy so that they can man-boy bond in the garage for years to come. But that will have to wait. For now, the garage is not child-proofed.
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