Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This week we have been reading about Henry Ford and Thomas Edison as part of our 19th/20th turn-of-the- century studies. It has actually been very helpful for me in terms of gaining insight into my son, the insatiable tinkerer. Both Edison and Ford, for example, walked around with nuts and bolts in their pockets. Not a washing cycle goes by that I do not have to fish Legos, Snap Circuits, screws, or rocks out of the washing machine. Both Ford and Edison were insanely disorganized. Enough said -- just make sure you wear adequate footwear upon entering Eggplant's room. The big F and the big E were constantly blowing things up. The little E has destroyed his fair share of electronics in the pursuit of satisfying his curiosity. Thomas Edison had to be homeschooled because teachers kept kicking him out of his class for asking too many questions instead of answering questions. We have a 2 "questions" rules for Eggplant: 1. at least wait until the end of the page to fire off the questions so your sisters can enjoy the book too, and 2. write all car questions down until we are out of traffic. Then ask.

So for Eggplant's birthday we are going to build him his very own workshop. We'll be stripping the room of anything unnecessary -- like stuffed animals -- adding outdoor carpeting to protect the floor, and adding shelves to the wall -- which we will line with clear plastic bins for tinkering parts. I have requested from Granpa, himself a tinkerer, any odd nuts, bolts, tools, etc. he might find in his own tinkering places. We'll keep his bed and dresser in there, of course. Basically, it will be a workshop with a place to sleep. My part of the gift is that I will let him keep it as he wishes (I'll need therapy and possibly some psycho-tropic drugs to do this, but I will try my best).

When I told Eggplant the non-surprise parts of the plan, he immediately sat down and wrote me a list of things he will need: wheels, steering wheel, axle, gears, windows, engine. Oh my goodness -- the boy plans on building a car! We'd better re-read the part in the Ford book about how Ford built his Quadricycle INSIDE his workshop and so had to tear down the walls to get it outside. Thankfully, we have good renter's insurance, but we might want to look over our lease a bit more carefully.

And so continues Eggplant's pursuit of merckeration.

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