Kindergarten has been talking about “things that make us special and things we like about ourselves.” As part of this curriculum the students are supposed to bring in an item for a special show-and-tell event. The item should demonstrate something the kids are good at. Snags’ teacher sent home a list of examples: children could bring in a musical instrument they play or a book they know how to read, or perhaps a ball from a sport they play…
I discussed the assignment with Snags and asked him what he would like to bring in.
“I’m going to bring in one of my lightsabers, Mom,” he said.
And since I couldn’t figure out what on earth a lightsaber had to do with the assignment, I asked him to explain how it served as an example of something he was good at.
“Because,” he said, “I am good at lightsaber fighting because Dad can’t hit any of my body parts when we fight!”
But somehow, I don’t think this is the kind of “something they are good at” that his teacher is looking for. In fact, I think it’s rather the kind of example that might prompt his teacher to call child protective services and suggest they investigate us over “Dad can’t hit any of my body parts…”
So of course I nixed that plan and suggested that he come up with something else.
“Why don’t you bring in this letter that Aunt Vivian wrote you?” I asked. “You were able to read the whole thing all by yourself, which shows that you are good at reading. What do you think about that?” I asked.
But clearly, wasn’t impressed. He rolled his eyes at me.
So I looked around for something else to suggest and settled on his LEGOs. He loves to build small starships out of his LEGOs. He has a hundred different designs in his mind and is forever asking me to come look at his latest creation and listen to him go on and on and on and on and on and on and on (get the picture?) about what the starship does. As if he is a starship salesman, and I the eager consumer looking to buy a new one.
“I know, you are good at building with your LEGOs. Why don’t you build a small starship and take that in for show-and-tell?” I asked.
He liked that idea, so I had him put the lightsaber away with his other toys.
But building with LEGOs isn’t Snags’ only building plan. In fact, if he doesn’t take up a career drawing dead fish, he may grow up to be an engineer or an architect one day. He draws pictures of fountains that he wants to build in our back yard, “Fountain Building” printed carefully across the top of the page. He draws pictures of the castle he plans to build and then live in once he’s an adult. And there is, I am happy to report, a room for me on the second floor. Unless his bride decides she doesn’t like me. In which case, he will move me to another room on the third floor. But, he assures me, I can still have the pleasure of changing his baby’s diapers and I can still read my books. Even banished to the third floor, I will like it there. Or so he says. I must confess that I am not entirely convinced. I don’t really like changing diapers.
But nothing, I think, can compare to his latest building project: Sled Building. And I have been drafted to help. Like a volunteer for Habitat for Crazy Sled Builders. On the paper he drew his plans on Snags wrote “Sed Bilding”. It is a “sed for wtr” (sled for winter). It will be “bit in sum” (built in summer). Below the title and the description is a picture of the sled itself. Picture a houseboat atop a flexible flyer wooden sled. It looks something like that. The house has one door, and one window, complete with a curtain. Snags designed it for me, so I can sit inside and read while we sled around. The roof will keep the snow off of my face. I think that’s a kind consideration, since he knows that I don’t care much for snow, and that I really don’t like the cold.
His design plans also include a breakdown of the parts that we will need this summer when we build the sled:
(for those who haven’t studied Kindergarten writing allow me to translate: wood, digger, house, door, cloth, rope, safe hooks, nail)
And after we assemble all of the above we must obtain the very best part of the entire design. The part that every good house sled must rely upon to pull the sleigh:
9. robdec woof
(the robotic wolves)
What? You aren’t familiar with them? Well then, let me introduce you to the concept of the robotic wolves. They are, according to Snags, made of metal. They are silver and gray in color. They have teeth. And eyes.
If it’s true that eyes are the windows to the soul, then I am not sure what kind of soul Snags’ robotic wolves have. For their eyes, he says, are made of “hot light bulbs”. I imagine then, when they look at you, their gaze is intense, searing perhaps. At least until their rechargeable batteries run out. That’s the bad part of the whole design. We have to let the batteries charge for one full hour.
I hope there’s an electrical socket out there on the snowy hills.